Chicago summers can be particularly trying for runners, cyclists and triathletes. Staying hydrated, cool and keeping muscles working are performance concerns that athletes and industry professionals address frequently with products, advice and through hours of training. With so many immediate environmental and physical concerns related to a rising thermometer, protecting your skin from the elements can quickly fall down your list of priorities. Get one training sunburn and deal with the performance consequences of burned and damaged skin–not to mention the actual health and cancer concerns of over-exposure–and you will never let skin protection slip down that list again.
On that note, as the heat and humidity began rising this summer, a colleague recommended a sports sunscreen product called “Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen” (what a name!) that features one of the coolest packages we’ve seen. The bottle literally changes colors from white to blue or pink (depend- ing on the formula) in the presence of harmful UV rays. If you have kids, the package o ers a rather poignant teaching moment. Just have little Billy or Suzy pull it out of your bag on a cloudy day and–when the bottle turns colors–it shows them in a fun way that they need to be wearing sunscreen.
Moving past the smart packaging, Blue Lizard touts an Environmental Work Group (pretty much the standard- bearer when it comes to non-pro t organizations concerned with public health and environment protection) its top rating of a “1” for two of their agship mineral-based sunscreens. is coveted rating means that they are clean and absent harsh chemicals. Blue Lizard also o ers a “Sport” perfor- mance product that meets the FDA standard for 80-minutes water resistance, but also meets Australian standards (which are higher than those in the U.S.) and is water resistant for 240-minutes based on those Australian standards.
After testing the product on some training runs, I was blown away by the protection a orded by the “Sport” formula and, when I didn’t need full-blown endurance performance, happy with the gentle touch and solid sun protection from their other formulas. Finding a product that removes harsh chemicals from the skin and delivers on performance is important to me and my family and I’m happy Blue Lizard has lled that need and would recommend athletes give mineral sunscreens a try. But, if you want the real takeaway from this article, it’s that once in a (very) great while, co-workers can o er advice that isn’t terrible and doesn’t lead to a break-up or termination.