Sunscreen is pretty great stuff. I’m glad we have it, and I use it daily. But none of us applies enough (or reapplies enough). So improve your burn rate this weekend by adding some nonsunscreen sun protection to the mix. Here, a few options—listed in order from no-brainer to we dare you.
A wide-brimmed hat. Wearing a hat with a four-inch brim can lower your lifetime risk of skin cancer by about 40 percent. (One third of all skin cancers occur on the nose, says Darrell Rigel, a clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center.) Bonus: You’ll look mysterious and chic—and protect your dye job from color-sapping UV rays.
Sunglasses. Look for large, crow’s-feet-covering frames with lenses that sit as close to your face as possible. And you might want to avoid aviators—the metal frames can reflect sun on the tops of the cheeks.
A rash guard. The sun protection you get when you pull a white T-shirt over your bikini: the equivalent of an SPF 5. The sun protection you get from one of these tightly woven long-sleeved tops? SPF 50. And they now go way beyond scuba-chic. Want gamine sailor stripes? Try J.Crew. Like bold color blocking? Check out Parasol. Or what about a psychedelic print? Mara Hoffman has you covered.
Fingerless gloves. The last time I wore these, they were lace, and I was channeling the Material Girl. Today, I might just consider them in my quest to avoid old-lady hands. Solumbra makes a set that comes in faux leather (with an SPF of 100+). Or you can go all the way and try Eclipse Sun Sleeves—they protect you from your knuckles to your armpits.
A neck veil. My three-year-old does not leave the house in the summer without one of those baseball caps that falls into a veil over his ears and neck. He’s too young to protest. (Or maybe he just counts himself lucky that I’m not making him wear a sun poncho.) Turns out the veiled hats also come in grown-up sizes. Another option: the Sun Mullet. It’s the only mullet we could ever, sort of, sanction: a piece of sun-protective fabric that loops around any baseball cap or attaches to your sunglasses. (The concept sounds a little less ridiculous after you read the research that found neck melanomas to be among the deadliest.)
A full-face sun shield. If you really really, really want to protect your face, try Coolibar’s Protective Sun Drape—it’s basically a burka that ends at your shoulders. Or consider the ultimate visor: The Solar Face Shield is a seven-inch tinted visor that can be pulled down to cover your entire face for a Darth Vader look. It’s see-through but “not suggested for use while driving a car.” Probably because you would scare the bejeezus out of fellow motorists.
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