Skin Cancer PreventionJune 6, 2019

Help for battling the sun

6 tips that will keep you better protected the next time you go to the course

UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) is the rating given to clothing on how effectively it blocks UV radiation. Similar to SPF, you want fabric with 15–50 coverage. A typical cotton T-shirt has a UPF 5 rating. Be wary of clothing with a UPF finish—this coating on the fabric will diminish through average wear and laundering. The Adidas Ultimate365 Climacool golf shirt ($75) has UPF-treated thread for UV protection that will last longer.

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Sunglasses serve a much larger purpose than style. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays that threaten eye health. Similar to sunscreen, choose a pair that blocks damaging UVA and UVB rays. Oversize or wraparound glasses are best to decrease the UV entering from the side. Electric's Knoxville XL Sport sunglasses ($140) block 100 percent of UVA and UVB with an oversize (and stylish) frame for more coverage.

2017 James Cassimus

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A typical baseball cap covers only half the face, leaving the ears and neck exposed. A wide-brimmed hat can reduce the UV exposure to eyes and skin. Lucky for you, hats like the New Era Panama Bucket ($34) are back in vogue.

Keep a bottle of sunscreen next to your toothbrush as a daily reminder. Apply one ounce (a shot glass' worth) in the morning before you leave the house. Throw a travel-size bottle (Thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50+, $13) and an SPF lip balm in your bag for easy touch-ups throughout the day. And don't let gray skies fool you: UV light can still pass through clouds.

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Sunscreen is not a one-and-done deal. Be sure to reapply every two hours, more frequently during sweaty rounds. Though mineral-based lotions are recommended, if a spray is the only way to get you to reapply, we'll allow it. Slowly coat the skin when spraying, careful not to miss a spot. Never use spray sunscreen on the face. Stick sunscreens are a great, non-greasy way for protecting the face and easily forgotten areas like the ears, hairline and back of hands.

Even the most sun-conscious golfers will still get burned. It's important to treat a burn properly because these areas are more susceptible to infection and increase the risk of skin issues. Use products like Herbivore's After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist ($12) with aloe vera to soothe pain. An over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone cream will calm redness and swelling. Be sure to replenish fluids and wear loose clothing to avoid irritating the skin. Be extra mindful when going back in the sun to cover burns with sunscreen and/or protective clothing because the risk for melanoma increases with recurrent burns.

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