Sun’s Negative Effects And Sun Creams In Life Of Surfers
Surfboard lovers and professional surfers take a mixed attitude towards the sun.
The sun can both give the surfers an attractive suntan and cause things like sun blisters and skin cancer.
We talked to Pete Stirling from Watermans: Applied Science.
As a surfer, you will be more informed about the ultraviolet rays, the sun creams, and what impact they make on surfers.
The company has developed and produces sun cream especially for surfers. Common sun creams are pale in comparison with it.
The company took into account a usual situation for a surfer: when it all has already begun, surfers cannot apply cream again and again now and then in a half of an hour.
People, especially, surfers, are mainly worried about two types of rays: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).
The first one is active throughout the year. It makes no difference whether the temperature is extremely high or low.
The inner layers of the skin suffer from this type. This results in faster-appearing wrinkles and an accelerated aging process in surfers.
The severest effect is skin cancer. The second one is a dreadful thing that “works” on the external layer of surfers’ skin and results in sun blisters and has the greatest power in summers.
A lot of surfers might think they should just apply the cream against the sun but it turned out to be more complicated.
Now, you can get to know the scientific aspect.
Scientists differentiate between two kinds of sun creams: physical/mineral and chemical/biological creams.
The first type of sun creams (namely zinc and titanium oxide) contains minerals and can be found on the exterior of the skin.
They have an eternal life span but, at the same time, go off without strain and can no longer function when washed out.
The other kind called chemical cream consists of biological materials.
They penetrate into the external layer of the skin of a surfer and soak up the UV rays. It is recommended not to hurry up with swimming and give the cream time to be absorbed.
The surfers can spend around two hours in the water, and it can pose a problem for them as the working time of these biological creams has its limits. They are split down by the body of a surfer after a while.
Composition of Sun Creams
Both kinds of substances can be found in the greatest part of top-grade sun creams. Watermans’ cream is akin to them which makes them perfect for the surfers.
Unfortunately, it makes no difference what quality the sun cream has – its effect is limited in time. This duration is identified by the SPF.
Pete explained that SPF is an index that tells you the time span of the sun cream quality to enhance the human organism’s natural protection against UVB rays.
The ultraviolet radiation is normally linked with sunburn.
To understand it better, suppose your skin is able to bear 5 minutes under the sun. When you apply SPF 30, this number will amount already to 150 minutes which is really something.
Surely, it sounds too wonderful.
In fact, the potency of these biological chemical substances is gradually dropping. The reason for that is the fact they are getting split down the moment you apply the sun creams.
The twist is that our body is not able to rebuild its natural defense if you spend some time in the shade. This process lasts for several days or weeks which is identified by the intensity of the sun.
That is why it is recommended for surfers to apply sun protection cream right at the beginning of the several-day session.
All the sun creams are classified according to how long they remain on the skin when being underwater.
Namely, if you see “Water-Resistant” on an SPF 15 package, that means it will last up to 40 minutes under the water.
Therefore, surfers should better choose “Very Water-Resistant” creams which last twice as much longer.
But the truth is that you will not find 100% water-repellent sun creams because they all lose their potency under the water in the course of time.
As of now, this type is number one according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
As a surfer, you should also know that the information on the packages of these products is not under total control.
Both the UVA category and the SPF factor are shown on the Aussies products.
Products of the Boots Stars show the SPF level as well as the position from the 1 to 5 rank. This rank number indicates to what extent it can prevent the skin of a surfer from sunburn and cancer.
The US Food and Drug Administration is bringing its actions but it will take some time.
What surfers can do now is to take notice of the composition of sun cream and the number of the UVA protectors.
One out of 5 people will suffer from skin cancer and one out of 3 are Europeans of pale complexion. We hope you understood why surfers need sun cream in any event.
Moreover, this product improves your surfing.
When the skin of a surfer has the cream on, the body no longer needs to do this task of fighting against the sun. As a result, it can fully devote itself to increasing the capacity of the brain and muscles.
When even a tiny amount of UV rays has been “soaked up”, the main stress hormones, such as Cortisol, are brought into action. This has an adverse effect on the level of your surfing.
When having a sunburn, the surfer may surf more slowly and not so accurately. It should seem familiar to every surfer.
Every surfer and all the people in common experienced this in life. That is why, if you are a surfer, you’d better buy high-quality sun cream and continue with your passion.
Things To Take Into Account
When picking up a sun cream, the undermentioned information should be found on the package:
- zinc or titanium oxide that is essential for a good continuous effect;
- two or more UVA protectors;
- two or more UVB protectors;
- very water-resistant;
- SPF 30 or more.