It is no secret that you need to protect your skin against UV rays to prevent skin cancers and other skin conditions. There are two obvious solutions to this problem: stay out of the sun and/or use sunscreen. However, there is another solution and it is one that we have mentioned here, albeit it briefly, in several posts…wearing a sun protection hat.
Areas that are often missed when applying sunscreen are the back of the neck and ears. This is a huge mistake because these areas get a LOT of exposure when out in the sun. The neck is also an area that is often diagnosed with skin cancer, yet it remains ignored by people when they are out on the beach, boat, playing golf, etc.
How to Pick the Perfect Sun Protection Hat
Yes, there are “standards” to look for when picking out a quality sun protection hat, besides the fact that you want to look good wearing it! Once you like what you see in the mirror, make sure it also meets these criteria:
• The brim of the hat should be at least three inches. The brim should also be resistant to bending and folding, especially in the wind. The idea here is that the brim of the cap needs to offer enough shade to protect your full face, neck, and ears.
• Do not mistake a visor as adequate protection. A visor will protect parts of your face, but the back of your neck, ears, and the top of your head are all still exposed to the sun. Thick hair is no excuse to substitute a visor for a sun protection hat. Your hair is not thick enough to prevent the UV rays from getting through. In addition, your hair can separate as well as having a “hair part” that is completely exposed to the sun.
• Make sure the hat fits your properly. This easy enough if you are in the store trying one on, but what about online purchases? Most sites will have some type of sizing chart, so measure the size of your head and match it up against the size chart. If you plan to wear the hat in breezy conditions or while doing an activity with a lot of movement, a hat with a strap may be the best choice.
• Last, but definitely not least, make sure the hat is made from UPF 50+ fabric. Much like a sunscreen, these hats are rated for their protection. If the hat has not been rated, hold it up the light to see if you can see anything. This is obviously not a full-proof method, but it will give you a better idea as to the protection it will actually offer when outside in the sun.