Sunday, August 2, 2020

How much sun does your hat keep off your face?

Since different hats offer varying degrees of sun protection, I’m providing the following examples in order to show you how the sun can get to you even if you are wearing a hat. If you’re not wearing a hat, you are getting full sun on your entire face. I leave it up to you to know how much sun you are being shielded from with your choice of hat, but in the meantime, here are some examples of protection.

When wearing a baseball cap or visor only your forehead, nose, and part of your cheeks are shaded. Here, not even Josh Groban’s cheeks are being protected. Baseball caps basically give you very little sun shieldingexcept for the forehead. However, a baseball cap is better than no hat at all.

It is only while wearing a wide-brimmed hat that you are fully protecting your face from the damaging rays of the sun. And even this isn’t actually 100% true. Unless you never look up, having your gaze at the ground and depending on where the sun is in the sky, even a wide-brimmed hat can’t keep all sun off your face.

Whether driving with the top down on your convertible or with the sunroof open, you are getting a lot of direct sun exposure. In fact, depending on what you are wearing, you can get odd-looking tan lines from simply driving in your car. Bald-headed men are particularly susceptible to the harmful rays of the sun while driving around unprotected. In this photo, there is one good sun protection item going on: one of the two young ladies is wearing a long-sleeved top. At least her arms are protected, her face—not so much! Their exuberance, however, is undeniable.

This hat seems like it would be a good face protectorand it is up to a point. As you can see it doesn’t create a shadow on the bottom 1/3 of the face. And this lady has her head a bit tilted down. When you’re out and about, walking or whatever you’re doing with a hat like this on, you will be getting sun on more of your face than you may be of.

This hat is a bit silly, but it would definitely give you more sun shielding than many of the options above. I think this is more of a sitting-by-the-pool-sipping-something-yummy hat, but it would give you pretty good protection from UV rays.

Just about the only protection you can truly get from full-on sun exposure (other than not going outside) is to wear a ski mask. Perhaps cutedefinitely hotbut obviously not desirable unless you’re skiing, then it’s a great way to keep sun off your face.

My point is: know what your hat is doing or not doing for you and how much sun exposure you’re actually getting. It’s not about not going outside or even not getting any sun on your skin; the advice I provide is hopefully helpful so when you do decide to be outside you’ll be armed not only with information but with good sun protection. Long-term you will be happy you protected your skin, no matter how much or how little.

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