What’s The Best Sun Protection for Swimming, Hiking, Gardening, and Outdoor Sports?

Cynthia Bailey, MD|July 27, 2011

Sun protection for hikingDoes your sun protection hold up to your toughest, most active outdoor activities? When you’re out in the sun for hours, sweating swimming or working hard, you need low maintenance sun protection that you can rely on.   I created my SunSavvy Active-Sport Sun Protection Kit to take care of your skin when you’re too busy to worry about it.  It's what I use to protect myself, my family and my dermatology patients. My SunSavvy Kit for Active/Sport Sun Protection gives you long lasting, reliable sun protection with micro zinc oxide mineral sunscreen products, this is the longest lasting type of sun protection available.

  • The water resistant sunscreen gives you 80 minutes of protection when you’re wet.
  • You get broad spectrum lip protection too with LipCotz.
  • There’s a Detecto Ring to test the sun protection of your clothing.
  • And while supplies last we throw in a handy mesh drawstring bag to store your products so you can grab 'em and go!

When you combine my SunSavvy Active/Sport Kit with a sun protection hat, sunglasses and sun protective clothing you've got the most reliable, dermatologist recommended sun protection available today.  I want your skin protected so use coupon code BLOG and I give you 10% off the cost of these reasonably priced, trustworthy sunscreens too. Remember, we're learning that you can’t just put on some SPF 15+ sunscreen and expect to prevent sun damage to your skin!  Real sun protection takes a combination of shading your skin with hats, clothing and sun glasses plus correctly applying the right sunscreen. And, not all sunscreens qualify as the ‘right’ sunscreen.

Dermatologist’s Advice For the Best Sun Protection When Your Active Outdoors

The ‘right sunscreen’ is a water resistant product with 5% or more transparent, micro sized (aka nanoparticle) zinc oxide.

Why? Because you need to block both UVB and all the UVA rays to really sun protect your skin.  Your sunscreen also needs to stay active, both in the tube and on your skin and many ‘chemical’ sunscreens don’t.  I see what works for my patients and what doesn't.  My opinion as a dermatologist who specializes in skin cancer and the treatment of sun damaged skin is that transparent micro sized ( nano  ) zinc oxide gives you the best sun protection available from sunscreen.  As a second choice, for people who really don’t want to use a mineral sunscreen, I recommend Mexoryl SX, available in Europe.

‘Correctly’ applying your sunscreen means that you need to put enough on and you need to reapply it.

Why? Because sunscreens are tested under strict conditions and if you apply less, you’re not really protected.  The average sized adult needs to apply 1oz (a shot glass) if they are in a bathing suit and then reapply it every 2 hours, or after swimming, or after rubbing their skin.  That’s ¼ of a 4 oz tube every 2 hours! It's a 'thick and sticky' coating to all exposed skin.  To be honest, it’s not that simple though because sunscreen thickness affects how much you really need to apply, as does the ingredient combination in a product.  Plus, people come in different sizes, as do swim suits.  That’s why I recommend zinc oxide products and covering as much of your skin as possible with appropriate clothing.  Plus, applying your ‘thick and sticky’ coat of mineral sunscreen will give you better protection than any other type of sunscreen, and frankly, the less exposed skin for reapplication, the better!  So cover up what you can AND correctly apply to what's left exposed.

Create shade even if there isn't any!

Why? Because every UV ray that doesn't hit your sunscreen means that your sunscreen will last longer, and frankly you’ll be cooler too.

  • This means wearing a hat that covers the top of your head and hangs over all the sides with at least a full 3 inch brim.  Baseball hats and visors are no-nos.
  • It means shading your skin with sun protective clothing.  Most 'summer weight' fabrics are not sufficient to block UV rays. You can buy swim shirts, swim tights, sun protective clothing or wash Sun Guard into the light weight clothes you already own.

Remember, the sun is most intense between 10 am and 2pm.  You really need to have your sun protection act in gear if you’re out during those peak hours.  Harmful rays are out from dawn to dusk though, so sun protect anytime you’re outdoors during the day, regardless of cloud cover. To order my SunSavvy Active/Sport Sun Protection Kit, order the 3 products below, add BLOG to the coupon code section of the shopping cart and you get 10% off these products plus the handy mesh bag to keep your products in (while the bags last!). Solbar Zinc LipCotz Detecto Ring Order a few more of the skin care products you need and get free shipping for orders of $75 or more.  My skin care favorites for people in the sun: Avene Self Tanner and a Body Buf Puf Sponge for a' healthy tan', Replenix CF Cream for facial antioxidant back-up help to minimize sun and environmental damage while you play outdoors. Photo: Thanks and gratitude to Alan Cleaver

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