When you are loading up your golf bag, you obviously think of the essential items you need like golf clubs, golf shoes, golf balls, and tees. But one of the most important is often missed…sunscreen. Continue reading to find the best sunscreen for golfers, and exactly why you need it!
Why Do Golfers Need Sunscreen?
As a golfer, you spend most of your round under the sun, with little cover. You may be able to grab a minute or two of shade under a tree, but most of the time you are exposed to the sun. While the vitamin D may be great for your body, too much exposure to the sun without protection can cause long-term problems to your skin.
Sun damage begins during your childhood with exposure to UV light from the sun. As you age, frequent sun exposure plays havoc on the body’s ability to repair itself, causing damage to the DNA of your skin cells. All of those sunburns you had as a kid add up contributing to years of damage to layers of skin. We grow older; we grow wiser.
In today’s day and age, science has given us the opportunity actually to see the damage the sun causes. And as an avid golfer, the senior pros at your country club may have a nice tan, but you will see the evident damage that has already been caused by the leathery appearance of their skin and the age spots that now cover their face, neck, and arms.
Skin Cancer: The Most Common Form of Cancer
Cancer can be caused purely from genetic bad luck, but more commonly, skin cancer is caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. There are more new cases found each year than other cancers.
Three types of skin cancer
Melanoma is the rarest form of skin cancer, yet it is the deadliest. It may only account for a small percent of cancer cases, yet, it is the most fatal, once it metastasizes to various areas of the body.
The next, less severe, skin cancer is known as squamous cell carcinoma. The treatment for this is typically a straightforward approach unless the cancer has spread. It is still dangerous.
The most commonly widespread form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. It rarely spreads, and if it is a superficial tumor, it can be removed surgically, and sometimes even by a topical cream or light therapy. This sounds simple, right? Wrong! Even though this is the best type of skin cancer you can get, if someone was pointing a gun to your head and you had to choose. However, once you have had frequent bouts of this type of cancer, your odds significantly increase for developing other cancers such as colon, prostate, or breast cancer. (https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2018/08/common-skin-cancer-can-signal-increased-risk-of-other-cancers.html)
How to Avoid Skin Damage with Sunscreen
Avoiding the harmful effects of the sun seems like a simple task if your passion is needlepoint! It is unavoidable when you are a golfer. Even on a nice, comfortable March day in Florida, you can still get burnt. For some reason, as humans, we think nothing of applying sunscreen when we are on vacation in another state. But, do you think to apply sunscreen before you leave your house to tee off at the local country club? My guess is probably not. And if you have applied suntan lotion before, you probably didn’t again since you used the greasy sunblock that your wife uses on the kids at the pool. It took you the first four holes to be able to grip your club correctly!
What to Look for in Sunscreen for Golfers
When searching for sun protection, your best bet is to always go with broad-spectrum protection. This means that the sunscreen will protect you from UVB and UVA rays, both of which contribute to skin damage and aging, raising your risks for skin cancer. No product on the market can be labeled as broad-spectrum unless it has been tested to meet the standards. So rest assured, when you purchase a sunscreen that states broad spectrum on the label, you are doubly protected.
According to the American Cancer Society, choose a sunscreen that has an SPF rating of 30 or more. When participating in outside events such as golf, you want a product that is water-resistant. Any sunscreen claiming to be waterproof is a lie. Water-resistant, yes. Waterproof, no. Important to remember! Now, as a water-resistant lotion, the manufacturer must tell you how long it will last. Times range from 40 to 80 minutes, maximum. No product will be sweat resistant over 80 minutes.
We have chosen to review some of the top picks for the best sunscreens for golfers, and you will find our results below. Don’t let the sunshine keep you off the course!