Tips to Protect Your Skin While Biking (Updated in 2023)
If you’re planning to go in mountain biking or on a normal road bike trip, you should be aware of how to safeguard your skin. Even though cycling outside is one of the greatest pleasures of life, prolonged sun exposure can cause sunburn, early skin aging, or in the worst cases, it may lead to serious issues like skin cancer.
The good news is, that protecting your skin is totally straightforward. In this article, we’re going to share the best ways to protect your skin and spend as much time in the sun as you like.
How to Protect Your Skin While Cycling?
You probably would have spent a lot of time researching the type of bike you want to buy. But, once you get one you must know how to protect yourself from the outside environment. Here are some best tips that will help you protect your skin.
1. Apply sunscreen before you start cycling
Sunscreen is your best protection against UV rays, and it must be applied at least 30 minutes before you start cycling.
There are various SPF (sun protection factor) options in the sunscreens available in the market. It's important to keep in mind that higher SPFs provide more protection and will last more than lower SPFs. So make sure your skin is protected by wearing sunscreen with SPF 30+.
2. Wear sunglasses for eye protection
You should wear UV-blocking sunglasses to shield your retinas from damaging UV rays and dust particles. The best protection comes from glasses that surround your face. Polarized lenses allow you to see better during your ride as it reduces glare. This is why a good pair of polarised sunglasses is something that every rider should have.
3. Select the right clothes
Consider your clothes to be your foremost line of defense. You should use sunscreens in areas that aren't covered by clothing. If you plan to bike for an extended period of time, long sleeves are your best option.
Wear lightweight long-sleeve shirts, caps, socks, and shorts even on the hottest days. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, wear cycling apparel with a UPF rating of 30+, to shield yourself from UVA and UVB rays. To keep you cool, this clothing blocks the sun and transfers moisture.
4. Gloves are recommended
Wear gloves made specifically for cycling. They're useful for preventing sunburn on the uncovered areas of your hands, which are otherwise one of the most exposed parts of your body. In addition, padded gloves give you more comfort, and prevent nasty scrapes if you happen to fall. Remember to apply sunscreen to your hands before you wear your gloves, as they may allow the sun's rays to pass through.
5. Keep yourself hydrated
You have to be hydrated to maintain healthy skin. Water alone won't keep your skin hydrated before and after your ride. You should instead bring a thermos filled with cold water while riding. Sipping small amounts of water throughout your ride is the best way to replace the fluids you lose during perspiration. You can also reduce the risk of dry skin in the sun by drinking plenty of water. In addition to helping you flush out dirt in your pores, adequate water will also help you prevent rider's acne.
6. Change the time of your ride
You have no control over your extensive exposure to the sun because organized cycle events have schedules you must adhere to. You do, however, have complete control over your training hours. As a result, limit your exposure to the sun during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. UV rays are strongest during these hours and schedule your cycling sessions accordingly.
7. Wear a hat to protect your head
The top of your head, face, nose, and ears are the most vulnerable parts of your body. To avoid getting sunburned on the top of your head, you should wear a thin cycling cap underneath your helmet.
Apply sunscreen to the entire face, including the nose and ears, as well as the back of the neck. Additionally, you can also wear a neck gaiter face mask to protect your neck from the sun while cycling. You can also add a visor on top of your helmet to hide your ears, nose, and lips. Additionally, a lightweight cap can be worn underneath for added protection.
8. Examine your skin
Check for changes in the shape, size, color, or symmetry of your moles and freckles. You must have your skin examined once a year by a dermatologist or doctor. Make sure to keep an eye on your face, nose, ears, and back for moles and freckles. If you have any skin problems that have aggravated during your cycling trips and subsided when you’re on a break, you have to consult your dermatologist immediately.
Bike touring or cycling trails give you an opportunity to connect with nature, which can be really rewarding. To make the most of your rides, you also need to consider sun protection. By following a few simple guidelines, you can protect your skin without having to avoid riding. We hope the tips shared in our article will protect you.
What do you do to protect your skin while cycling? Do share them in the comments section below.