Baz Luhrman had it right. We usually don’t take the time to protect ourselves from the sun. This goes for stretching also by the way. In both cases we are putting ourselves in a very careless and potentially very harmful situation.
But focusing on the protection from the sun, here is a quick explanation of why it is important to take so much care of our skin.
This is a topic that is close to me as two people I knew fell victim to skin cancer. Any type of cancer is a dreadful but there are a couple that can be avoided easily lung cancer being the first by not smoking, followed by skin cancer by reducing our exposure to the sun.
Of course this is a bit of a tricky one for anyone who practices an outdoor sport. Luckily for us, we can reduce the exposure also with the use of wetsuits, lycras (when it’s too warm for neoprene) and the application of sunscreen.
The clothing however can only cover so much of our skin. The face is always exposed and body parts such as backs of the hands and feet as well as the lips and ears are often forgotten when it comes to the application of suncream.
For me I always go all in with factor 50 although if I get my hands on something more potent like Daylong Acitinica which is designed for the prevention of non-melanoma skin cancer in at risk patients and of photodermatosis (according to what it says on the bottle). The best I have found for the face is the waterproof sunscreen sticks like the one from Zinka
. Quick to apply, doesn’t go all runny when we get in the water and no mess on your hands. With normal suncream we tend to have greasy hands after application meaning the grip on the boom will not be al too good. We have to either rub them dry thoroughly with a towel or better yet, wash them with soap. We also have to wait a little so it doesn’t start running into our eyes when we fall in the water.
For the lips I use a stick with SPF 15 or 30 as once they dry out and burn it is likely for herpes to originate which will not go away easily and most likely not at all if you don’t spend some time out of the sun. If it does appear, the initial stages will look like a blister on the lip. Ar this point you can already start applying Zovirax on it as it aims to kill the virus.
After the sunburn
If you do get burnt, make sure to treat your skin, hydrating it properly. Any oil or cream that helps hydrate the skin (like baby oils) will do the trick. Another great way is to use Aloe Vera although I admit it is the icky way to go about it 🙂
Areas often forgotten:
– Upper side of the feet
– Back side of the knee
– Just above the elbows (also remember that the lycra sleeves might slide/roll up
If you have anything that would make this article more complete, please let me know in the comments.