I collect sunscreen the way some women collect shoes. Tubes and bottles brimming with SPF fill my medicine cabinet, purse, gym bag and closet. I have extras stashed at my boyfriend’s place and in my desk at work. While I adore my current fave — Anthelios Fluide Extreme 50+ — I’m open to the next best thing.
Though I’m loathe to admit it, sunscreen does have its limitations. Even the most hyper vigilant are bound to miss a spot. Plus, sunscreen needs to be reapplied frequently (and in sufficient quantities)to remain effective. I also know many women who insist that all sunscreen makes them break out. Thankfully, there are myriad ways to boost your sun protection (and save your skin).
1) Rock a hat. I wear a wide-brimmed woven hat whenever I’m out and about during peak sun hours. It lets me look chic while shielding my face and eyes from the sun’s rays. Your hat should be made from tightly woven fabric and shouldn’t emit light.
2) Wear SPF clothing. UV light can penetrate most clothing- especially anything sheer. For maximum protection, consider Sun Protective Clothing. Companies like Coolibar and Solartex offer a range of basics made from fabric that’s rated according to an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). UPF is similar to SPF, but measures both UVA and UVB rays.
3) Do the laundry. Love the idea of UPF clothing but prefer to stick to your budget — and personal style? Add RIT Sunguard to your laundry. It adds a high level of protection to your clothes and lasts about 20 washes.
4) Pop a pill. Heliocare is a supplement with antioxidant properties that boosts the skin’s ability to protect against the sun’s harmful effects. It’s like an insurance policy for your sunscreen.
5) Be Victorian. A parasol is the perfect accessory for quirky, sun-phobic girls. Bonus: it won’t give you hat head. I’m watching this fabulous Victorian Battenburg Lace Parasol on eBay. (if you missed that auction, check this out)
Image souces: [Satbir], Style.com (SS08 Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Anna Sui)