If you’re like the majority of Americans, you probably don’t use sunscreen. Or at least, you don’t use it regularly.
According to recent research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 14.3 percent of men and 29.9 percent of women said they “regularly” use sunscreen on their face and other exposed skin.
Yet the sun can damage your skin in so many ways and some of the associated health risks, like melanoma, can even be life-threatening, which means it’s time to start getting serious about taking the right precautions for proper protection.
And perhaps this is especially true for athletes who spend extended periods of time training and competing outside.
Yes, spending time outside is actually associated with a handful of incredible health benefits, but it also increases your risk for health issues related to sun-damaged skin.
So, before you head out to play, make sure you know how to protect your skin properly by following these important skincare tips and guidelines.
Even water-resistant sunscreen needs to be reapplied often.
There’s no such thing was “waterproof” or “sweatproof” sunscreen. In fact, the FDA banned manufactures from using either term on labels back in 2011. Instead, you’ll find water-resistant sunscreens, but even these will fade from your skin after an extended period of time spent in the water or sweating. To keep you skin protected, you should reapply every 40 to 80 minutes, depending on what’s noted on the product’s label.
Spray sunscreens can’t offer adequate protection.
Especially for athletes who just want to get outside and play, spray sunscreens may seem like the most convenient option, but according to dermatologists and the Environmental Working Group (EWG), while they might save you some time, they’re certainly not saving your health. “Spray products do not apply enough product on the skin and the protecting ingredients are dispersed in droplets that are spotted on the skin and don’t entirely cover every cell,” says Dr. Cynthia Bailey, a board-certified dermatologist and the President and CEO of Advanced Skin Care and Dermatology Physicians. Additionally, the EWG warns against the dangers of inhaling the harmful ingredients used in many popular spray sunscreens.