Summer’s almost there and that means – besides going to the beach and drinking wine on the balcony all night – you’re probably going to do your workout in the park instead of the gym. You will spend a lot of time in the hot sun, which will hopefully get you a great tan. But don’t forget, UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damage. Eventually it can even lead to cancer. You probably think that any sunprotector will take care of you, but you’re wrong. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about sunprotection and how to use it during your workout.
Sun protecting factor (SPF)
Sun protecting factor, also known as SPF, is the most important ingredient in a sunscreen. It indicates how long you can stay in the sun without burning. The higher the SPF, the more sunprotection is provides. A SPF 15 blocks 93% of the UVB-rays, a SPF 30 blocks 97% of the UVB-rays and an SPF 50 blocks 98% of the UVB-rays. SPF only relates to UVB. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect from UVA and UVB.
How to apply
To get the full SPF of your sun protector, you need to apply about a shot glass full. Most people only use a quarter of that, which makes the SPF on their body lower than on advertised on the bottle. You need to apply the sunscreen about 30 minutes before sun exposure. This way the ingredients can fully bind to your skin.
No sunprotector should be expected to stay effective for more than two hours. You have to repeat applying the sunscreen whole day long. Sunscreen should also be reapplied after swimming, towelling off or intense sweating. UVB causes sunburn, but UVA can do a lot of damage (for example: wrinkles) without even noticing. Reapplication is as important as putting it on in the first way.
During hot, sunny days it’s important to protect yourself every day, even though you are working inside because you still get in touch with the harmful rays.
How soon a sunburn begins depends on a few things: your skin type, the sun intensity and how long you are exposed to the sun. Half of the sunburn take place after going out of the sun. Your cells find it hard to repair the damage, that's why aftersun is so important. This helps to get the heat out of your skin and immediately repairs the sun damage. Don't forget to apply sunscreen on commonly forgotten places such as your hairline, feet and ears, to avoid sunburn.
Working out in the sun is great, but sunburns and wrinkles aren't. Make sure you apply your sunscreen even when it's cloudy. Choose for a sunsprotector that blocks both UVA and UVB, so you will be fully protected. Make sure you get a sunscreen with a high SPF that is water-resistant or sweat-resistant, so it won't drip in your eyes during the workout. If you are sweating a lot, make sure you reapply sooner than after two hours. Apply to every part of your body that is not covered, and don't forget your face. For your lips, special lip balms are available with a SPF. Increasingly, different labels start their own 'sport sunscreen line', such as Lancaster. These sunscreens can be applied on a wet skin and the protection is very high. These products are not unsuitable for daily use, because they are a lot stickier than normal sunscreens and don't go very well with make-up.