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Effective sun protection options that aren’t sunscreen

2020-07-25

If you can, you should absolutely wear sunscreen when you're out and about this summer (and any time you're outside during the day, really). But protective lotions, sprays, and oils aren't foolproof.

Why bother with extra protection? People with a history of skin cancer or those with fair skin may want to further reduce their exposure to harmful UV rays.

If you already have a sunburn but want to enjoy the outdoors, you'll want to make sure to double up on protection, too.

Add another layer of skin protection with these sun-blocking accessories.

Speedo Men's UV Loose Fit Tee: $17.90+ at Amazon

After some time, your slathered on sunscreen will lose its effectiveness during a swim. This tee provides UV and UPF protection (50+) and is quick-drying, so it's comfy enough to wear out of the water. It's looser than a traditional rash guard, but you can size down if a tight fit is what you're after.

Hanes Men's Long Sleeve Cool Dri T-Shirt: $15.99+ at Amazon

It seems a bit strange to suggest sporting a long-sleeved shirt on a hot summer day, but long sleeves (and pants) are a tried and true way to protect your skin from harmful rays. The shirt is sold in a two-pack and features UPF 50+ rated fabric. Even though it offers more coverage than a tee, the material promotes a cooling effect by wicking sweat away from the skin.

Sport-Bella Versa-Bella Adjustable Umbrella: $19.99 at Amazon

This nifty umbrella is perfect for all kinds of outdoor summer activities. You can keep it in your trunk just in case so you'll always be prepared when you receive impromptu invites to outdoor events like last-minute picnics in the park or afternoons at the beach. The umbrella blocks almost 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays and is highly adjustable. You can also swivel it around (360-degree rotation) or tilt it according to the sun's direction.

UV Protection Face Mask: $24.59 at Amazon

Protect yourself from the sun and from COVID-19 with this set of six neck gaiters. Wear them in multiple ways, including as a face mask or bandana. The lightweight fabric is soft to the touch and works just as well for winter sun protection as it does for the summer.

Colorscience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Brush: $65 at Amazon

Not interested in applying sunscreen because you're worried it might ruin your meticulously applied makeup? Use a makeup product that combines the UV-ray banishing effects of SPF 30 sunscreen with the flawless coverage of a lightweight foundation. We love that the brush-on product is non-greasy and long-lasting. Remember, though, that if you plan to be outside in the sun for a while, you'll need to apply sunscreen or use some other form of sun protection as well.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Bhakti Sun Shawl: $39 at Amazon

Throw this stylish scarf around your neck the next time you're heading out in the sun. It's a great accessory to have on hand. Wrap it around your shoulders at an outdoor party or wedding event so your upper body is protected from the sun. At night, use it to keep your exposed shoulders warm.

Diogo Universal Cool Shade Static Sun Shade: $5.99 at Macy's

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the windows on cars, planes, and trains effectively block UVB rays but are no match for penetrating UVA rays. Windshields may have some UVA protection, but other windows in a vehicle don't, which leaves drivers and passengers vulnerable -- especially on long car rides on the open road. Stick these sun shades on car windows to keep yourself and anyone else on board safe from sun damage. Peel them off and re-use them in different vehicles or on plane, bus, and train trips.

KAVU Lady Leah Sun Hat: $31.47 at Backcountry (was $44.95

People rarely apply sunscreen to their scalps, which leaves this sensitive area exposed and vulnerable to harmful penetrating rays. Protect your noggin with a stylish sun hat like this KAVU. Don the French-striped model and pretend you're a chic riviera-bound traveler as you sip on a homemade cocktail in your comfiest deck chair. The wide brim keeps the sun off your face, and an interior sweatband keeps beads of sweat from ruining a perfect makeup look.

Duerer Sun Shade Sails Canopy: $36.99 at Amazon

Add some UV protection to your swimming pool area with one of these shade canopies. They block up to 95 percent of UV rays. Sun shades like these are great for people who live on properties with very little shade from trees. You'll need something to anchor the D rings, so consider this before making a final purchase decision. Each canopy is 10 by 13 feet.

Steph Coelho is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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