Get in gear for spring break with the latest ways to enjoy the outdoors without harming your skin or eyes. We’ve scoured the shelves to bring you the hottest brands in sunny style as well as make-you-safe tools, like beach umbrellas, something to sprinkle in your laundry and even something for your car! Intrigued? We were, too…
Pretty peeper-protectors. It would be shady business not to shield your eyes from the sun, as 10 percent of all skin cancers happen on the skin around the eyes. Polarized sunglasses are the best protection from UVA, UVB and blue light rays, which are closest to ultraviolet light on the spectrum, and can lead to diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. We love Julbo’s Bora Bora ($190, julbousa.com) with photochromic lenses that become darker and more protective in the sun.
Wash in protection. You can boost the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of an everyday white cotton T-shirt from about a 5 to about 30 by using a laundry additive like SunGuard ($1.99/1 oz. box, sunguardsunprotection.com). Its active ingredient, Tinosorb, ups your clothes’ sun-protective factor for up to 20 washings.
Seek stylish shelter. Before buying your beach umbrella, search for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation like the one featured on Coolibar’s 6’ Titanium Beach Umbrella ($89, coolibar.com). That means the manufacturer has scientific data showing that its product “aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.” The umbrella’s silver color on the outside reflects UV rays, while the green on the underside to absorbs them. It’s rated at a respectable 50+ UPF. Also available are tent-like shelters for young children.
Look cool. Sun-protective apparel has never been chic-er. Lines like Mott 50, Cobra, Puma Golf, Redington and Coolibar feature athletic apparel, swimwear, lightweight beach cover-ups and comfy daywear with UPFs between +30 and +50. Favorite pieces include the Hvar Sundress and Sayulita Tunic, ($118 and $195, respectively, mott50.com); Watercolor Dot Polo and Golf Tech Pant ($65 and $80, respectively, cobrapumagolf.com), RediBalance Crew ($54.95, redington.com) and Women’s Swim Skort ($65, coolibar.com).
Pimp out your car. Newsflash: Car glass does not shield you from the cancer-causing UVA rays (it does block the sunburn-causing UVB rays). Plan ahead for spring and summer road trips and add UV-blocking window films to all the windows in your car. Tints run the spectrum of virtually clear to very dark (without reducing visibility). One option we like is The Skin Cancer Foundation-recommended 3M Automotive Window Film-Crystalline Series, which provides a SPF of up to 1,000 and blocks up to 99.9 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Prices depend on number of windows and type of car. Click here to find more information and to find a dealer in your area that can provide a specific estimate.