Best Sunscreen for Sports

Each year thousands of people around the world are diagnosed with skin cancer, most due to the fact they have spent years in the sun without providing the proper protection for their skin.  While sunscreen is designed to protect your skin, there are certain things you should look for when choosing the best sunscreen for sports.

When selecting the best sunscreen for sports, think about selecting one that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays.  Most sunscreens only protect against UVB rays, which are those most likely to cause a sunburn.  They don’t protect against UVA rays which cause long-term damage to your skin in the form of skin cancer and premature aging.  When shopping for sunscreen you should select sunscreens that contain ingredients that protect against both UVB and UVA rays.

The best sunscreens for sports will also be photostable.  Most sunscreens need reapplication every hour or two due to the fact they breakdown and degrade when they are exposed to the sun.  However, some sunscreens, including those that contain Mexoryl XL and SX in the Anthelios line, are photostable, which means that reapplication is not needed as frequently.  This allows you to enjoy your time in the sun rather than focus on how long it is until you have to reapply. 

Once you’ve decided on the best sunscreen for the sport you choose to participate in, the sunscreen’s effectiveness will be determined in part by how and when it is applied. Follow these tips to make sure you’re protected adequately:
1. Sunscreen is more effective if you apply it at least 30 minutes before going outside. This allows the sunscreen to absorb into your skin and build up a layer of protection. 
2. If you’re planning to participate in sports or water activities it’s essential that you find a sunscreen that is sweat or water resistant.  This ensures that the sunscreen won’t be automatically washed off your face and body when you jump in the water or start sweating from your activities.  However you will need to reapply the sunscreen periodically throughout the day since it can be wiped off by towels and clothing.  Water resistant does not mean waterproof.
3. Use enough sunscreen. Most individuals don’t apply enough, which leaves skin at risk for short and long term skin damage.  When you apply sunscreen for sports, use a minimum of one ounce of sunscreen to cover all parts of your body that are exposed.  While this may mean that you pay more for sunscreen, you won’t end up paying the higher cost later in life when diagnosed with skin cancer. 

Sunscreen plays a vital role in protecting your from skin cancer and other problems, and there are things you can do to maximize the effectiveness of your sunscreen. Look for UVA and UVB protection, photostability, and water resistance. Also apply your sunscreen adequately and frequently and you can be assured that you will have selected the best sunscreen for any sport you participate in.

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