Tennis is an all-year-round game that has countless followers around the world. However, whether you’re Roger Federer or an amateur who plays for the sheer fun of it, sports sunscreen is not something that you want to forget to use.
A game can last a few hours and if you’re not wearing sunscreen, the UV radiation coming from the sun damage cause both temporary and permanent damage to your skin. You’ve got enough to contend with perfecting your backhand, right?
What makes sports sunscreen different?
If you’re thinking cynically, you might assume that sunscreens marketed in the sports field are just gimmicky, offering no more benefit than regular products.
However, the truth is that they are usually formulated to offer an element of water resistance so that you stay protected while you’re sweating. Applying before you start playing and then after every 80 minutes or so (product depending) should give you the protection you need.
But what else should I be doing? Next, we’ll be looking at some of the other measures you can take to ensure you stay sun safe on the tennis court.
Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing
Ideally, you’ll be wanting to complement your sports sunscreen with some UV-protective sports clothing, but honestly, wearing long-sleeved whites and a wide-brimmed hat will usually suffice. That’s because this will protect your torso, arms, neck and face.
Use wrap-around sunglasses
While your arms and legs need protection from the sun, you also need to think about your eyes. Around this area exists some of the most delicate skin the body has, but it can be tricky applying sunscreen right up to and over your eyelids. Get around the problem with some good quality wraparound sunglasses that not only protect you but also allow your eyes to relax and focus on hitting that ball!
Play in the early morning or in the evening
Something you may or may not know is that the sun is at its strongest and most intense around the middle of the day. That means when it’s at its highest point in the sky – between 10 am and 2 pm – it’s able to do its worst damage, so avoiding this time period will help a lot. Perhaps try training or playing in the early morning or evening when the sun is yet to hit its summit.
Wearing sports sunscreen ensures you stay safe
Sport is meant to be fun, which certainly isn’t the case when you come home with red and irritated skin and extremities. Wearing sunscreen ensures that you can enjoy your physical activity without having to pay the price later that same evening.
The last thing we’ll say is that when choosing your brand, we’d recommend trying a mineral-based formula, as they work straight away – meaning you can play sooner – and sit on the skin’s surface, reflecting away all those harmful rays. Of course, chemical brands can be effective but are often nowhere near as gentle – which is of particular importance for those with sensitive skin.
Always follow the directions in terms of application and reapplication, especially if you’re working up a real sweat, and you should be able to avoid the misery of sun damage.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.