Four Ways to Increase Your Sun Protection

wide-brimmed-hatIf you’re like me, you love sunny weather but don’t like the potential cancer, burns, and freckles the sun may bring you. Well here is something you probably didn’t know: you aren’t safe even when it’s cloudy outside! Your skin can be affected the same way on these days because about 80% of the sun’s harmful rays can pass through light cloud cover.

Here are some ways to supplement your existing sun protection and extend your time outdoors:

  1. Wear a wide-brimmed hat. As you get older, your facial skin cells start to slow down their recovery after sun damage. Give your face a break from the sun and put on a wide-brimmed hat that covers your entire face (and why not your neck?), so that your skin cells have a longer time to recover from exposure.
  2. Show off those wrap-around sunglasses. The terms “crow’s feet” shouldn’t be used to describe any part of your face. Pick a pair of large modern-style wrap-around sunglasses and be a Hollywood superstar for the day. Be sure to wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of ultraviolet (UV) rays and some High-Energy Visible (HEV) rays. Not only will your eyes thank you for keeping the skin around them soft and wrinkle-free from squinting, but you will minimize the chances of getting photokeratitis (i.e. snow blindness) from the HEV rays, which can damage your retina. Yes, your eyes can get sunburned, too!
  3. Don’t shy away from the umbrella.  Did you know that an ordinary umbrella can block up to 77% of the sun’s UV rays? And the darker the color, the more direct protection the umbrella can provide. So opt for a black one, or—even better—go for one with UV protection built into the fabric, like those at Pick up our fantastic Original Umbrella Stand, and then choose one of our UPF 50+ protection umbrellas. Whether you’re headed to the beach, your favorite lake, or the tailgating party—carry your umbrella to your destination and then stake it into the ground to save your face and neck!
  4. Slip on some clothes. Smart farmers can tell you that wearing a long-sleeved shirt and overalls actually makes you cooler on a hot, sunny day. That’s because any sweat you produce underneath the clothing will help cool you down! In addition, the added layer over your body shields you from the harmful rays of the sun, which minimizes the damage to your skin and the direct heat you feel. If you’re gardening, go ahead and wear some fabric gloves to not only protect your nails from the dirt but also to keep your hands from looking like prunes by the time you’re 60! And as with the umbrellas, the darker the fabric, the greater the protection.

Now that you have some ideas on how to supplement your protection even after the sunscreen has worn off, remember to pack these accessories when you hit the beaches, fields, and city streets!

Sandy Fields


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