The best sun protection for your skin of your face and your eyes needs to include the right hat or visor. Importantly, many hats and visors don't do a good job. I know because I've done over 200,000 skin exams during my dermatology career and I've seen the results of my patients' choices for sun protection.
What are the best visors and hats for sun protection?
It depends on the construction of the sun hat or sun visor:
A good sun visor or hat must:
- Have a full brim measuring 3 to 5 inches to adequately shade your face down to your jaw.
- Be made of material that the sun's rays can't penetrate. This is often denoted as UPF 50 if UV protection has been tested.
- Unless you have a really thick head of hair without a part line, I recommend a hat over a visor because the skin on your scalp needs protection too (trust me, skin cancer on the scalp is common and you want to avoid it.)
I've been using and selling the best simple sun hat for years. It's a UPF50 bucket hat that can go from garden to hike to an outdoor dressy event. It packs, washes and is economical. I keep one rolled in my purse during the summer months when live draws me outside.
When you wear a sun hat or sun visor, you still need sunscreen because UV rays bounce up from the ground into the shade your hat or visor has created for your face.
My Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible SPF 50 Creme is oil-free and perfect for all complexions types and sensitive skin.
Reapply sunscreen conveniently during extended sun exposure with my Sheer Strength Pure Physical SPF 30 Refresh Sunscreen Powder. The iron oxide tinting blends into all skin color tones and provides additional protection from visible and blue light that can contribute to skin pigment problems such as melasma and sun spots.
Additional recommendations for picking the best sun hats and visors for all of your needs:
- For travel, you want a crush-able hat to roll up to pack quickly into your bag when you’re on the go.
- You want a good-looking casual hat to wear while you run errands around town, when you head to the farmer’s market or a picnic, when you are on a tour, while you watch an outdoor game, or when you attend a backyard barbeque.
- Look for a breathable, high-performance hat to wear when you’re sweaty and working hard gardening, hiking, running, golfing, playing tennis, bike riding, or kayaking.
- It's nice to have a dressy hat to wear to fancy outdoor events like weddings, parties, and dressy outdoor social events.
A really good sun hat or visor will help shade your eyes but I still recommend you wear a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses that wrap around slightly to prevent any stray UV rays from hitting your eyes because they can cause cataracts. and you're ready to bring on the sun! - Dr. Bailey
Remember, not just any hat will do to protect your face and eyes from sun, you need the best sun hat or visor.
You must protect the sides of your face, ears and neck so don't wear a ball cap or skimpy front visor; those are my "job security." Look at your skin. If you've been wearing a ball cap or billed front visor for years, you will see that the sides of your face and the sides and back of your neck show more signs of damage, wrinkling and pigment skin problems than your forehead and nose. Is this where your doctor finds more suspicious lesions and precancerous growths?
In my opinion, ball caps are fashion accessories for indoor and evening wear. When you are outside during the day, you need the best full brim sun hat or visor that protects ears, cheeks and the sides of your neck.