One of the best ways to protect against sun damage is to block the sun’s UV radiation with clothing, a hat, and sunglasses. In direct sunlight, wearing sun smart clothing protects you better than sunscreen.
Suntips for protecting your body
- Slip on a shirt: Sun smart clothing can protect you from UV radiation better than sunscreen.
- Go long: Choose long-sleeved shirts, and long pants or skirts made of tightly-woven (not sheer) fabric. Light colours reflect the sun’s rays best.
- Stay loose: Loose-fitting clothes will help you feel cooler.
- Shop smart: A number of clothing companies offer sun protective clothing, including sports clothes.
Suntips for protecting your head
- Slap on a hat: A hat is important because it protects your face, neck and ears from the sun — these are areas especially at risk for sun damage and skin cancer.
- Bigger is better: Choose a hat with at least an eight centimetre (three inch) brim all around.
- Avoid ALL CAPS: Baseball caps don’t cut it, because they don’t protect the back of your neck or the top of your ears.
- Double up: Always wear sunscreen on your face as well, especially if you’re by water, sand or snow. These reflective surfaces can bounce UV radiation upwards and burn an unprotected face.
Suntips for protecting your eyes
- Slide on some shades: Wearing sunglasses will cut down on the sun’s glare and protect your eyes from UV radiation. UV radiation contributes to the development of cataracts, which require eye surgery.
- Block it all out: Choose sunglasses that block both ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays. It’s the UV coating that provides protection — not the darkness of the lens — so check the tag before you buy.
- Make a statement: Sunglasses with large lenses are good at keeping UV radiation from entering your eyes. Wraparound shades provide even better protection.