These Sun Hats Reinforce Your SPF and Protect Your Ears and Neck, Too
When it comes to summer accessories, the most important item to own is a quality sun hat, which will help protect you from harmful UV rays. But remember, just because you're wearing a hat doesn't mean you can skip the sunscreen. "A sun hat should be viewed as a secondary measure of protection against UV rays," says Dr. Elizabeth Hale, board-certified dermatologist and a vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation. "You should always also use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours while in the sun."
As for what to look for in a sun hat? "The wider the brim, the better the protection," explains Dr. Hale. "Look for ones that shade not only your scalp, but the sides of your face, ears, and back of your neck. These are all common areas for squamous cell carcinoma, and something like a baseball hat doesn't provide protection to these spots." Dr. Hale also notes that your hat should ideally be "made from a light-colored fabric to reflect sun rays and is rated UPF 50 or higher." A UPF rating stands for "Ultraviolet Protection Factor" and indicates how much UV radiation a fabric allows to penetrate; UPF 50 rating blocks 98 percent of the sun's rays. Ahead, our picks for the best sun hats that will keep you safe all summer long.