How to stay safe under the sun during sport season?

18th May 2019

May is a huge month for sporting events! As some sports reach the finale of their 2018/19 season, many fair-weather sports kick off with some exciting events here in the UK. 6th May sees the beginning of Sun Awareness Week and the aim of this week is to raise awareness of the dangers of long exposure to the sun, and to promote sun safety when outside.

According to YouGov, almost a quarter of Brits don’t use a sunscreen in summer,  and skin cancer rates have more than doubled since the early 1990. In fact cancer rates are higher and have risen faster among men than women and when it comes to out-of-date sunscreen, men are again at greater risk of harm than women. While 47% of women are wittingly or unwittingly using ineffective sun cream, this figure rises to 58% among men.

So if you are planning on being a spectator at some of these events, or simply play sports outside, make sure you are you protecting your skin properly. Here are a few top tips to keep you sun safe this spring and summer.

  • Pick a good sun screen that has a high SPF which will protect you from the UVB rays that cause sunburn.  Also make sure is has UVA (ultraviolet A rays) protection. These rays penetrate the skin more deeply causing premature ageing.
  • Check out the product labelling – you will find UVA represented by either a star rating, or the letters ‘UVA’ in a circle. These are often referred to as ‘broad spectrum’. And use a factor above SPF 15, or SPF 30 if you have lighter skin.
  • If you’re out in the sun for long periods, it is recommended you apply 1oz of SPF over your skin at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and remember to top up every 2-3 hours.   Don’t miss those hard to reach areas! Back of the neck, ears, shoulders etc!
  • Where possible, grab some shade and avoid peak times of day (11am-3pm).
  • Cover up – wear sunglasses to not only protect your eyes, but the skin around your eyes, which is much more sensitive to the sun as it is thinner. Wear loose clothing with long sleeves to block harmful rays. Going to the cricket? Invest in a hat… you might be thankful of it after a full day out in the sun.

In May we can enjoy the biggest month in the football calendar as we see the end of season play-offs as well as the FA Cup Finals – 4th May is the Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium followed by men’s FA Cup Final on 18th May.  Cricket kicks off in England and Wales with the World Cup from 30th May – 15th July, with 10 nations competing to reach the final played at Lords. Not forgetting the Royal London One-Day Cup where county teams play to reach the final on 25th May. For Rugby Union fans the European Champions Cup final is being held in Newcastle at St James Park on 10th & 11th May, hailed as the ‘greatest weekend in rugby’.

So whatever you are up to, enjoy the sun and enjoy it safely! And may the best team win.

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