The head is the most common area skin cancers are found but you can still enjoy the summer sun with the addition of one simple accessory. Sun hats are a great source of sun protection in addition to sunscreen. It is wise to pick a hat that has Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF, which measures the amount of UVA and UVB radiation that penetrates the fabric and reaches the skin. Hats that provide the greatest UV protection have at least a 3-inch wide broad brim all around. These types of hats cover places that are difficult to apply such as the scalp, ears, and back of the neck. Most sun hats contain a UPF of 50, meaning the hat will block out 98% of UV radiation and only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays will reach the skin through the fabric.
Skin care and sun protection are not the only reasons I love sunhats. A wide-brimmed hat is a simple way to transform your face. I love Coolibar hats because they offer a wide variety, all with UPF 50+. One of my favorite styles is the packable wide brim hat because it offers:
- A broad 4″ wide brim that shades your face and neck
- A full lining for maximum sun protection
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- An affordable way to boost your sun protection in style!
When choosing a hat it is important to remember that all hats do not provide the same amount of protection. Hats with brims less than 3 inches offer much less protection, providing about SPF 3 for the nose, SPF 2 for the cheeks and neck, and none for the chin. Baseball style caps offer about SPF 5-7 for the nose, but little protection for the cheeks and chin, and none for the ears or neck.
Whether for fashion, fun or shade, sun hats are a great way to add extra protection this summer and all throughout the year. Remember, any hat is better than just sunscreen alone!
By: Nicole Hill, MPAS, PA-C