What do your clothes say about you? Casual and comfy? Fashionista? Or just trying to find something that’s flattering and in style? Those categories apply to most of us. But did you know the wrong choice of clothing can affect your health? Yep – we’re always thinking about your skin! But here’s an important fact …. You can protect your skin from the sun, potentially preventing skin cancer and fending off unattractive wrinkles and age spots, by making some subtle changes. And you can keep your style! Here are some important tips and recommendations:
- When choosing outfits, consider color and fabric. On the color wheel, dark or bright colors absorb more UV than paler shades (a.k.a they protect you from the sun). So be bold with color! When it comes to fabric, a denser cloth, like denim or canvas, gives you more protection than sheer or loosely woven cloth. You can probably just give the fabric a good close look to see if it is a tight weave. Or you can look at the UPF rating – a scientific technique to measure how much sun gets through and how much protection you are getting. The UPF scale might remind you a little bit of sunscreen ratings and in this case the best rating is 50+.
- Go crazy with the accessories! Head out with a cute scarf. That will keep your neck looking young – it can be one of the first places you show signs of aging. And those wide brimmed hats are just perfect for summertime. A cute floppy hat will do double duty, protecting your skin and your eyes from damaging ultraviolet light while cutting the glare of the blinding sun. Another important fashion tool for protection – dark sunglasses. Don’t leave home without them! Why is this so important? Just take a second to feel the skin around your eyes. It’s so delicate and fine compared to the rest of the skin on your face. That’s why you get the dreaded crow’s feet in the corners of your eyes and a deep frown line in between. A good pair of sunglasses also serves a dual role – with the proper UV filter they are a barrier from UVL and by cutting the suns glare they keep you from furrowing – which when done repeatedly over time causes the elasticity to loosen and the permanent frown line to form. Scarves, big sunglasses, enormous hats – all staples of a 1970’s look that is resurging in today’s styles!
- Consider layers. You need them in the summer anyway. It may be hot outside but chances are the air-conditioning is running at full force in your office, at the grocery store or in the movie theater. So leave the house with layers – a light weight long sleeve cardigan, a cute quarter zip over your workout clothes, a flowy long sleeve cover up for the pool or beach.
- It’s not a fashion item but we think you should just consider this part of your wardrobe every day – sunscreen. Why not get into the daily habit of applying sunscreen prior to dressing? Much like a sheer base for your makeup, sunscreen is a sheer base for your clothes. And carry an extra bottle in your bag or in your car so that you can be ready at the drop of your wide brimmed hat to reapply as needed to avoid that damaging sunburn.
If you want to be the one with a real sense of fashion, think sun protection when choosing what to wear. There are even clothing lines that are devoted to sun safety – just Google them! The better protection your give your skin, the better it will look when paired with your favorite outfit. So get inspired! Let us know your favorite ideas for combining fashion and sun sensibility!