When traveling for work or for leisure, protecting yourself from the sun can sometimes be the last thing on your mind.
But regardless of where or when you travel, you can be exposed to ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun. While this UV radiation helps with the production of vitamin D for bone growth and development, overexposure can also bring numerous risks like sunburn, premature aging, and skin damage.
Thus, you should prioritize UV protection whether you’re doing outdoor activities like hiking and swimming or simply walking around. Below are the essential items to carry with you so you can freely travel, work, and play outside without risking your skin and overall health.
Even if it’s not sunny or warm at your travel destination, bringing sunscreen is always a must. Sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 30 can filter out UVA and UVB rays, which can otherwise cause visible burns and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
Aside from looking at the SPF, consider using reef-safe sunscreens if you’re going on an aquatic adventure. These products, such as the Maui Naturals Surfer Honey, are as protective and nourishing as regular sunscreen but don’t contribute to coral bleaching and water contamination as they don’t contain harmful chemicals like oxybenzone.
Aside from the skin, the soft eye tissue can also be easily penetrated and damaged by UV rays. Thus, it’s essential to wear sunglasses that can protect the eyes and the surrounding skin area, preventing the risk of cataract formation, vision damage, and other eye problems.
The eyewear brand Ray-Ban offers sunglasses in various frame styles with maximum UV protection, such as the classic Aviator and sleek Clubmaster. You can also choose from lens options like a polarized filter to minimize glare from reflective surfaces and increase visual clarity. Overall, a good pair of sunglasses should balance style, comfort, and eye health all at once.
3. Sun hat
Much like sunglasses, sun hats can enhance your style and comfort while also providing much-needed protection from harsh UV rays. A previous list of travel essentials for the summer hence includes moisture-wicking hats made of lightweight material that absorbs sweat and shields you from sunlight even on the hottest of days.
You can opt for the unisex MISSION Baseball Cap if you’re simply planning to go sightseeing throughout the day. Meanwhile, the KANUT SPORTS wide-brim bucket hat is perfect for more adventurous outdoor activities like fishing and hiking.
Lastly, you should also carefully choose your clothing to protect the areas missed by your hat, shades, and sunscreen application. In terms of coverage, try to wear lightweight and breathable long-sleeved shirts and skirts when possible.
If such clothing isn’t practical for the weather at your travel destination, opt for specially designed shirts and tank tops with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). Similar to sunscreens, clothing with a higher UPF rating helps ensure less radiation reaches your skin. Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon are also known to provide greater UV protection than natural fibers.
The bottom line is that you can’t sacrifice UV safety and protection, especially during a trip where one bad sunburn can easily ruin your travel experience.
You can further reinforce these items’ sun-safe benefits by not scheduling your activities when the sun is strongest and using breaks to hydrate and reapply sunscreen.