As outdoor enthusiasts eagerly embrace the thrill of their favourite games under the radiant sun, safeguarding against potential risks is essential. Whether you’re a newbie trying to learn how to surf or a beach volleyball pro, the sun poses threats to our skin and eyes, making comprehensive sun and eye protection a non-negotiable aspect of any outdoor activity. Today, we’ll give you practical tips to shield your skin and eyes from the sun’s brilliance, ensuring your vision stays sharp and your outdoor games enjoyable.
Four sun and eye protection tips for various outdoor games
Slather on sunscreen
Regardless of the weather or outdoor activity you have planned, applying sunscreen is a must since ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun — which can’t be seen or felt — can penetrate through clouds and haze. When your body is exposed to these UV rays, sunburns, premature ageing, and potentially blinding eye diseases or skin cancer may occur. Sunscreen acts as your first line of defence against the sun’s harmful rays, protecting you from sunburn and lowering your skin cancer risk by as much as 50%, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, like the Pelotan SPF 30 Roll-On, paying special attention to your ears, nose, and other areas prone to burning. If you have trouble remembering to reapply, try using the SpotMyUV SPF-indicating sticker. Before first applying sunscreen, you put the sticker on exposed skin. It turns transparent when you’re protected from UV light and changes to purple when the sunscreen fades away, indicating sunscreen re-application is required.
Choose the right sunglasses
Just as UV exposure can cause your skin to burn, UV radiation can inflict severe damage on your eyes, causing eye issues like cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis. For the best eye protection, ophthalmologists recommend using sunglasses that offer 100% UVA/B filtering, fit your face well, and provide good coverage.
For instance, if you’re participating in a sport like beach volleyball, try the Performer frames from Glasses Direct, as the subtle wraparound design and non-slip rubber detailing along the bottom of the temples ensure they’ll stay on your face. Plus, the large, square frames provide generous coverage in a classic shape that won’t soon go out of style. Moreover, opt for polarised lenses as they help reduce glare and increase colour perception, which is ideal for playing sports.
Wear a hat and sun-protective clothing
According to Board-certified dermatologist Dr Claire Wolinsky, it may not be enough to only rely on sunscreen when engaging in outdoor activities. She encourages outdoor runners and tennis players to don sun-protective clothing as well as a hat for total UV defence. Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) shows how much a particular fabric blocks UVA and UVB radiation. UPF 50+ fabrics are rated as providing excellent sun protection. For this, the brand Florence Marine X has an array of UPF clothing like the Sun Pro Long Sleeve Hooded UPF Shirt, which is engineered with breathable panels, antimicrobial fabric, and 30-50 UPF+. They also have hats that help keep the sun out of your eyes.
Seek shade when you can
Seek shade when not actively playing between individual events or while spectating. Not only does shade give you a reprieve from the heat, but it can also help to protect you from the sun’s damaging rays. Seeking shade provides a crucial break from direct sunlight, reducing the risk of sunburn, eye strain, and discomfort. Additionally, if possible, try not to be out in the sun for outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when UV rays are most intense.
By embracing these tips, from sporting the right sunglasses to seeking shade when you can, you guarantee that your eyes remain in tip-top shape for more future activities in the great outdoors.