The best sun protection face masks for athletes: what to look for

The best sun protection face masks for athletes: what to look for

Sun-protective face masks look almost identical to medical-grade masks, being the same general shape and size. But that’s where the similarities end. UV protective face masks have a vital job: protecting the most delicate, exposed skin on your body.

Let’s look at how UPF50+ protectant face masks work and how you can use them for your everyday activities, sports and more to keep long-term sun damage at bay.

Who needs a sun protection face mask?

After everything we’ve been through, it would be easy to assume that face masks are only for the immunosuppressed or anyone in the medical sector. But UPF face masks – the ones designed to ward off the sun’s damaging UV rays – are designed for active Aussies.

These masks aren’t equipped to protect you from germs (although it could be said they may inadvertently help by keeping your hands – and germs – away from your face!). Sun protection face masks are helpful for anyone who spends time outdoors. For instance:

  • Non-contact sports people such as cyclists, golfers, snowboarders, runners or anyone wearing a hat or helmet
  • Outdoor workers such as roofers, concreters, and landscapers

Your average paper or cotton mask won’t cut the mustard against the sun. And even worse is assuming a few minutes or a couple of hours in the sun won’t cause any lasting damage; most skin cancers and melanomas show up when we’re in our 60s and older.

The Aussie lifestyle = a lifetime of exposure

The Aussie affinity with nature, the surf and the sands start young. While memories of a childhood spent climbing trees or hitting up the neighbour’s pool will be cherished forever, we also carry every single moment of sun exposure for a lifetime, too. That’s what makes it so important to intentionally protect your most vulnerable skin at every opportunity.

The misconceptions about UV face masks 

Much like a regular cotton shirt provides minimal protection from the sun, the thin, paper fabric of a standard face mask allows most of the sun’s damaging rays to pass through and do harm. By using a UPF50+ face mask, you can guarantee that your nose, lips and chin – the most vulnerable places – are getting maximum protection from long-term damage.

Let’s look at some of the common misconceptions about UV face masks.

“It’ll feel heavy on my face.”

If the thought of wearing a mask makes your top lip break into a sweat, stay cool. The innovative fabric on SParms face masks is moisture-wicking, highle breathable and cooling. It can actually help cool your face by several degrees.

“Disposable masks are more convenient.” 

Disposable masks are harmful to humans and the environment. From its mass production to breaking down in landfill, they’ve become a serious hazard to our planet. Our reusable UV masks are non-toxic, lined with nano silver or copper, and are reusable for up to 30 washes.

They negate the need to carry around sunscreen for top-ups and offer maximum protection at a moment’s notice. A range of sizes (from toddlers to adults) make them convenient for all members of the family, at work, school, play and beyond.

“You don’t wear a mask while doing sport.”

For many, impracticality has hindered mask-wearing during sports. Heat, water and discomfort have made donning a mask seem impossible. Sun protection face masks are aerodynamic and made with active lifestyles in mind – ready to endure the elements and perform at their best throughout all conditions.

Our range of face protection tools is so comfortable that you may like to up the ante even further by adding a UV face shield (also called a neck gaiter). Cricketers, golfers and tennis players can all attest to the comfort and practicality of a neck gaiter during a long day in the heat.

What to look for in a good quality UPF50+ face mask

  • UV Rating: a true UV sun protective mask will have a Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50+, which means it only allows 1/50th of UVA and UVB rays to penetrate the fabric. Masks that have been approved by ARPANSA or the Cancer Council are a must.
  • Fabric: look for soft, stretchy and non-toxic fabrics. SParms face masks have two layers of cooling fabric, with the inner layer integrated with copper yarns.
  • Fit: choose a close fit that hugs your face without feeling tight or restrictive.

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