Lunden Souza: Enjoy the sun, but protect your skin

May 4, 2013 

My favorite place to work out is outside.

Getting outside in the fresh air at a new location or a favorite spot to work out.

Now that the weather is warmer, it is much more exciting to be outside early in the morning than cooped up in a crowded gym.

That being said, there are some extra precautions I have to take regarding the health. When outside for any reason, including a workout, it is very important to make sure you have sunscreen on.

Some people remember to put sunscreen on their faces, but what about the rest of your body? Every single morning I always put on an oil-free SPF 50 on my face and a sport performance, sweat-resistant SPF 50 on my entire body. I love the sun and soaking up the vitamin D, but you must protect yourself.

Especially for me, someone with olive skin tone, it's easy for the sun to cause hyperpigmentation. For the person with more fair skin, the inevitable sunburn is possible.

I have seen a variety of estheticians and even some dermatologists. They all say the same thing: Make sure you are wearing sunscreen to preserve the elasticity of your face while preventing wrinkles and damage from the sun's harmful rays.

Another thing I have learned is that if you are going to be out in the sun for a prolonged period, keep sunscreen with you and re-apply every 45 minutes to an hour for it to continue working.

I do not have perfect skin, some parts of the year I struggle more than others. Because I sweat a lot, am around a lot of different people, touching a lot of different equipment and being outside in the public (where I train my clients), germs and bacteria are everywhere.

I used to work out very early in the morning and then go straight to train my clients, leaving the gym without washing my face or a shower. I never really worried about it because I just put on more deodorant and body spray before going to my next workout with a client. However, this was starting to really affect my skin.

I asked an esthetician what I should do, and she advised me to rinse my face thoroughly with water immediately after my workout and pull my hair out of my face.

This has helped. I don't need to fully wash my face, because I don't have make up on, but I definitely need to use water to get all the sweatiness off.

I am not a skin care specialist. However, I have learned over years of being active and outdoors, that it's not enough to get fit, work up a sweat and improve your tan.

You must also be mindful of protecting and cleaning your skin. It's just part of getting fit and staying healthy.

Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach, and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at

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