3 Creative Ways to Shield Skin From The Sun

Being Sun-safe isn’t Just About Sunblock Anymore

If you’re like most people, you only think about protecting your skin from the sun when you’re in a swimsuit or outdoors for a long period of time. It’s important to protect yourself in both situations, but exposed skin – think your arms, upper chest, and face - is bombarded by UV rays every day. You may have seen pictures of truck drivers where skin on the left side of their bodies has aged more than features on the right. This is because UVA rays, which are responsible for prematurely aging skin, easily penetrate the glass on the driver’s-side door. Over the years, this damage becomes more and more obvious. It’s important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on all skin that will be exposed to sunlight. You may not be aware of other clever ways to thwart the sun’s rays. Here’s a quick rundown of your options.

1. UV Protective Clothing

Our clothes help shield skin from UV rays, but most fabrics still allow some radiation through. While you may not get a sunburn, damage can be done below the skin’s surface – damage you’ll notice down the road. UV protective clothing use fabrics designed to block ultraviolet rays. Specialty designers have begun selling shirts, pants, and accessories that offer more protection than your average outfit. One retailer, Coolibar, embeds tiny, reflective minerals within the fabric itself, resulting in a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50+. Adding some UV protective clothing to your wardrobe is a fun, stylish way to keep the sun at bay.

2. Sunglasses

Most of us wear sunglasses to make it easier to see in bright light – and to look cool. What you may not know is that sunglasses can also be beneficial to your skin. Large UV-protective lenses may cover the skin near our eyes. This tissue is delicate, and tends to be overlooked when we apply sunscreen. Your face receives a lot of sunlight, so your skin can benefit from the additional coverage sunglasses provide. Without sunglasses, people tend to squint in order to avoid glare. That’s a surefire way to stress skin, and can result in fine lines and wrinkles as you age. The term “sunglasses” is vague, and you want to make sure that the lenses you choose provide protection from UV rays. Remember, just because your eyes are covered doesn’t mean solar rays can’t get through.

3. Solar Film for Windows

We already know that UVA light can pass through glass windows. If you have bright sunrooms, an enclosed porch, or indoor pool, attaching solar film to the glass can keep most of these harmful rays out of your home. Solar film is usually easy to install and remove, so you don’t need to be particularly handy to apply it. Similar products are available for car windows, shielding your skin on long commutes and road trips. If you or a family member are particularly prone to sunburns, you may want to discuss additional options with your dermatologist. By being disciplined and sun-smart, you can give your skin the protection it needs to look its best.