The Grooming Manual
There’s no question - Americans love to golf and the sport is growing massively in popularity. The National Golf Foundation reported that “24.8 million people played golf in the U.S. in 2020, up more than 2% year-over-year and the largest net increase in 17 years.”
It’s no surprise. The last major boost in the sport’s popularity was in 1997 when Tiger Woods won his first championship. In 2020, experts say that the surge in popularity was partly due to people looking for a safe, socially distanced way to get outside and get some exercise.
Maybe you’re on of them. And maybe it’s new to you - the National Golf Foundation reports that in 2020, 3 million people played a golf course for the first time.
While there’s plenty to love about the sport, there is one major concern that golfers can’t afford to overlook. Whether you’re new to the fairway or an old pro with a putter, you need to protect your skin from UV damage while playing.
Orlando Health reports that “during every hour spent on the course, recreational golfers can receive 3.5 to 5.4 times the amount of UV radiation exposure needed to cause sunburn. That’s a serious amount of skin-damaging rays. All this excessive UV radiation can lead to skin cancer.” This aligns with reports and recommendations from the Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology.
What can you do to enjoy your day on the course without having to stress about skin cancer and other concerns? Follow these 7 tips.
1 - Use Sunscreen
Do yourself a huge favor and always apply sunscreen before starting a round. In fact, your best bet is to put it on while you’re getting dressed, well before you ever get to the course. That way it absorbs fully and you don’t have to try to rub it in around your clothing, gloves, and gear.
Choose a mineral based product that won’t leach potentially harmful ingredients into your skin. We have two options for you - for face and body - to keep your skin moisturized and protected.
- Daily Defense Face Moisturizer with SPF 20 - Offers broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays with natural zinc oxide. Includes hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, green tea, and vitamin E for all day skin smoothness.
- Element Defense Moisturizer with SPF 45 - Zinc oxide formula protects from UVA/B rays along with sunflower oil, green tea, and vitamin E for all over moisture, anti-aging, and hydration.
2 - Wear a Hat
A cap is fine for getting the sun out of your eyes, but it doesn’t offer your skin much protection. A wide brimmed hat that keeps your face, neck, and ears shaded is best. This will prevent UV damage and sunburn, keep you cool, and protect your eyes.
Want tip top protection from your head gear? Try a sunhat with a neck flap that covers the back of your neck too. If the style works for you, it’s a great way to eliminate the risk of sunburns in that area.
3 - Take Frequent Breaks in the Shade
If you’re going to be enjoying a leisurely several hours on the course, you can make time for frequent shade breaks. Getting out of the sun gives your skin a respite and gives you a chance to reapply sunscreen if necessary.
Constant UV exposure speeds up the aging process, puts you at risk for developing skin cancer, and contributes to other skin issues. Give yourself - and your skin - a much needed break from time to time.
4 - Apply Lip Balm
The extra sensitive skin on and around your lips is susceptible to sunburns and UV damage. And if you’ve never burnt your lips or developed sun poisoning, here’s a heads up - you don’t want to. It’s painful and heals slowly.
Prevent these issues and protect your skin with SPF lip balm. Our No-Shine Lip Balm covers your lips in a natural formula of beeswax, organic olive oil, and vitamin E with SPF 15 protection.
5 - Suit Up with Protective Clothing
Long sleeves and pants will keep the sun off your skin, so they’re the best choice. Lightweight fabrics with built in UV protection can keep you safe without stifling your skin or making you feel too hot.
If you just can’t bring yourself to wear long sleeves or insist on shorts, remember tip #1 and always wear sunscreen.
6 - Avoid the Midday Sun
The sun’s damaging UV rays are most intense from around 10am to 4pm, depending on the season and where you live. So if you’re going to be spending several hours golfing, your best choice is to play before or after that time.
What if that’s not possible, but you still want to get in a full round on the course? Try to get the bulk of your game in before 10am or after 4pm. And apply all the above tips to minimize your sun exposure while you’re enjoying your game.
7 - Get Annual Checks with Your Dermatologist
You invest in the best clubs, the best clothing, and the best gear, right? If you don’t skimp on that stuff, you shouldn’t skimp on your health either. So consider your annual dermatologist visit as just part of the sport.
Let them know you’re a golfer and listen to their suggestions on how to best protect your skin. Be open and honest - that’s the best way to get help from your doctor. They’ll check you for any early signs of skin cancer or other concerns and help you enjoy the game while staying safe.