Q: I’m a sporty guy and into outdoor activities such as running and mountain biking. My girlfriend is always waving the factor 100 at me as I’m heading out the door, but what SPF do I really need?
A: You can never go wrong with a high factor (an SPF of 40 or 50), but be sure to be sun savvy and check that the product you choose has got the stamina to keep you protected as you exercise. Skin should never be exposed to the South African sun without protection – sports or no sports. And that rule applies, no matter your skin tone. Darker skins need to be protected from pigmentation too, so go for at least an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your body. Next, check your formula. If you suffer from breakouts (many guys do as their skins are naturally oilier), then choose a product that is oil free. Make sure your sunscreen of choice is sweat resistant too, and not just waterproof. And then even if both boxes are ticked, reapplication is key in safe sun behaviour. The rule of thumb is to reapply every two to four hours, but remember that swimming, perspiring heavily and rubbing your skin with a towel will take off your SPF (even if it’s waterproof), so reapply more often.