On the Virtues of Hats and Sun Protection

Have you ever watched a cool costume drama with fabulous hats ? If you have, and you are like me, you may have turned toward your companion and said, " I wish people still wore hats like they used to. "  But this costume drama look would not translate well today. Too bad, since sun protection is more important than ever. 

Just recently I attended a big university graduation in Northern California. This changed my view on whether hats could be re-adopted en masse. I was pleased to see that I was not the only one trying to pull off a sizable hat with a contemporary outfit. I saw hats of every kind. Many were large and truly sun protective. I saw hats on women, hats on men, and even hats on young men. The event was sunny, outdoors and upscale, and some women even had clusters of silk flowers on the bands. Older men had brimmed straw hats with striped ribbon bands or school colors. It was a fantastic show of spunk and it emboldened me to bring the tradition home. 

Sun protection is only beginning to be taken seriously. Hats are fun but sunscreen is very important. Sunscreen is safe and omitting it is not. One in five people in the US will get skin cancer.  I write to day to remind you of the basic sunscreen facts, gleaned from the American Academy of Dermatology, aad.org. Look for "Broad Spectrum" water resistant sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. Avoid using expired sunscreen. Apply at least 15 minutes before going into the sun so your skin can absorb the protective molecules. ( Who knew ? )  Use plenty, and apply it everywhere the sun may touch, even the part of your hair if you are hatless. Reapply in two hours and after swimming or sweating. If you want to be tan, use tan in a can. It too is safe and gets better every year. Here's to your healthy and good looking summer.