When choosing outfits, consider color and cloth: Dark or bright colors absorb more UV than paler shades, and denser fabrics, like denim or canvas, are more protective than sheer or loosely woven cloth. Loose-fitting clothes are preferable to tighter garments, which can stretch and expose skin to the sun.
Some manufacturers provide extra-protective clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) labels, which indicate exactly how protective the clothes are: A shirt with a UPF of 45 lets in just 1/45th of the sun’s UV.
Try: Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, sarongs.
Avoid: Bleached cottons, silks, polo shirts.
Basal and squamous cell carcinomas, which comprise over 90 percent of skin cancers, most often appear on the head and neck. Protect yourself with a hat, ideally one with a brim extending at least three inches all the way around to shade not just the face and scalp but the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Try: Bucket, outback, and tightly woven straw hats.
Avoid: Baseball caps and sun visors (though they are better than nothing).
Certain surfaces reflect UV radiation, so that it hits the skin and eyes twice, adding to your exposure. Sand reflects 15 percent of UV light; water, up to 10 percent; and sea foam, about 25 percent, according to the World Health Organization. Sunglasses with polarized lenses reduce glare, but UV protection is most important in sunglass selection: Choose a pair that filters out 99-100 percent.
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