Skin Care for Very Active Folks
Last updated: April 2021
If you are like me, you like to get outside and enjoy the nice days left before winter hits the northeast. For me, this could mean biking, jogging, hiking, or a brisk walk. It always involves covering up, hats and sunscreen. I try to protect my skin whether I expect sun or clouds, rain or dry. It is just part of my regimen after my skin cancer diagnosis.
My personal preference for sun protection clothing
I try to reapply after a couple of hours because I tend to sweat it off and I know that it becomes less effective. Most of my sun protective clothing is loose-fitting. I don’t really like snug-fitting clothes. I am not a competitive bicyclist, so any wind drag from my clothing is actually welcomed as it makes my workout more difficult.
Often, when I am biking, I see folks zip by me in the latest gear with German bikes. Most of their clothing is form-fitting to lessen their profile and wind drag. Most biking shorts and shirts leave a lot of skin exposed to the sun and therefore seem to be a skin cancer risk to me. I have never seen competitive cyclists hit the brakes in the middle of their training or races to reapply sunscreen as they sweat.
Activewear for skin cancer prevention
Thankfully, forward-thinking companies are now producing UV ray protective clothing for very active athletes and those who are competitive weekend warriors. One of those items of clothing is the arm warmer. These are skin tight tubular coverings that reach from the bottom of typical biking shirts down to wrists. They provide different levels of warmth and UV protection while not causing added wind drag.
The application of arm warmers
Here is a helpful article that describes different kinds of arm warmers. I make no evaluation of any of these products. I can see other applications beyond cycling for these arm warmers. Baseball players may be protected as well as most baseball jerseys leave arms exposed. Football and soccer players and really any outdoor sports lover could be helped.
Arm warmers keep muscles warm and relieve competitive athletes from the inconvenience of having sunscreen on their hands during competition. I can’t imagine baseball pitchers wanting that lotion on their hands during games. Many athletes who wear gloves probably would feel the same. Wear arm warmers with proper SPF protection and don’t think about it again until after the practice, game, event, or training.
A necessary upgrade for activewear
I think the combination of sports performance with skincare is a good thing. For too long, protecting our skin has primarily involved floppy clothing or trying to reapply sunscreen during inopportune moments during competition or training. It shows that companies are responding to our message by providing UV protection for the different needs of their customers.
Here are some things that you can do:
- Contact companies with suggestions for clothing that would best serve your outdoor activities. Find companies that are responsive to customer needs.
- Be specific with the types of clothing needed and the kinds of activities in which you would use them. Is this a hat? Would you like certain designs? Certain fits? Certain comfort? Certain fabrics?
- Get multiple people to advocate for your ideas. Companies are more likely to respond if they see a large market for their products.
- Give online reviews of products. This will help consumers and the companies that sell to them.
What are your thoughts?
How often do you worry about skin cancer coming back?
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