It’s getting really hot out there as we move out of the early months of the year, and while the lower chance of rain means that you can get more outdoor training time, it also means that you’ll likely get more sun exposure too!
It’s not really a good idea to be out and about without sun protection, because sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which put us at risk of premature skin ageing, wrinkles, cataracts, and skin cancer.
Rather than just making a guess about it, we asked the experts at Banana Boat, the makers the best sun protection products in the world, to tell us about the importance of sunblock.
Q: Why is long-term exposure to sunlight dangerous?
A: Sunlight blasts out UVA and UVB rays, which are both ultraviolet radiation. UVB hits your skin’s surface and is largely responsible for tanning, as well as that nasty side effect called sunburn. UVA rays have longer wavelengths so penetrate deeper into your skin, causing ageing and long-term damage.
Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer. The amount of damage from UV exposure depends on the strength of the light, the length of exposure, and whether the skin is protected.
UVA rays are present during all daylight hours, so there is no escaping them. This is also why it’s important to use some form of sunblock on your skin if you are outdoors for long periods at the time.
Q: In that case, what’s the difference between sunblock and suntan lotion?
A: Suntan lotion is essentially for consumers who are looking for a tanned, natural-looking glow to their skin. They may not necessarily offer sun protection but will have toners and conditioners that are formulated to help the skin darken evenly with sun exposure.
At Banana Boat, we recommend choosing a tanning lotion that has SPF protection, so that you can get a tan safely while still being adequately shielded from harmful UV rays.
Q: As an avid outdoor runner, how can I keep myself protected conveniently?
A: A proper application of sunblock goes a long way when you’re outdoors. You’ll eventually sweat and the sunblock will wear off, but if you’re out for less than two hours at a time this is of little to worry about. If you will be out and about for the whole day, a reapplication after more than two hours of activity is advised.
At Banana Boat, we recommend the Banana Boat Sport range as it is specially formulated to be sweat resistant and stays effective even as you sweat buckets over a 20km run.
Find out more about how to have fun under the sun safely at www.bananaboat.com.sg