4 Items To Protect You From The Sun Without Sunscreen
The use of sun protective methods is important in keeping your skin young and healthy. But, as I discussed in the last post, there is a potential risk of using sunscreen, and ideally, it is recommended to use alternatives to protect your bare skin from the sun. In this post, I will talk about the 4 must-have items that help to block out the UV rays without worrying about the risk of sunscreen use.
A hat is a key item for sun protection. It blocks sunlight efficiently if you choose the right one.
However, there is no hat that is suitable for all occasions, places, or seasons. So you want to have a few different styles of hats to alternate, depending on the situation.
If you buy a new hat, you may want to choose the one that indicates UPF50+ on the label. UPF refers to Ultraviolet Protection Factor and UPF50+ is the highest rating.
The wider the brim, the more coverage you’ll have for your face and neck.
This year when I visited Japan, I invested in a hat that blocks out 100% of UV rays. You see a lot of products with 98~99% UV protection, so 100% is rare.
It looked good in the picture, but when I saw the actual item I didn’t like the design very much. I only wear it on my way back from my daughter’s preschool to my house where no one cares what I look like. I wish I could use this hat more often as it was not cheap (It cost about $80), but I’ve learned a lesson that the design matters to me as much as the function.
Also, this hat reminded me that wide-brimmed hats are prone to be blown away very easily by wind. This forces me to take off the hat quite often even if the sun is shining on me.
I often wear baseball caps as they match my casual fashion style. Although it is doubtful how much a baseball cap blocks UV rays, as it doesn’t cover the side of my face and neck, it is still better than nothing. Plus baseball caps can be worn throughout the year even if it’s a little windy outside.
I love wearing straw hats in the summer. They reduce the heat from the sun and keep my head cool. Since the air can go through the mesh, it is not blown away as easily as the regular wide-brimmed hats.
This was another investment when I visited Japan. This has a 100% UV barrier rating and costs around $130.
I thought this would be good to carry during work hours because unlike a hat, an umbrella doesn’t mess up my hair.
But I haven’t gotten an opportunity to use it. Maybe because it is still May, I kinda feel embarrassed to open this umbrella on the busy streets in Manhattan when the weather is nice. Also, the black layer inside the umbrella doesn’t look very pretty.
Regardless, I am sure I will make the full use of this umbrella when it becomes very hot outside.
Glasses are useful when you cannot use any of the above. I wear clear glasses (also 100% UV block) almost every time when I walk outside or even inside if I get sun exposure near windows.
Unfortunately, glasses don’t cover the entire face, so if I know I will walk under the sun for over 15 mins, I wear a hat too. If I cannot wear a hat, I try to walk in the shade or use sunscreen.
Scarves / Bandanas
I hate that the skin tone of my neck is always darker than my face. But a scarf or a bandana would be a great solution to protect the neck areas.
Until last year, I used to get eczema around my neck in the summer, which was probably caused by a combination of sunscreen and sweat. This year I am looking to explore summer styles with bandanas and see how they help me with the tan and eczema.
These are the items that I rely on to protect my skin from the sun.
But of course, there are times that you cannot use these items, like at the beach where UV rays are much stronger. And these items may not be enough as protection. In that case, you need to use sunscreen. I will cover this topic in the upcoming posts.