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  • Sun Protection is a MUST for Runners

    Posted on April 23rd, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    It’s only April now and the “official” start of summer hasn’t arrived yet – summer season is often considered to begin at the Memorial Day weekend. However, I have already experienced the heat after my 5 mile morning run last weekend. Before the arrival of summer I would like to remind my fellow runners (or non-runners) the importance of protecting your skin when you run (or simply go) outside.

    We known that exercise benefits health, but researchers have found that long-distance runners and marathoners are more likely to develop skin cancer. Simply because training for a marathon requires runners spend more time outdoors, increasing our exposure to ultraviolet light.

    I live in California and am blessed with beautiful weather that allows me to run outdoor almost year round, and like most distance runners I spend average an hour or more outdoor running. So it’s important that I make sure my skin is protected by a good sunscreen throughout the year. Runners, whether in short distances or in a marathon, sweat a lot during training and in the actual race, but unfortunately most facial sunscreens just aren’t that “sweat friendly,” and there’s nothing worse than burning and stinging eyes during your run. I have sensitive skin, and here are some sunscreens I would recommend you to try:

    Skinceuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 45
    This is my top choice of sunscreen if you don’t mind the price. It feels very soft and smooth when applied on skin, and all sunscreen ingredients are encapsulated in dimethicone to provide increased SPF with fewer chemicals, reducing the chances of irritation. This true broad-spectrum sunscreen is waterproof and sweatproof to deliver maximum protection during high-energy activities. Sport UV Defense contains transparent zinc oxide as well as other active sunscreens to help protect against damaging UVA rays proven to cause premature signs of aging. I also use their SkinCeuticals Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30 everday faithfully, and no breakout no irritation.

    Anthelios XL Sunblock – SPF 60
    This is made by La Roche Posay and is another favorite choice of mine; ideal for sensitive skin or fair skin. Anthelios contains the ingredients of Mexoryl XL and Mexoryl SX and provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and many individuals consider it to be the best sunscreen for running. I like and trust this product because it’s made by La Roche Posay, and it feels great on the skin. The texture is far more pleasant than any other sunscreen I have ever tried.

    Fallene Total Block SPF 65 Clear
    My dermatologist recommended this to me and said it’s a highly effective sunscreen product specially designed for photo-sensitive people. All Fallene products – Fallene Total Block SPF 65 Clear, Cotz SPF 58 Water Resistant Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin..all combine multiple particle sizes of micronized titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and iron oxide to form a complete barrier from the light spectrum, including UVA/UVB. But it felt a bit too thick for me, so you will need to give it a try and see how you like it.

    Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock
    Available in SPF 55, 70 & 85 and is perfect for long distance runners. It’s ultra dry to the touch, not greasy at all and it’s sweatproof and doesn’t run into your eyes or make you break out. Neutrogena sun products utilize what they call Helioplex technology – and according to the company’s website Helioplex® works better to help prevent damaging UVA rays from penetrating deep under skin’s surface. Dry-Touch technology absorbs excess sunscreen oils, leaving a clean, lightweight, non-shiny finish.

    Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 50
    This one is for the body – the spray goes on quickly and easily, and it works at any angle; it’s clear, no-rub, no-mess and dries really fast. The only problem I have with it is the smell.

    There are a lot of products out there and my advice is to try a few. But whatever you do, always apply a good sunscreen at least 15 to 20 minutes before you go outside; this will give the ingredients a chance to sink into your skin and create a better protective barrier. And be sure to reapply every two hours and after toweling off sweat. Also your training schedule is important as well; I usually run early in the morning, before the sun’s intensity is at its greatest.


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