Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hats, Hats, Hats! Protect your skin in the sun

A client of mine was going to Arizona for a vacation one summer. I asked if she had a good hat, and she said no. I knew this client didn’t have a lot of money to spend on a hat, so I recommended she go to Target. They always seem to have good, inexpensive hats that I call Throw Aways.

I rarely spend more than $10-$15 on a hat. It has to pack well (being able to fold and mash it in a suitcase or bag is imperative!) and if I lose it, I am not out much money. Plus I know there are more where it came from. In fact, when I find a hat I truly love, I usually buy two of them. Having a spare for insurance means if I lose it or something happens to my beloved hat, there is always one waiting in the wings. The one exception to this is the hat(s) I wear out with the horses. In this case, I do spend money on a hat that has good coverage. I’ve found REI consistently has good wide-brimmed hats that hold up over time. (These are generally not the mashable kind.)
Probably my first hat on my 2nd birthday
Hats, for me, are very important. I simply don’t want direct sunlight on my face—ever! Even now that I’m in my 50s, I continue to be as careful about sun exposure as I have been most of my adult life, certainly more so than when I was in my teens and early 20s and didn’t really care or think about sun exposure unless I was at the beach. There I always covered my face but not while I was walking on the sand or the street or to and from my car. But now I always have something between my face and the sun.

Keep your hats handy and try to have something for every occasion. Running, skating, walking, golfing, boating, snow skiing, biking, motorcycling, dress up, dress down; you name it, you’ll have a hat. Of course, many of these activities can share one hat.

Sometimes a bandana is the only appropriate sun protection. If you water ski, for instance, you can wear a bandana tied around your head, at least covering your forehead. A tight-fitting visor can work here as well since a hat would never stay on during this type of activity.

Be creative and stay well-protected. You’ll thank yourself as you watch the years go by. Sun is the number one cause of premature aging.

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