Summer. It’s finally here. And for golfers living in the Northeastern United States that means playing golf out in the summer sun, 2-sometimes 3 days a week.
While some direct sun exposure is desired and actually good for you, being exposed to direct sunlight for 3 – 4 hours at a time can leave it’s mark. Sunburn!
So how do you stay safely protected from the sun and still enjoy a day out on the course?
Let’s start with the obvious.. Instead of wearing a visor like this poor dude above, wear a full cap to keep the top of your head covered.
Next, wear a shirt that has sun protection already built in. Most major brands have been doing this for a few years. It’s common in camping, hiking, running and now golf clothing.
Lastly put on some sunscreen. But before you buy it and slather it on there’s a few things you should know. Most commercial sunscreens contain an ingredient known as oxybenzone. The problem with oxybenzone is that is suspected to actually contribute to skin cancer!
According to the Environmental Working Group, there are several suspected dangers associated with Oxybenzone. Despite its sun protective abilities, it has been shown to penetrate the skin and cause photo-sensitivity. As a photocarcinogen, it has demonstrated an increase in the production of harmful free radicals and an ability to attack DNA cells; for this reason, it is believed to be a contributing factor in the recent rise of Melanoma cases with sunscreen users. Some studies have shown it to behave similarly to the hormone estrogen, suggesting that it may cause breast cancer. It has also been linked to contact eczema and allergies.
It‘s been found that 97 percent of Americans are contaminated with oxybenzone.
Wait, There’s More!
The sunscreen industry uses vitamin A in its formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that is thought to slow skin aging. However, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study found that a form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, when used in sunscreen and therefore exposed to sunlight may actually speed the development of skin lesions and tumors. Additionally the EWG (Environmental Working Groups) analysis found that more than 60 percent of products reviewed provide inadequate UVA protection, and are actually so ineffective that they would not be approved in the European market.
What Sunscreens Are Safest?
Look for sunscreens where the primary “active ingredients” are either Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide. Both have been found to be safe and provide you with broad spectrum protection.
Here are two of my favorite brands
Brett’s Botton Line:
First, the sun is good for us! Human skin can make large amounts of vitamin D when lots of skin is exposed and the sun is high inthe sky. Your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight. Optimizing your vitamin D levels may reduce your risk of as many as 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate and skin cancers. But if you apply sunscreen every time you’re out in the sun, you’ll block your body’s ability to produce vitamin D. Nevertheless, if you plan to stay out in the sun all day it would be prudent to protect yourself.
• Where a full cap and shirt with sunblock protection.
• When buying sunscreen look for brands with Zinc or Titanium oxide.
• Remember that even with protective clothing on your body, it’s still important to monitor your skin for the telltale signs of burning.
BBL: The sun is good for you in limited amounts!
To Longer Drives, Lower Scores and Fewer Injuries!
Brett The Golf Guy
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