Your Straw Hat Isn’t Doing S&*% And Why You Need These Items For Serious Sun Protection

full face visor

I never took sun protection seriously until I moved to Los Angeles. You have to living here. The sun is so powerful and the unknowingly daily exposure from being in the car and running around doing errands really adds up. So, I’m vigilant daily, in the car, on vacations, before and after laser treatments, and the below products help me stay protected by blocking 98-99% of UV rays.

Many people, myself included in the past, use regular straw hats to block the sun, but see those tiny little holes that allow light through? Yeah, that’s UVA & UVB penetrating. I learned my lesson the hard way right after I moved to LA. I had just found a great dermatologist to continue doing laser treatments where my NYC doctor had left off in an attempt to reverse the damage I’ve done to my skin from smoking and tanning (it is possible – read here for how), but after two treatments I started noticing my hyper-pigmentation spots were getting darker?! The culprit – not reapplying my sunscreen every two hours and a flimsy straw hat that was allowing UV rays to get to my fragile post laser skin (The skin is very fragile after laser and UV exposure can cause severe pigmentation.)

I was lucky that the spots only darkened slightly before I figured out what I was doing wrong. But since then, I’ve become diligent about protecting my skin. I mean, why spend all this money on laser treatments and high end skincare products only to not protect it from damaging UVs?!

Read on for a review of the sun protection items that keep me protected!


full face visor

Product: Sovis Solar Visor – Oversized

Best for: In the car, full face coverage from the front and above

Fit: Adjustable headband

Feel: Comfortable, padded headband, not too tight

Pros: I love this full face visor! I know I probably scar people when I walk around with this baby on, but this polycarbonate film visor blocks 97-99% of UVA/UVB rays and is patented in over 80 countries! It also comes with a certification, which is very important to me, that it does actually block the UV rays it says it does.

I love this visor for full face coverage from the front and above and  find that it shields my face really well when I’m in the car. It’s easy to see through and can be lowered and lifted. **It can be lowered a little bit more than pictured above.

Cons: While the name is “full face visor” it actually doesn’t cover the full face. It does lack coverage along the lower jar portion, neck and near the ears (if your hair is up). If I’m walking outside with this on and the sun is low in the sky, I will pair it with the Coolibar scarf listed below to cover my neck or I wrap the scarf around my head for full coverage. #problemsolved

Price:  $31.99 – www.sovis-usa.com

coolibar hat full face visor

Product: Coolibar Sun Hat UPF 50+

Best for: Midday running errands where you’re only in the sun for short periods

Fit: Loose, can be adjusted with a drawstring inside the hat

Feel: Lightweight cotton

Pros: Coolibar is one of my favorite protective wear companies. They were the first clothing brand to receive the Seal of Recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation, and their clothes have a built in UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) or 50+ meaning that only 1/50 of the sun’s rays are able to penetrate their products blocking about 98% of UV rays.

This lightweight sun hat is my go-to hat for midday errands. I always keep one in my car or in my purse since it folds up easily and fits in my handbag without wrinkling or creasing. And I love that is is machine washable!

Cons: The brim is quite shallow. This hat protects the face when the sun is high in the sky roughly 10am – 2pm, but after that it doesn’t do a good job protecting the lower face.

Price: $48 – www.coolibar.com

coolibar scarf

Product: Coolibar Infinity Scarf UPF 50+

Best for: Anytime

Fit: Loose, comfortable

Feel: Slightly heavy because it is double layered and made from polyester/spandex

Pros: This scarf is a MUST for anyone who gets laser skin treatments or just wants to be diligent about sun protection! Hats and the visor are only able to cover adequately the top portion of the face, so when the sun is low in the sky this scarf can protect the lower half that is exposed.

I wear this scarf on walks to protect my neck, or draped over my head to protect my ears, jawline and neck after I have laser treatments in the car or outside. Typically, I wear this paired with a hat for my walks with Bean.

And it’s machine washable – which comes in handy since I find myself sweating under this thing out hiking and walking.

Cons: While the material says it’s breathable, it’s not that lightweight. It is a little hot to wear when it’s warm out, but the benefit of being protected is worth it IMO.

Price: $39.50 – www.coolibar.com

**I’m also a huge fan of these UPF 50 gloves from Coolibar that I wear while driving to protect my hands from aging!


Written & Photographed by Amy Chang, founder & editor