We know the British Summer has truly arrived when the tennis season begins. In between the Royal sightings, and celebrity spotting, we can often forget about our skin and keeping it protected in the sun. If you are heading to watch the Tennis, then make sure you follow our top tips below on how to stay safe in the sun and keep your skin glowing and sunburn-free.
If like us, you'll be watching the tennis with some friends and enjoying a barbecue, or even having a game yourself to celebrate, then read ahead. The same tips apply to you and will keep your skin protected.
Why Is It Important To Keep Skin Protected In The Sun?
Spending long hours in the sun can make your skin dry. With overexposure to heat and UV rays, we start to lose essential moisture and oils. This can lead to flakiness and scaly skin that is more prone to wrinkling. This is due to a process known as Photo-aging, which relates to skin losing collagen and elastic fibres due to sun exposure.
Probably the most obvious sign of sun exposure however, is skin burn and redness, which tends to show its affect after the tanning stage. Your skin tends to initiate a response to the sun's rays by producing Melanin, which forms a protection barrier to shield from UV light.
However, Melanin can only offer limited protection and continued exposure then leads to burning. Lighter skin tones tend to burn much easily as they have lower Melanin levels. Now the Summer is on its way and we start watching more sports and events outside, it is really important to protect ourselves.
How To Protect Your Skin In The Sun
Whether you are playing tennis or watching The French Open, it is vital that you take precaution to minimize the risk of skin damage.
For Tennis Players
Enjoy a game tennis, but where possible, avoid being in the sun while it is at its peak (usually between 10am – 4pm). This will reduce your chances of burning due to strong sun rays.
One of the best ways to reduce sun damage is by using sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 30. This helps to reflect the UV rays or absorb the harsh rays depending on the type of sunscreen used. Choose one that is designed specifically for sports and is sweat-proof to help avoid running, as this can affect your vision and grip.
Look for a sunscreen that has full spectrum protection meaning that it offers protection against UVA and UVB rays. It is also vital that you reapply every few hours (typically 2-3 hours when playing sports). Some great ingredients to look out for include Mexoryl, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide and Oxybenzone.
Make sure to apply the sunscreen to the areas that are not always exposed, as UV rays can penetrate through mesh clothing. It is also vital to apply the sunscreen on your ears and behind your neck – areas which people often miss out.
Wear Protective Clothing
Clothing and protective accessories are a great first line of defence against sunlight. Choosing a tightly woven material in white or a light colour helps to reflect sunlight, whilst also keeping you cool. Look for fabrics which are not see through as these will reflect more light. MyProtein have lots of options to choose from.
Another great way to protect yourself from sun damage is by getting gear which offers built-in UV protection, or by adding SunGuard in to your laundry as this can give you a protection equivalent to that of an SPF 30.
You should get a hat with a visor which not only protects your face but also your scalp from sun damage as well as polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Spending long hours in the sun can cause dehydration due to water loss in perspiration, therefore it is essential that you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. It is also recommended to balance water with electrolyte based sports drinks which help you to regulate energy levels.
Watching tennis can be just as aggressive for your skin as playing the sport itself. This is because you are still exposed to sunlight that is often more direct, which can burn your skin even quicker. As with any other summer day, keep your body well hydrated and snack of water-rich fruits to keep your sugar levels up.
Remember Your Lips
Obviously, we recommend wearing a good SPF all over your body and face, just as if you were on the tennis court yourself. Alongside using high factor sunscreen, you can also use lip care with SPF protection, as lips tend to dry up much quicker than the rest of your body, as the skin is much thinner.
Wear Lightweight Clothing
Go for lightweight clothing that covers your skin rather than wearing strappy tops. This provides a physical barrier, which will reduce burning of your skin. Again, go for lighter colours as these will also help keep you cool throughout the day.
If you can, wear a wide-brimmed hat which will protect your neck, ears and face (especially advised for younger kids) as well sunglasses to protect your eyes.