Other Ways To Protect Skin From Sun

I’m a big fan of sunscreen for sun protection. However, sunscreen isn’t perfect and it’s still allowing some of the sun’s ray to reach your skin. Cue the other ways to protect skin from sun that are going to block close to 100% of the sun without the oily sunscreen skin. You can combine these methods for even better results. Try implementing one of these changes at a time, and reap the rewards of healthy outdoor living.

Ways To Protect Skin From Sun Other Than Sunscreen

Stay Indoors

Move to Transylvania and adopt a sun-averse lifestyle. This may be harder for some than others. Alternatively, avoid being outside between the hours of 10AM and 2PM so you miss out on the worst parts of the day when the sun is really bearing down.

vampire costume

Cue vampire costume circa Halloween 2013.

Tint Your Car Windows

You probably spend an hour a day driving to and from work. Maybe more during the weekends while doing errands and shuttling yourself back and forth from all your fabulous events.

More skin cancers in America happen on the left side of the body than the right. (1) One of the theories on why this happens is that in the U.S. drivers sit on the left side of the car.

In Australia, they have more cancers on the right.

UVA light can penetrate glass and increase the amount of total UV rays you’re exposed to every day. This is a simple, one-time method that can make a big difference.

Why do you think ladies used to wear gloves while driving? I don’t believe it’s for the better “grip.” Instead, I think these smart ladies were simply avoiding the age spots that sprout up on the backs of your hands from sun exposure.

Sidenote: If you like driving with the windows down and the sunroof open, this won’t help you much.

Wear a Hat

The top of your head is sensitive. The tops of your ears are sensitive. Your hair is good protection from the sun, but only you can make it better by putting on a hat. Not only will your hair stay more moisturized and lustrous, your skin will thank you immensely. Men especially tend to get skin cancers on the tops of their ears. For all my

Men especially tend to get skin cancers on the tops of their ears. For all my bald readers out there, I’m looking at you here. I know you have suffered at least one painful sunburn from the sun’s direct rays on your sensitive scalp. I have seen some big cancers right at the top of the scalp in various patients. All easily avoidable by wearing a stylish

I have seen some big cancers right at the top of the scalp in various patients. All easily avoidable by wearing a stylish wide-brimmed hat.

ways to protect skin from sun hat pool

This is me wearing my favorite wide-brimmed hat.

Stay in the Shade

You just got to the beach or pool, and you’re staking out a good spot for spending the day lounging and drinking by the water. For the love of god, do not choose the sunniest place to put down your things. Your skin will suffer for it.

If you really have to go get your tan on (I highly discourage this), place your things in the shade so that you are forced to come back periodically.

Do not make a habit out of sitting out in the sun all day. Commit to a shady spot that will give your skin a break.

sitting in the shade

Some friendly friends sitting in the shade of a big umbrella.

Use an Umbrella

You might be wondering what it’s like to go to the beach with a dermprincess. It’s an expedition, to say the least. My boyfriend will complain incessantly about how much stuff I have to bring with me every time.

I don’t leave the house with only a bottle of sunscreen in hand and a carefree attitude. I leave the house with matching beach chairs, a small cooler (well stocked with water and drinks), a bag with towels, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses, and most importantly a large beach umbrella.

Do I recommend that you become an Asian grandma and purchase a hat umbrella? If you’re into it, go for it.

Wear Long-sleeved Shirts and Pants

This post wasn’t meant to cater to bikini clad fashionistas in St. Tropez. Clothes can block the sun better than your sunscreen can.

You can bump up the SPF on your clothes by washing them in special laundry treatments. The tighter the weave of the fabric of whatever you’re wearing the better the protection. A loose, transparent blouse might not add much in the way of sun protection.

A quick way to determine how protective your clothing is: hold it up to the sun and see how much light shines through. This gives you a rough estimate on how protective that piece of clothing is.

Rash Guards

Anyone who has been to the beach or pool with me knows that I love rash guards. I think they are the most fashionable way to protect your skin, and they have really made a splash this summer.

I didn’t use to see them carried in stores nearly as frequently as they do now. You can buy really cool prints, and wear them over your bathing suit. They dry quickly and last a long time if you take care of them. They come in crop top versions that offer less sun protection than long sleeved, full-length styles, but it’s better than the strings on a bikini.

crop top rash guard ways to protect skin from sun

A crop top rash guard is stylish and sun-safe. This is my “stylish” face.

Big Sunglasses

Your eyes are sensitive to the sun just like your skin is.

What contributes to eye wrinkles? Squinting. 

What causes squinting? Bright lights.

Don’t squint.

Throw on a pair of ray-bans or that $5 pair of sunglasses you got at Forever 21 last weekend instead. The bigger the better. They don’t call them big bug eye sunglasses for nothing!

And when in doubt, you can fall back on our trusty friend sunscreen. Don’t forget to reapply generously. What are your favorite ways to ways to protect skin from sun exposure?


  1. Skin Cancer Foundation. Driving is Linked with More Skin Cancers on the Left Side of the Body. http://www.skincancer.org/publications/sun-and-skin-news/summer-2010-27-2/driving-linked

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