5 tips for sun protection

Summer is finally here, and we can’t wait to enjoy our favourite sports and activities outdoors. There is one important factor, however, that can’t be overlooked—sun protection. Find out how to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, while still soaking up every bit of summer fun.

woman putting sunscreen on her arm

When it comes to sun protection, there are many ways to stay safe when playing outdoors. Our 5 tips will help you protect your skin, eyes, and hair; so you can get the most out of every sunny day this season!

SUNSCREEN

This may seem like the most obvious form of sun protection, but it can still be quite complex. The key is to find the right combination for your skin and your lifestyle. Also, remember that you should apply sunscreen even when skies are overcast. The sun can still do damage through a layer of clouds, so make a habit of putting on sunscreen before you head outside—and reapply often!

What to consider:
- A sunscreen made for the face may be a good option for those with sensitive skin.
- Broad spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Water-resistant formulas are a good bet, especially for pool/beach days.
- Apply early and often. (We can’t stress this enough!). 

Woman hiking with a hat for sun protection

HAT/SUNGLASSES

Your head, hair and eyes also need protection from the sun. Remember to cover them up when possible with a hat and sunglasses designed for sports. A baseball cap will shield your face, but a hat with a full rim will provide extra coverage on the back of your neck. Sport sunglasses should be more resistant to bumps and scratches. Make sure the fit is good and consider a wrap-around shape for optimal coverage.

What to consider:
- Try hat sizes above and below your regular size to ensure you get a snug fit that will stay in place as you move.
- A mesh hat will allow sweat to evaporate more quickly, keeping your head cool.
- Choose lightweight sunglasses with some grip on the arms to hold them in place.
- Polarized lenses can reduce reflections off of horizontal surfaces—great for water sports!

UV PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

Great news! Your clothing can also help protect you from the sun. A garment’s Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) tells you how much radiation from UVA and UVB rays it blocks from your skin. Clothing with a UPF 50 rating blocks 95% of UVB and 98% of UVA rays. UV protective clothing is a great option for kids and adults alike!

What to consider:
- All Decathlon UV-resistant apparel is UPF 50+, which means they offer the maximum level of sun protection.
- Look for UV-resistant material that will also provide protection when wet.
- The weave is important—the more tightly woven a fabric is, the more protection it will provide.
- You can find all types of clothing with UPF protection: tops, pants, hats, etc. 

TAKING SOME SHADE 

A very simple sun protection solution is to spend some time in the shade. When possible, you can move under the shade created by a large tree or building. If you’re out in the open (say, at the beach!) you may want to bring your own shelter to provide some much-needed time out of the sun.

What to consider:
- Find a shelter that is easy to pitch and disassemble. Our 2-Seconds Fresh Shelter packs up into its own bag for easy transport.
- Remember that your skin may still be exposed to the sun through the opening of the shelter, so protect yourself even when using it.
- Look for a shelter with good wind resistance so it can stand up to shifts in the weather. 

Man riding with a long-sleeved top

LONGER SLEEVES

Any item of clothing that covers your skin will offer some protection from the sun. While it may seem counterintuitive, opting for a long-sleeved top can sometimes be the best choice when practicing sports outdoors. Your body will actually stay cooler when your skin is not directly exposed to the sun. Opt for brighter colours that will reflect the sun’s rays.

What to consider:
- The brighter the colour, the more protection the garment offers—a bright yellow will offer more coverage than a pastel shade.
- Technical fabrics are great for wicking away perspiration, so you won’t feel wet fabric against your skin.
- Long-sleeved swim tops are perfect for days when you are in and out of the pool, lake or ocean!

There’s no better feeling than playing your favourite sports outside. Just remember to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from the sun’s powerful rays. Stay active and stay safe. Happy summer! 

More like this