Multiple hours of outdoor fun can lead to premature wrinkling and hyperpigmentation of the skin. Clients are always asking what they can do about the sun damage on the neck and chest: the area I refer to as “the tank top triangle.” This area gets lots of exposure, but does not get the same level of care on a regular basis as the face. The suggested treatment is a series of peels and nourishing facials to encourage new protein production and boost antioxidant and moisture levels. This brings the skin back to a more healthy state…but what about prevention of further damage? Many clients ask me what they can do (in addition to sunscreen) to protect their neck and chest from excessive sun damage while playing and excercising outdoors. Well, ask and you shall receive!
Sunscreen is necessary. However, when you are planning on being outdoors on a regular basis, or for many hours at any one time, you need more protection! What can you do to protect your skin when your SPF wont cut it?
Look for UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). UPF is a rating given to clothing that has the ability to block UV Radiation. The UPF factor ranges from 15 (which is considered to block about
93.3-95.9% of UV rays) to the preferred UPF 50+, which provides almost 100% UV protection. When layered over sunscreen, UPF can physically block UV Radiation away from the skin, no matter how much you sweat or swim! There are many different styles made for all sorts of outdoor activities. While running everyday at about high noon, wearing a shirt with UPF of 50+ will almost guarantee your “tank top triangle” will be a thing of the past!
This article from The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) fully explains what UPF is and how it protects your skin from the sun:
Here are some really great web stores carrying UPF clothing:
Coolibar has a great selection for ‘active’ clothing.
Alex and Me is a fully loaded online boutique for UPF clothing.
Here’s the cute hat I have from San Diego Hat Company.