Should I wear sunscreen when hiking?

Embracing the call of the wild, hiking allows you to revel in exploring scenic landscapes and chasing physical challenges. As thrilling as these adventures can be, it is crucial to remember that with outdoor play comes the need to protect our skin from the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Regardless of the hiking difficulty or duration, safeguarding your skin from these harmful rays is essential to ensuring a healthy and enjoyable outdoor experience.

In this guide, we will highlight the importance of sunscreen for hikers and provide practical advice on choosing the right product to keep your skin shielded during outdoor escapades. With this knowledge, you can confidently set off on your next adventure. Let´s go hiking!

Do hikers wear sunscreen?

Hikers usually wear sunscreen as an essential part of their sun protection plan. Unfortunately the downside of spending extended periods hiking outdoors is that you're are exposed to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause sunburn, premature skin aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. 

Sunscreen provides a protective barrier by absorbing or reflecting the harmful UVA and UVB rays, making it a crucial part of any hiker's toolkit. Hikers can significantly reduce the risks of sun exposure by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF).

In addition to wearing sunscreen, hikers should adopt other sun protection measures to safeguard their skin further. This includes wearing lightweight, long-sleeved clothing made from UV-protective fabrics, wide-brimmed hats to shield the face and neck, and sunglasses with UV protection to protect the eyes. 

Furthermore, hikers should aim to avoid the sun's peak intensity hours, typically between 11am and  2pm, and seek shade whenever possible. By combining these measures with the proper application of sunscreen, hikers can enjoy their outdoor adventures while ensuring the well-being of their skin.

Sunscreen for hiking

Ways to avoid sunburn while hiking

To avoid sunburn while hiking, hikers should take several precautions to protect their skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Here are some practical tips for preventing sunburn during outdoor adventures:

  • Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen: Use a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, shielding your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Choose a product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and apply it generously to all exposed skin, including your face, neck, ears, and the back of your hands. Reapply every two hours or more frequently if you're sweating or swimming.
  • Wear protective clothing: Opt for lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants from UV-protective fabrics. These clothes will provide an additional barrier against the sun's rays, reducing your chances of sunburn.
  • Use a wide-brimmed hat: A hat with a wide brim will help shield your face, neck, and ears from the sun. Look for hats specifically designed for sun protection, as they often offer better coverage and are made from UV-resistant materials.
  • Wear sunglasses: Protect your eyes from UV radiation by wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound styles offer the best protection, preventing sunlight from entering from the sides.
  • Seek shade: Whenever possible, take breaks in shaded areas or create your shade using a portable sun shelter, especially during the sun's peak intensity hours, typically between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Plan your hike accordingly: Schedule your hike during the early morning or late afternoon hours when the sun's rays are less intense. Additionally, choose trails with ample tree cover or natural shade to minimize direct sun exposure.
  • Stay hydrated: Keeping your body hydrated can help maintain healthy skin and reduce the risk of sunburn. Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout your hike, even if you don't feel thirsty.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your hiking adventures while minimizing the risk of sunburn and protecting your skin from long-term damage.

Wear sunscreen when hiking to protect your skin

Should I wear sunscreen while hiking?

Wearing sunscreen while hiking is highly recommended to protect your skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

When hiking, you are often exposed to the sun for extended periods, which increases the risk of sunburn, skin damage, and even skin cancer. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) can shield your skin from UVA and UVB rays, reducing these risks.

In addition to sunscreen, it is also a good idea to wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses for further protection from sun exposure.

Make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you are sweating or swimming, to maintain adequate protection throughout your hike. 

What is the best sunscreen for hiking?

The best sunscreen for hiking should be effective, long-lasting, and comfortable. While individual preferences may vary, here are some key features to look for when selecting sunscreen for hiking:

  • Broad-spectrum protection: Choose a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays to ensure comprehensive coverage against the sun's harmful effects.
  • SPF rating: Opt for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
  • Water resistance: Since you may sweat or encounter water during your hike, select a water-resistant sunscreen that maintains its effectiveness even when exposed to moisture. Note that water-resistant sunscreens must be reapplied after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Long-lasting formula: Look for sunscreens that offer extended protection, ideally lasting for at least two hours before requiring reapplication. Remember to reapply more frequently if you're sweating heavily or swimming.
  • Non-greasy and comfortable: Choose a sunscreen that absorbs quickly, doesn't leave a greasy residue, and feels comfortable on your skin. 
  • Sensitive skin-friendly: If you have sensitive skin, opt for a sunscreen free of fragrances, parabens, and other irritants. Mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are often recommended for sensitive skin. 
  • Eco-friendly: To minimize environmental impact, select a sunscreen labeled "reef-safe" or "ocean-friendly." These sunscreens typically avoid ingredients like harsh chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can harm coral reefs and toxify water sources. Also choose a product with eco-friendly packaging that can be easily recycled, such as aluminium. 
Girl applying sunscreen

Mineral sunscreen for hiking

When hiking, finding the right mineral sunscreen that offers effective protection, feels comfortable on the skin, and aligns with eco-friendly values is essential. Palm & Pine sunscreen checks all these boxes, providing premium, daily UV protection in a natural, vegan, and ocean-friendly formula.

Formulated with plant-based ingredients and mineral filters, Palm & Pine sunscreen combines the power of nature and science to shield your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. This 100% vegan and fragrance-free product is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, ensuring you enjoy your outdoor adventures without compromising your skin's well-being.

One of the standout features of Palm & Pine is its commitment to the environment. The sunscreen is packaged in a 100% recycled, plastic-alternative container, reflecting the brand's dedication to creating a truly ocean-friendly product from formulation to packaging.

Palm & Pine sunscreen comes in two SPF variants: SPF 30 and SPF 50, giving you the flexibility to choose the right level of protection for your hiking needs. The SPF 30 lotion offers daily all-over protection and is enriched with natural ingredients like calendula and shea butter, which nourish your skin while providing broad-spectrum UV protection. This lotion is perfect for both daily skincare routines and outdoor adventures.

For more intense sun exposure, higher altitudes, the SPF 50 variant is a reliable choice. This tinted zinc formula is specifically designed for lasting protection on delicate facial skin and lips, making it an ideal companion for any outdoor activity. The sunflower wax-based formula ensures the product won't run while engaging in sports, providing uninterrupted and tear free protection throughout your hike.

By opting for the Palm & Pine bundle, which includes both the SPF 30 and SPF 50 sunscreens, you'll be well-equipped to face the sun's rays, no matter the intensity or duration of your outdoor adventures. With Palm & Pine's eco-friendly, vegan, and effective mineral sunscreens, you can hike confidently, knowing your skin is protected and nourished while minimizing environmental impact.

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