iRun Magazine – Choose to use: sunscreen

Choose to Use: Sunscreen

Whether you’re logging 40 kilometres a week or 80, as a runner, you’re spending more time under the sun’s harmful rays than the average person, which could put you at a higher risk for skin cancer, painful burns and premature aging. It’s important to protect yourself, but with so many factors to consider, choosing the right sunscreen can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips:

Use It or Lose It

Choose a sunscreen that you’ll actually use and, ideally, wear every day, says Toronto dermatologist Dr. Benjamin Barankin. “I can give you the best sunscreen in the world, but if you’re not going to use it because you think it’s pasty, then it won’t do you much good,” he says. There are a variety of sunscreens available, including lotions, sprays, creams and solids. Choose a consistency that works for your skin and your lifestyle.

Ingredients Are Key

Dr. Barankin recommends a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and broad spectrum coverage, which means both UVB and UVA protection. The SPF covers the UVB protection and a variety of ingredients can provide UVA protection. Make sure your sunscreen of choice has one of the following: Mexoryl (used by L’Oreal and La-Roche Posay), Helioplex technology (used by Neutrogena), avobenzone, zinc oxide, or titanium oxide.

Lip Service

In your rush to hit the road, it can be easy to forget the sensitive areas, like your lips. Dr. Peter Vignjevic of Hamilton, Ontario recommends Anthelios from La-Roche Posay, which comes in a sunblock stick that can be used on both your lips and your face.

Going for Time

To get the maximum protection from your sunscreen, apply 20 to 30 minutes before you leave the house, says Barankin. Reapply every two to three hours if you’re in the sun for a prolonged period of time and more frequently if you’re in and out of the water.

Beyond Sunscreen

Though wearing sunscreen is an important part of protecting yourself from the sun, Dr. Vignjevic also stresses the importance of avoiding the sun’s peak hours (10 a.m. To 3 p.m.). Go for early morning, late afternoon or evening runs and cover yourself with a brimmed hat, long sleeves and pants when possible.

iRun Magazine – Choose to use: sunscreen

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