It’s no secret that the most effective protection against the sun is the protection that you wear.
Ever heard of sunscreen? Of course you have. It’s been around for nearly 90 years. It’s a good form of protection from the sun, but there is one catch to its effectiveness – It must be reapplied every two hours. Sunscreen paired with other forms of protection works wonders, but alone it’s just not enough. For that reason, you won’t find any products with SPF in our top 5.
UPF 50+ clothing and accessories, on the other hand, provide the most effective form of sun protection because there not as much of a commitment as sunscreen ends up being, won’t wash off due to water or sweat, and always applies to UVB and UVA rays.
Still trying to figure out the difference between UPF and SPF? Check out our blog on it.
Follow these 5 tips to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.
1. Wear a wide-brimmed hat
Choose a hat with a 3-inch or greater brim to protect your face, scalp, ears and neck.
2. Switch Out Everyday Favorites
Swap everyday favorites for long sleeve UPF 50+ shirts.
3. Add UPF 50+ Coverage
Add coverage to short sleeves when lounging outdoors or performing workouts.
4. Protect Over-Exposed Hands
Keep a spare pair of UPF 50+ gloves in your car to protect your hands.
5. Use Sun Blankets for On-the-Go
Pack a UPF 50+ sun blanket for handy sun protection when you’re out and about.
Some of the most common places to be diagnosed with skin cancer – face, scalp, and ears – are located on your head… So choosing to wear a hat, especially one that is UPF 50+, just makes sense. The bigger challenge is trying to figure out when it is most crucial to have one on your noggin.
Reading a Good Book on the Beach
Whether it’s the ocean or poolside, having your favorite read
teamed up with a wide-brim hat is the duo you’ve been looking for. Spend more
time getting into that New York Bestseller and less time worried about the sun.
Hitting Up the Country Club
Have a membership at the local country club? Hours of direct sunlight on the golf course or tennis courts adds up and can be detrimental to your skin health. With the reapplication of sunscreen and a good hat on your head, you should comfortably be able to play 18 holes unscathed by the sun.
Fishing on the Lake
Summer is all about going up to the cabin, taking the boat
out and taking advantage of the good weather. For the big fishers out there
that just love being on the water and lose track of time easily, a hat with
extended coverage is vital because of the straight hours of direct sunlight and
the UV rays reflecting off the water.
Running Errands Around Town
It’s your day off and it has to be spent buying groceries,
stopping by the bank, picking up the kids from school, going to the dentist’s
office and countless other things on your agenda. With all that scheduled for
your day, the accumulated UV rays add up quickly!
Pro tip: Keep a packable sun hat in your car or purse to always be ready for the sun.
Paired with the Perfect Outfit
A very underrated piece of an outfit that can really bring the whole look together is a well-styled hat. There may be no better time to have a perfectly selected wide-brim hat than for a Kentucky Derby party or event!
If you are struggling to find the right one, our team has designed a guide to help you find the perfect hat that works with your face shape.
Taking the Dog for a Walk
Our furry companions need their exercise too, it’s an important part of being a pet owner. With that being said, typically, you’re taking the dog out for a little stroll during the day while UV rays are present. It shouldn’t be a very time-intensive chore to get prepped for a walk! Simply apply a little SPF 30+ sunscreen and a hat… and voilà!
Enjoying the Great Outdoors
This one is for you adventure seekers that love camping in the woods and exploring nature! If you’re the weekend warrior that joins every hiking group they can, you need a great sun hat paired with some long sleeves.
Regardless of the activity, you’re doing and the style you choose, make sure to get in the habit of wearing sunscreen on your face with your hat to help lessen the chances of extreme sun exposure even when wearing a hat .
Summer camp is jam-packed with activities from sunrise to sunset. Counselors and camp staff make it a priority to ensure safety of all campers; however, with the rigorous reapplication routine sunscreen requires, sometimes sun protection may be overlooked in all the commotion. Sunburn and skin damage are easily preventable. Educating and equipping children with good sun protection habits prior to the start of camp is essential.
While sunscreen is a necessity, adding additional forms of sun protection may ease parental anxiety.
SUN PROTECTION STRATEGIES FOR SUMMER CAMP
1. Pack sun protective swimwear and clothing: The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using sun protective clothing first, followed by sunscreen. A WHITE COTTON T-SHIRT WILL NOT PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM THE SUN! In fact, it only offers an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 7, and even less when wet. UPF and SPF ratings for sunscreens are similar, but UPF is the standard for clothing and accounts for both UVB and UVA rays. When shopping for UPF clothing, look for a UPF 50+ rating, the highest rating available. This means a garment will block 98% or more of UVA and UVB rays. Swim shirts (also known as rash guards), are great for extended water play since the sun protection will not wash out.
2.Remember a wide brim hat:To be protective, a hat must have a 3” brim or greater (for toddlers this might be less) or a flap in the back to cover the ears and neck if it’s a baseball style cap. Hats also protects the scalp, especially along the part-line.
3. Wrap on UV sunglasses: Eyes are susceptible to sunburn too, and not all sunglasses protect against UV. Opt for a pair of wrap style sunglasses that fit closer to the face so UV rays don’t leak in the sides. Look for sunglasses labeled UV 400 or blocks 99% or greater of UVA and UVB rays. For younger kids, purchase sunglasses with straps to keep them secure.
4. Choose the right sunscreen: Most kids will be active, so look for brands that offer better protection in water or while sweating. Also remember the following:
Look at the label. Many parents assume the higher the SPF the better, which is not necessarily the case. Look for quality ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are physical sunscreen ingredients. Choose an SPF of 30 that’s labeled broad spectrum, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Avoid aerosol sunscreens. The major drawback of a continuous spray sunscreen is that it could get into the eyes or inhaled by a child, long-term data on those effects are unknown.
Apply generous amounts on exposed skin. Start with the neck down, covering thick and evenly on all areas of the body, not forgetting the ears, backs of the hands, crease of the neck, underarms, between the fingers, underneath the bathing suit (if it’s not sun protective). After covering those major areas, do the face last. Even on a cloudy day, 80 percent of UV reaches the Earth’s surface.
5. Inquire about camp sunscreen application policies: Most camps are like schools, sunscreen is not allowed without written consent. Also, camp staff are often discouraged from helping kids apply sunscreen. Teach children to do their best applying sunscreen everywhere they can reach and ask for help on spots like their back.
Dr. Amy Brodsky, founder of the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation is advocating a comprehensive sun protection strategy for her kids and hopes other parents will catch on. “I’m a dermatologist and a mom who has seen a lot of skin cancer and aging skin in my practice, so it’s only natural to want my own kids and others to think of wearing sun protection as the norm and sun protective shirts and sunscreen as cool,” said Dr. Brodsky. Dr. Brodsky often refers to the four-S’s to teach kids and parents alike the key skin cancer prevention measures — sunglasses, sunscreen, sun protective shirts, and sun hats.”
A Panama Hat is a reference to the straw material it is made from, not the country of Panama. The hat is made from the carludovica palmate plant, which grows in the coastal lowlands of Western South America. Ecuador began producing the Panama hat as early as 1630!
During the California Gold Rush, individuals traveled through the Isthmus of Panama and purchased the Panama hats there. Purchasers told interested buyers that they were bought in Panama, rather than mentioning that they were actually made in Ecuador, and the “Panama Hat” was born. Later, when Theodore Roosevelt visited the Canal, he wore a Panama hat which increased its popularity and reinforeced its name.
When shopping for a Panama Hat you’ll notice a variety of colors and costs, sometimes reaching greater than $150. The single most important factor in determining the value of a Panama Hat is the fineness of the weave. Two other important factors include the evenness of the weave and the color of the straw. Traditionally, all Panama Hats are hand-blocked by a tejedor (weaver), which is a slow and laborious process. Afterwards, clear sizing material is used to coat the hat, which stiffens the straw and helps the hat keep its shape. Panama Hats vary in production time and a coarser woven hat may take a few hours whereas finer hats may take up to 5 months to weave!
There are many styles of Panama Hats, but the most common are: Classic Fedora, Plantation, and Optimo. Coolibar’s take on the Panama hat is inspired by the classic Australian outback hat which features a wider brim for better sun protection.
It’s time to start planning for your tropical vacation to escape the chill and daily-grind. We at Coolibar take pride in our ability to not only provide stylish sun protective options for days by the water and more, but to help you pack more efficiently by offering versatile pieces. Take a look at our 2012 resort sunwear. This year’s “in” pieces are pinks, purples and prints that all mix-and-match.
Special Promotion: For Free Standard Shipping Online: Select “standard shipping” when prompted, then enter AUTUMN in the promotion code box when you check out. By Phone: Provide the promo code AUTUMN when completing your order with a representative at 1.800.926.6509. Note: Free standard shipping is available only in the U.S. and its territories. This offer cannot be applied to previous purchases, nor combined with additional promotions and/or codes. Offer expires November 15, 2012.
Finding stylish protection can prove challenging. Additionally, many sun hats on the market today do not protect your neck, cheeks, nose, and mouth areas from the sun’s UV rays. Devra Wathen (pictured left) is the founder and CEO of Escaping the Sun In Style™, an innovative hat company based out of Hawaii. ETSIS hats offer a smart and sophisticated option for those looking for ultimate sun protection, while staying in style. We decided to find out more about Devra and her company that’s changing the way people view sun protection.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a born and bred Midwest girl who moved to Colorado to “find my fortune”. I enjoyed a great active, outdoorsy lifestyle there and eventually started a successful leasing company, which is how I met my husband Chuck, a real estate developer. After we got married, Chuck landed some projects in Honolulu, Hawaii and we jumped at the chance to move here (who wouldn’t!). The glorious sun and paradise were perfect. Needless to say, I spent my days drinking in the golden sunlight, driving back and forth in my convertible to work, being super outdoorsy, enjoying the fabulous beaches. We’ve been here since then. I am semi-retired but came out of it when I began my work in Sun Protection with ETSIS.
How long has ESTIS been in business? What inspired you to start this company?
ETSIS started three years ago, but has only started to really gain its legs this year. Being a sun protection company, it was born from my own personal need for better sun protection.
About 7 years ago, I started noticing bad spots on the left side of my face and arms. I went to my derm and he told me it was basal cell carcinoma, and after removing it, he told me that I needed to be more wary of the sun if I didn’t want to end up with more aging, spots, or worst of all, melanoma! My derm told me all my days of being in the car and lying out in the sun had caught up with me and I needed to be super diligent with protecting myself—especially the left side of my face and arms, with all the time spent in the car. A long quest to find the perfect sun hat that protected my face and neck, looked good and worked whether I was driving, walking the dog or just out at the beach turned up fruitless. So I just started pinning towels and napkins into the brim of my favorite Coolibar sun hat to protect against the sun.
Um, this did not sit well with my husband, who said I looked like a bag lady trolling around the neighborhood, and would I please utilize my fashion sense and figure something else out? A girl CANNOT just let that slide! So, I got to work and ETSIS was born after some trial and error. My girl friends loved it, one of them introduced me to a representative of the world’s largest hat manufacturer and the rest is history (so to speak)!
What’s different about ESTIS hats versus other sun hats?
Where do I start?
ETSIS hats are like your traditional and fashion forward UPF sun hats, with the twist that they can be worn five different ways. Our SunEscape Protection Panels are like luxuriously soft scarves that snap into the inner crown of each ETSIS Hat, allowing you to tie the hat four ways. If you want to protect yourself, wrap the panels around your face, back around your neck and tie in front…add a pair of fabulous sunglasses and you look like a 50s screen goddess! That’s called our Signature Wrap. You can also do an off the shoulder tie to keep your hands free for when you don’t need to wear your hat but don’t want to carry it. You can tie the panels behind your head in a cute knot to keep it from flying off your head in wind, too. Lastly, for our customers with medical conditions, you can pull the panels up and over your cheeks to cover your mouth and nose in a clinical wrap to protect you from airborne pollutants. If you don’t need the panels at all, snap them out of the hat, put them in your handbag and wear the hat as a basic sun hat.
The protection panels keep you warm in winter, but also wick away heat and moisture when it’s warm, so they can be worn year-round! And they’re rated UPF50+ so you get maximum UVA/UVB protection 365 days a year.
Basically, our hat takes a regular hat and transforms it into the ultimate accessory with sun protection built in! ETSIS hats are versatile, functional and fashion-forward options for all occasions and all types of activities. What sun hat can actually say that?
We’ve heard rumors that you’ve started working with SunAWARE. Is this true and if so how are you working together?
Yes, that’s true. SunAWARE approached me and asked me to write a feature article on the growing trend of sun protection, how it developed and where it’s going. I’m not sure if I can say more yet, but you’ll be the first to know when the project launches!
On a personal level, how do you style your ETSIS hat? Where do you wear it?
I personally wear the hat in our Signature Wrap style (shown in video below) the most. I love feeling glamorous like a 50s movie star. I usually wear it with a fantastic Coolibar UPF sun shirt or jacket, cute leggings and a cute little skirt, my signature bangles, and of course, a pair of fabulous sunglasses (gotta protect the eyes, too!).
I wear my hats EVERYWHERE. From running errands, going to the beach, walking the dog, going shopping. Anytime I go outside, I put on sun protection—I wear UPF clothing 365 days a year. Since our hats can be worn 5 different ways, I’m not trapped into only being able to wear my hat to some places, but I can wear it wherever I go. Except for black tie parties or fancy dinners – I like showing off my hairstyles for those.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Since the sun’s UV rays are responsible for 80% of our skin’s aging, ETSIS hats are truly an essential component of an anti-aging beauty routine. By protecting our skin, we can help prevent premature aging as well as skin cancer. Our hats are a stylish option for women who can’t always wear sunscreens, or for those who don’t want to have to reapply ever couple of hours.
And they’re soon available worldwide through Coolibar. Look for ETSIS next week at coolibar.com.
Helen Vong, skin care guru at theskiny.com, came to us with a brilliant SunAWARE idea. “Let’s do a Coolibar UPF 50+ outfit makeover to show how easy it is to be protected from the sun.” Who are we to argue?
“After writing a magazine story about the aging effects of the sun, back in the early spring, I decided that this (now past) summer is going to be year I start changing my ways. Why? Well frankly, I’m getting older and my skin isn’t bouncing back like it did from weekend trips to the cottage.
Like most people I only really wore sunscreen on vacation, and in my twenties, I went on my fair share of sun escapes – and I have the sunspots to prove it. In fact, I’ve got a newly formed speckle on my lower lip that wasn’t there last year (thank you, Ibiza). After age 30 you can’t get away with calling these spots ‘cute freckles’ anymore.
Consider this photo taken last summer at the hotel lobby at the Thompson in Beverly Hills (before picture). At first glance, you’d think I was being sun smart with a wide brimmed hat and long sleeved button up shirt. Truth is, that flimsy hat was a cheapie from Walmart with absolutely no sun filter. The shirt was also a bargain that was useless against the scorching UVA rays (think of the “A” as for aging) I surely soaked in that weekend.
I guess I could’ve wore clothing with sun protection, but I’ve long equated anti-sun clothing as frumpy athletic gear. And who wants to look blah on Rodeo Drive? In retrospect, I wish I knew about Coolibar, back then. This company makes sun-protective apparel look sexy! I particularly fell in love with their sun hats. My dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett, says that size matters when it comes to the brim of an effective sun hat: six inches is the way to go.”
Helen took her look and gave it a UPF 50+ makeover (after picture).
With so many sun hats to choose from, how do you narrow it down to the perfect one? The three most important factors to consider are: brim size and shape, material, and the activity for use.
Brim size is a fundamental factor in the level of UV protection provided by a sun hat. Most physicians recommend a minimum brim of 3 inches or greater. Coolibar sun protection hats range from 3 inches to 8 inches in brim size. Brim size is most important for blocking direct UV rays.
The shape of the sun hat and brim also impacts the hat’s UV blocking ability. In some environments, there may be significant dispersed or reflected UV. This dispersed UV can bounce up underneath the brim of the sun hat and will often strike areas lower on your face such as your chin and cheeks. In general, brims that curve down and sit closer to your face will provide better protection against this reflected UV. For complete sun protection, it is best to also use sunscreen on your lower face area while wearing a sun hat.
Another approach to protecting against reflected UV is to wear a flap hat. Sun hats with flaps can almost completely protect your skin from reflected UV where the fabric lies on your skin – such as your ears and neck. Some sunblock hats with flaps have an extended neck flap that can wrap all the way around to the front of your face and provide excellent protection for your chin and cheeks.
The second key factor for UV protection is the material used to make the sun protection hat. Look for a hat constructed from material rated UPF 50+, meaning it will block 98% of the direct UVA and UVB falling on it. Cotton canvas typically provides good to excellent sun protection. Straw hats with a tightweave or fabric lining under the brim will keep your face shaded too.
One other factor that has a modest affect on sun protection is the color of the underbrim. A sun hat with a dark underbrim will absorb more reflected UV that could bounce down on to your face and thus provide more protection for your skin as well as help minimize UV and glare on your eyes.
Finally, consider what you’ll be doing outdoors while wearing the hat. If you’ll be in a windy environment, opt for a hat with a locking chin strap. For water or other physical activities, look for a wicking or chlorine resistant hat material. And of course, for an outdoor wedding, picnic or other fashionable occasion go for the oversize brim that will provide excellent coverage and a stunning look.
If you consider these factors in selecting a sun protection hat, you can be confident your choice will provide excellent sun protection.
The Huffington Post recently published a great article titled “Sun Protection: Products to Keep Your Skin Safe This Summer”. The slideshow goes through all of the essential sun protection accessories anyone would need when spending time outdoors this summer. We’re excited that the media realizes the importance of educating people about the need for sun protection. However, not all sun protection is created equal, and with so many options to choose from, the search to find quality sun protection can be overwhelming. Don’t get confused by an overwhelming amount of sun protection information. We’ll take your through what to look for insunscreen, hats, sunglasses, shade, and sun protective clothing.
Broad-spectrum and SPF 30+
No sunscreen blocks 100% of UV. It only screens out a certain percentage of UVB (burning rays), and if it’s labeled broad-spectrum, it will help screen out UVA (aging rays) as well. Research provides evidence that both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer.
Choose sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher with broad-spectrum protection. The FDA proposed that the maximum SPF value on labeling should be SPF 50 as there in no significant evidence that higher sun protection factors provide more protection. So anything rated between 30 to 50 SPF will provide sufficient UV coverage.
Water and Sweat Resistant
The FDA’s new sunscreen guidelines, which go into affect December 2012, state the term “sweat-proof” can no longer be used on sunscreen labels, as sunscreens are only “water or sweat resistant”. So look for water and sweat-resistant labels if you’re going to be active outdoors. Additionally, the FDA will require water resistance claims on the principal display panel to specify either 40 or 80 minutes of effectiveness while swimming or sweating, based on testing, in the future. Never-the-less, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends reapplying all sunscreens approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
Lotions vs. Spray Sunscreen
According to the AAD, while spray sunscreen is convenient, it must be rubbed into the skin after spraying on generously. According to Environmental Working Group, the potential for inhaling sunscreens may also impose future health risks. DO NOT INHALE. It may be better to opt for creams and lotions on young children.
Traditional baseball caps do not cover the back of the neck, sides of face or ears. Look for a wide brim hat with a 3” brim or larger that circles the crown. If you’re looking for a baseball style hat, look for one with a flap that covers your ears and back of neck such as a legionnaire style.
Straw Hats vs. Canvas Hats
Straw, unless tightly woven, is not an effective UV blocker. In fact, UV will pass through most straw hats. Check the UPF rating before buying or look for straw hats with material sewn underneath the brim for sun protection.
While beach umbrellas do provide some shade, don’t solely rely on them. UV rays reflect off sand and water. Or look for attachable beach umbrella accessories, such as the EzShade, that block reflected UV.
Sun protective clothing is rated by ultraviolet protection factor (UPF not SPF). The ratings are similar to SPF except UPF rates both UVA and UVB protection whereas SPF only rates UVB. AAD Dermatologists recommend sun protective clothing as the number one go-to for excellent sun protection.