The summer months of shorts and tank tops are inundated with warnings about wearing enough sunscreen and keeping your skin protected from the harsh UV rays of the sun. But as fall rolls in, we often forget that UV rays are just as strong and our most sensitive skin areas are often left unprotected and vulnerable to skin cancer. Here are some suggestions to keep yourself protected year round.
Every year around this time, we start to see the signs: that first cool breeze blowing away the August heat, the sun leaves the horizon earlier and earlier, and pumpkin-spiced everything is abound. Autumn is coming, beach trips are ending, and while we’re covering up more with sweaters and pants to escape the cold, the threat of the harsh UV rays of the sun are as relevant as ever.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the majority of skin cancers occur on the face, head, and neck. These are also the areas most likely to remain exposed during winter months. For many, the sunscreen gets packed away with the beach gear until next year, but on top of a proper SPF sunscreen, there are a few things you can do in the winter to protect your skin.
1.) Because an added threat to sun exposure in the winter is UV rays reflecting off of snow, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend reducing time in the sun entirely. If possible, spend a portion of your time outside in the shade.
2.) Sunglasses with proper lenses that block both UVA and UVB rays will protect your eyes from the sun. *NOTE* It is advisable to buy proper sunglasses from a reputable dealer, to ensure the lenses actually do block UVA and UVB rays. Improper lenses can actually allow more harmful rays to hit your eyes than wearing no sunglasses at all!
3.) Wear a wide brimmed hat. This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways you can protect the skin on your face and neck if you don’t have suncreen handy. Wearing hats for sun protection is a trend that goes way back, and was part of the reason the cowboy-hat was made as wide as it was. A hat with at least a 3″ brim will shade the most sensitive skin you have while you face the sun outside. Here are a few selections from our store that fit the bill:
This crushable, wool-felt fedora has a 3″ brim for maximum sun protection. The water-repellant fur felt will keep you dry in the snowiest conditions in winter, and when you need to pack it away, the crushable material allows it to be stored in a suitcase or book bag and pop right back in to shape easily.
Another outback-styled hat, this Stetson has it all. Made out of a fur and wool-felt blend, with a real leather band and teardrop shape. With a 3 1/4″ brim, there is plenty of sun and wind coverage for this cold autumn and winter days and nights.