Thought it might not be the first thing you think of when getting ready to head to the course, covering your exposed skin with your favorite sunblock should be a top priority. Sure, you might escape a sunburn on a cloudy day, but it’s in your best interest to always apply some sunscreen when heading outside – even if it’s cloudy!
Not sure where to get started? Instead of grabbing the first bottle of SPF protection that you see at a local store, let us help you get something that won’t interfere with your game – and will keep your skin protected from those harmful ultraviolet rays.
What You Need To Know About Sunscreen for Outdoor Sports
As you shop, you’ll notice that there are a lot of different sunblock options on the market. Some have chemicals in them that cause skin irritation in people who have sensitive skin. Others have more natural ingredients that do not typically cause irritation for the wearer. Mineral-based sunscreens have things like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as an active ingredient and they work to block the UV rays from hitting your skin. Those with chemical-based ingredients work by absorbing the harmful rays – these are the ones that can give you side effects if you have sensitive skin.
Since you’ll be out in the sun, it’s a good idea to look for a bottle of sunblock that is waterproof so that your sweat won’t remove it from your skin. Of course, if you golf somewhere that doesn’t result in a lot of sweat, then this feature won’t really be necessary for you.
Pay attention to the length of time that an application of the sunblock lasts before it needs to be re-applied. Some can last for hours while others need re-applied every 30 minutes. You definitely don’t want to have to re-apply in the middle of a game.
You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t end up with a sunblock that leaves your hands greasy. The last thing you need is slippery hands when you’re swinging your clubs!
What SPF do you need to protect your skin against sunburn? The CDC recommends at least a SPF 15, but we prefer a more conservative approach with SPF 30 as our baseline. One thing to keep in mind is that you should generally re-apply your sunscreen every two hours for the best protection.
Why You Need Sunscreen When Golfing
Did you know that all it takes is 15 minutes to do irreversible damage to your skin when out in the sun? The sun’s ultraviolet rays can truly wreak havoc on your skin. At a minimum, you end up with a painful sunburn. Overtime, the repeated damage to your skin from the sun’s UV rays results in leathery, wrinkled skin that is weak. And the worst case scenario for you is skin cancer. You can get cancerous melanoma on your face, lips, ears, head, and the rest of your body.
So, do yourself a favor and make the smart choice to cover any exposed skin with a layer of sunscreen before you hit the course. You should do this even when it is cloudy out because those UV rays can penetrate the clouds and do damage even when you can’t really see them.
In addition to wearing your sunblock, also consider wearing long sleeves and pants instead of shorts, as well as using an umbrella on your push or pull cart. You can also wear a hat with UV protection to prevent your head from getting sunburned while you walk the course.
Golf sport man with sunblock lotion spray for spf protection — Photo by Daxiao_Productions/DepositPhotos