By the time the end of summer rolls around, a lot of people are ready to head indoors for a few seasons. They’re ready for sweaters and blankets and evenings on the couch. Other people are football fans. Football season means long days spent outdoors. Football season means tailgating and grilling and hours spent in bleachers or in stadiums, braving whatever the weather might have in store that day. It means often subjecting your skin to some pretty strange conditions and often that means your skin care routine needs to be kicked up a notch.
Here are a few tips to help you protect your skin this football season:
You didn’t really think that you could read an article about skin care without having to be reminded of sunscreen did you? Slathering on the sunscreen is one of the most important things that you can do to protect yourself when you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside. Remember: clouds do not offer 100% protection against UV rays and the damage they can do. It is better to be safe than sorry!
It is also important to remember that sunscreen wears off. Just like when you’re at the pool, you are going to need to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day. Most sunscreens recommend a fresh layer every couple of hours or so.
2. Cover Up!
Yes—when the season starts it is still plenty warm out. It is usually warm enough still for shorts and tank tops. Still, it is a good idea to cover up as much as you can. A thin long sleeved shirt and lightweight track or yoga pants can help you prevent sun damage while also keeping you from overheating.
As the season wears on, obviously you’ll switch out the lightweight wear for heavier jeans, sweaters, etc. Remember to choose fabrics that are kind to your skin! Your wool sweater is cozy, sure, but it’s scratchy too! Wear a lightweight long sleeved shirt under it to keep your skin safe from abrasions.
Hats are a necessity no matter what the weather. Hats and visors help keep the sun off of your face and protect your eyes from the glare. Yes, you can wear sunglasses too but hats are a great way to protect your head and your eyes at the same time.
3. Stay Warm and Dry
Going to games means setting yourself up for a lot of time spent in potentially inclement weather. While it is true that simple exposure to cold temperatures and rain won’t make you sick, it is also true that sitting in cold and wet clothing for hours certainly doesn’t help your body fight germs off. Wear clothing that has been treated for athletics and weather. Waterproof your shoes. Wear clothing that repels water instead of absorbing it. Thermal and moisture wicking base layers are incredibly important as you get further into the season.
Football players sometimes rub petroleum jelly on their exposed skin during colder weather to prevent heat loss. Consider doing this on your hands and feet to help them stay warm and moist.
4. Use Protection
In this case we’re talking about things like umbrellas and any overhangs that might be provided for the seating. Being close to the action is great, but staying out of the sun and rain is better for your skin’s health. Instead of heading toward the field when you go to the game, head to the seats toward the back, especially if the bleachers are set against a wall or if they are partially covered by an overhang or roof.
5. Eat Right
Remember: skin damage isn’t only caused by exposure to external elements. Skin care is just as much about what you put in your body as it is what you put on it. Football season is filled with opportunities to eat rich, fatty and junky foods. Concession stand specials, beer—all of it can take a toll on your skin. You don’t have to forego the brats or beers entirely. You also don’t have to over indulge. Go with a brat and a beer at the start of the day and then opt for water and fruit or popcorn for your snacks.
6. Repairing Damage
Megan Sullivan is a huge football fan and in one of her blog posts she says that some of her most useful football season skin tips involve pampering and repairing the skin after each game. She is a particular fan of microderm abrasion and foto facials to help repair sun and other elemental damage. It’s a good reminder that if you notice that damage has been done, you can still fix it. Don’t just shrug and hope to do better next year. Without treatment, current damage can turn your skin into beef jerky by the time next season rolls around!
Do you like to go to the games? What are some of the skin care tips you’ve found most helpful for protecting yourself when you’re at the field?