REAL has been partnered with the John Wayne Cancer Foundation since 2005, helping to promote sun safe awareness to the youth of the world.
JWCF’s “Block the Blaze” program educates youth and adults with 5 easy tips to protect yourself from sun damage and skin cancer. They all sound pretty obvious, but at the same time, easy to forget…and that’s when you end up with a solid sunburn, which is the first step towards getting skin cancer. So whether you’re going outside to mow the lawn, or going to The Slick to ride the REAL Slider Park with the 82 foot John Wayne A-Frame, here are 5 tips that will help you “Block the Blaze”:
Apply Sunscreen: Not just sometimes, or only when you’ll be in the water all day- you should be using sunscreen whenever you are going outdoors. Only in the Summer? No….all year ‘round. Get in the habit of applying sunscreen every morning. On land-based days, you can use lighter weight sunscreens (not necessarily lower SPF). When you know you will be in the water, go for the good stuff like Watermans Sunscreen and Face Sticks. Keep in mind that you rub your own sunscreen off every time you rub your face. Watermans Face Stick fits in your boardshorts pocket so you can re-apply in the water for when conditions are so good you can’t take a break.
Put on a Hat: Not only are hats cool these days, they also are a great way to show your enthusiasm for your favorite brands, events or destinations. Bucket hats are the best for providing 360 degree coverage. They also make these style hats for the water with chin straps so you don’t lose them mid session. Classic ball caps are good for keeping the sun off your forehead and parts of your upper face depending on time of day. Even though you’re wearing a hat, you should still wear sunscreen for total protection.
Wear Sunglasses: Sun can damage your eyes in the same way it damages your skin. Quality polarized sunglasses reduce eye damage and eye fatigue by cutting down damaging sunrays and glare. Polarized sunglasses also make it easier to see subtle differences in water depth and wind texture, which can give you a competitive advantage in some sports. If you are wearing your glasses in the water, make sure to attach them with a Croakie or similar device.
Cover with Clothing: “It’s hot and muggy out, how can I be expected to put more clothing on?!” There have been significant advancements in clothing materials and breathability. The new breathable fabrics offer up to SPF 50 sun protection, plus make you feel cooler than having nothing on at all. Gone are the days of sweaty cotton t-shirts. Check out the short and long sleeved breathable shirts as well as breathable hoodies. These are all great garments for in and out of the water, as well as being very easy to wash and wear while traveling. For those in the harshest sun conditions, consider a breathable facemask. These are becoming popular in fishing, sailing and other sports where there is no shade, ever.
Seek Shade: This may sound like the most obvious of them all, but many times you find yourself only several feet from shade versus taking more sun. Remember that sidestepping into that shade for only 20 minutes, means 20 minutes less direct sun exposure. It all adds up, so when it’s convenient, take the shade, your skin and eyes will thank you!
These “5 Sun Safe Tips to Block the Blaze” make it easier to remember your daily routine while having fun on the water. For more information, follow the John Wayne Cancer Foundation at www.JWCF.org.