It is quite common for golfers to worry about skin issues. For most people, concerns focus on sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, dehydration, chronic redness or the appearance of fatigued skin. For others, the ill effects of being outdoors can be as serious as pre-cancerous cells or even melanoma.
Although the aesthetic outcomes can be unsettling, we must acknowledge the benefits of outdoor activities. Golf allows for sustained exercise, relieves mental stress, encourages good circulation & helps maintain healthy Healthy Body composition.
In her mid-30’s, Golf Pro and founder of Iron Lady Golf, Lindsay Knowlton shares her concerns with regards to sun exposure. “Like most of the women I golf with, I too worry about my skin’s health and its overall appearance. I’ve become more consistent with my skin care both on and off the course as I want to age gracefully, but more importantly, want to reduce the risk of cancer. Along with wearing sunglasses, I always start the day with sunscreen, re-applying mid-way when out on the course for more than 2-3 hours.”
Sunscreen = Equipment
Like carrying the right clubs, a quality sunscreen is a must. On average golfers are outdoors for 4-6 hours at a time, increasing the probability of damaging sun exposure; therefore a high SPF broad spectrum sunscreen that provides complete coverage from UVA and UVB rays, is essential. As the day goes on, reapplication of sunscreen is also necessary, especially if one tends to sweat.
Chantal Ward, RN shares her wisdom: “I too like to golf and know first hand the importance of finding a sun screen that feels nice on my skin. If I don’t like a sunscreen, I am less likely to wear it, and going without sunscreen is not an option. That said, I encourage my clients and fellow golfers to find an SPF 40+, that they love, and to wear it. Failure to do so compromises one’s health, and accelerates premature aging.”
Sun Protective Clothing = Equipment
In addition to sunscreen, sun protective clothing with Ultraviolet Protection Factor makes good sense as damaging rays can penetrate through some fabrics.
Additionally, a wide-brimmed hat vs ball cap is an essential. Wide-brims offer protection on all sides of the face. Source a hat that has a comfortable fit, is breathable and can be washed.
While early morning tee off times are ideal, they aren’t always possible. Golf games commonly run through the hottest hours of the day, yet can be made “sun safer” by seeking shaded areas when waiting to take a shot. As post-game socializing often takes place outdoors, Nurse Chantal Ward suggests finding a seat under an umbrella and positioning oneself such that the eyes are further protected from damaging rays.
Eyes – the danger of UV rays.
Studies show that permanent damage to eyes can result from prolonged exposure to the sun without adequate protection. Of great concern is the cumulative damage of repeated exposure that may contribute to chronic eye disease, potentially putting golfers at risk.
UV exposure can affect not only the eye’s surface but the internal structures as well (ie lens and retina). For golfers who take photosensitizing drugs, the risk is even greater; hence, they should meet with their Physician for regular check-ups and guidance on safe practices.
FEED Your Face
Taking care of your diet is essential. Anti-oxidant rich foods such as tomatoes, bell peppers and foods high in Vitamin C will help your skin stay younger while combatting sun damage. For added protection supplements such as Heliocare™ Capsules have scientific data showing benefits of an organically grown fern-extract, along with super-charged anti-oxidants that fight damaging UV.
Refresh During the Off-Season
For golfers who take a break through the fall & winter months, consider booking a consultation with a Medical Aesthetician or Physician to discuss the benefits of Photo Facial Rejuvenation, Chemical Peels, WISHpro™ Infusion Treatments, etc. Such treatments are meant to repair and/or restore from the ill effects of the sun. When delivered by experienced practitioners, these medically based treatments will brighten, hydrate and reverse the signs of aging.