Best Sunscreen For Athletes
Best Sunscreen For Athletes
The good thing about playing outdoor games is, it greatly boosts your physical and mental health. But sadly, staying outdoors for longer durations takes too much from your skin. Cricketers, swimmers, runners spend most of their time in and around the swimming pool and playground. Many research studies reveal that prolonged unprotected sun exposure makes sports persons more susceptible to sunburn, tanning, premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and skin cancer. That's why before going to spend hours in the sun, athletes should opt for a sunscreen that stays for longer durations and does not get messed up with sweat.
Important things that athletes should consider while buying sunscreen
Safety of skin is of paramount importance. Therefore, your duty does not end with slathering on sunscreen. It is important to look for an appropriate sun care product that is safe for long-run use. Sportspersons should look for a sunscreen that does not penetrate deeply into the skin. Numerous research studies have found that certain sunscreen ingredients bring harmful effects to the body by entering the body. From the safety point of view, dermatologists advise choosing sunscreen having low penetration filters.
- Broad-spectrum protection
- SPF 50
- Physical (mineral filters)
- PA++++ rating
- Non - comedogenic
1. Broad-spectrum protection
Many sunscreens available in the market come with UVB protection properties. But, it is important to protect your skin from UVA rays to avoid the risk of photoaging. A research study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology has demonstrated that sunscreen leveled as broad-spectrum protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
2. SPF 50
Sun Protection Factor is a number that indicates how much protection your product provides against UVB rays. Sunscreen cream with a higher SPF number is considered very important for stretched outdoor activities. It has been found that sunscreen with SPF 30 only filters 97% of UVB rays. Whereas, SPF 50 sunscreen gives better protection to your skin by blocking 98% of UVB rays. If you are looking for best sunscreen for sportsmen in India, Dermatologists suggest choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen having SPF 50.
3. Physical (mineral filters)
There are two types of sunscreens, physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens reflect the UV rays from your skin surface and prevent them from penetrating into the epidermis. Whereas, chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and release them as heat from the skin. The sunscreens used by cricketers to stay sun protected are physical sunscreens that contain zinc and titanium dioxide as key ingredients. Additional benefit of mineral sunscreens is they give a smooth finish to your face with good broad spectrum protection.
4. PA++++ rating
While talking about prioritizing sun protection, it is important to look for PA ratings on sunscreen labels. PA stands for “Protection Grade of UVA.” You should know the difference that SPF (Sun Protection Factor) provides only UVB protection while the PA rating only gives UVA protection. Different PA ratings offer different levels of UVA protection such as -
- PA+ offers some UVA protection
- PA++ offers moderate UVA protection
- PA+++ offers good UVA protection
- PA++++ offers the highest UVA protection
Sunscreens that come with water-resistant and sweat-resistant properties are considered to be the best sunscreens for athletes. Whether it is swimming or a game of sweat on the field, you need sunscreen that cannot wash off easily. Sunscreens labeled water-resistant state that they can sustain their mentioned SPF value for 40-80 minutes during swimming or sweating. Putting a water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 50 acts as a safeguard for skin from UVA/UVB rays. In addition, water and sweat-resistant sunscreen give a non-greasy feel to your skin in extremely humid and hot weather.
As per FDA standards, to keep your skin protected underwater, it is recommended to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to swimming. In addition, the use of waterproof sunscreens has been found to be helpful against swimmer’s itch. It is a skin rash caused by small worm-like parasites mostly found near the edges of lakes and marshy areas. Water-resistant sunscreens form a protective covering on the skin and may help to prevent the flatworms from penetrating the skin.
6. Non - comedogenic
Another important factor to consider in choosing the best sunscreen for athletes is its non-comedogenic properties. The term non-comedogenic refers to skin care products that do not clog your pores. Non-comedogenic and broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF 50 are an ideal option for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin. The use of such sunscreens allows your skin to stay hydrated and breathable.
Apart from the face, dermatologists emphasize sunscreen application on other exposed areas such as ears, neck, and arms. Reapplication of sunscreen is considered important after every two hours especially when you are outdoors. Additionally, wearing sunglasses having high UV protection properties helps to protect the delicate skin around your eyes from sun rays. Just as a strong body needs a good diet and exercise, similarly healthy skin needs good sun protection. Next time, before heading for your gaming session, make sure to slather your day protection.
According to The Skin Care Foundation, too much exposure to UV radiation can increase the risk of skin cancer. Sun rays damage DNA in your skin cells which cause sunburn and also increase the susceptibility to basal cell and squamous cell cancers. Thankfully, you can reduce the risk of skin cancer by using sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection.