How do I prevent sunburn under my bike helmet?

How do I prevent sunburn under my bike helmet?

How to Prevent Sunburn Under Your Bike Helmet


Cycling is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and stay active, but prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to painful sunburn, especially on your face and neck. When you’re out on your bike, your head is particularly vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays. To avoid sunburn under your bike helmet and protect your skin, follow these tips and tricks.

Understanding the Risk

Before we delve into sunburn prevention methods, it’s essential to understand why your head is susceptible to sunburn when cycling. When you’re riding, your head is often tilted forward, exposing your forehead, neck, and ears to the sun. The combination of direct sunlight and the reflective surfaces, like pavement and cars, can intensify the sun’s effects on your skin.

How do I prevent sunburn under my bike helmet?
How do I prevent sunburn under my bike helmet?

Choose the Right Helmet

Opt for a Wide-Brimmed Helmet

One of the most effective ways to prevent sunburn under your bike helmet is to choose a helmet with a wide brim. These helmets provide more coverage to your face, neck, and ears, shielding them from the sun’s rays. Look for helmets specifically designed for sun protection, or you can even attach a detachable brim to your existing helmet for added coverage.

Proper Helmet Fit

A well-fitting helmet is crucial for both safety and sunburn prevention. Make sure your helmet sits snugly on your head without any gaps. A loose-fitting helmet can expose areas of your skin to the sun, increasing the risk of sunburn. Be sure to adjust the straps and pads to achieve a secure fit.

Use Sunscreen

Apply Sunscreen Before Riding

Sunscreen is your first line of defense against sunburn. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Apply it generously to all exposed areas of your face, neck, and ears before putting on your helmet. Reapply every two hours, especially if you’re on a long ride or sweating excessively.

Consider Sweat-Resistant Sunscreen

Cycling can be a sweaty activity, and ordinary sunscreen may wear off quickly. Opt for a sweat-resistant sunscreen to ensure prolonged protection. Look for a water-resistant label on the sunscreen to guarantee it stays in place during your ride.

Wear Sun-Protective Clothing

prevent sunburn under my bike helmet

Don a Cycling Cap

Under your helmet, consider wearing a lightweight, moisture-wicking cycling cap with a built-in sun visor. This extra layer provides additional shade to your face and helps wick away sweat, keeping you cool and comfortable during your ride. For helmets that protect you from sun see here.

Choose UV-Protective Clothing

Invest in cycling jerseys and accessories made from UV-protective fabric. These garments are designed to block harmful UV rays and keep your skin safe from sunburn. Look for clothing labeled with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings for maximum sun protection.

Ride During Off-Peak Sun Hours

Plan Your Rides Wisely

The sun’s intensity varies throughout the day. To reduce your risk of sunburn, plan your rides during off-peak sun hours. Early morning or late afternoon rides are ideal as the sun is less harsh during these times. If you must ride during peak sun hours, take extra precautions by applying more sunscreen and wearing protective clothing.

Seek Shade Breaks

Take Short Rest Stops

During long rides, take short breaks in shaded areas to give your skin a break from the sun. These breaks not only help prevent sunburn but also allow you to rehydrate and rest.

Utilize Natural Shade

If you’re cycling in an area with trees or buildings, take advantage of natural shade whenever possible. Riding in the shade reduces your overall sun exposure and minimizes the risk of sunburn.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration for Skin Health

Proper hydration is essential for healthy skin. Drinking enough water helps your skin stay resilient and less susceptible to damage from the sun. Always carry a water bottle with you and take sips throughout your ride.

Post-Ride Care

After-Sun Care

Even with the best preventive measures, you may still get some sun exposure. If you notice any signs of sunburn after your ride, take immediate action. Apply a soothing aloe vera gel or an after-sun lotion to relieve the discomfort and help your skin heal.

Skin Examination

Regularly examine your skin for any unusual moles or changes in texture. If you notice any concerning skin changes, consult a dermatologist for a skin check-up. Early detection of skin issues can be crucial for your health.


Cycling is a fantastic way to stay active and explore the outdoors, but it’s essential to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. By choosing the right helmet, applying sunscreen, wearing sun-protective clothing, and planning your rides wisely, you can prevent sunburn under your bike helmet and keep your skin healthy. Remember, skin protection should be a top priority for every cyclist, ensuring that you can enjoy your rides safely and comfortably.

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