HEALTH & WELLNESS: Enjoying the sun without the burn

Hats like these are not only trendy, but the best styles for protecting yourself from the UV rays during summer, as well.


Protecting your skin during the sunnier months of spring and summer involves more than slathering on a quality sunscreen.
Those at risk of skin cancers or who have had cancers removed should consider doubling protection by purchasing clothing that provides a barrier between skin and the sun’s harmful rays.

Sun damage can occur while working in the yard or garden, playing in the water or while exercising, which is why more people are becoming conscientious of sun damage. More and more sun-protective clothing lines are trending to many new and fun styles and include essentials such as broad brimmed hats.

J.C. Penney in Greenville is one particular clothing store offering a line of its own active wear called Xersion, which has both moisture wicking and sun protective properties. These properties are essential in controlling body temperature and  preventing sunburn. Priced reasonably, the Xersion line of clothing is both available in stores and online through

“All the tags on Xersion state they help protect against UV rays,” said Sue St. Onge, Greenville J.C. Penny store manager.

In addition to athletic wear, some swimsuits are also manufactured with sun-protective material, helping to shield those areas that may not be covered by sunscreen. While J.C. Penny Company does not offer sun protective swim wear, Meijer does have swimsuits made of the special material.

When it comes to knowing what to purchase, look for a UV protection factor listed on clothing tags. According to, a UPF of 30 indicates that 1/30 of UV rays will reach the skin. The site also suggests water enthusiasts should wear rash guards, which are tight-fitting athletic shirts.

The sudden popularity of hats is attributed to popular television shows. They are a great way to shield your far neck and shoulders from harmful rays.
Sunshine can be a rare commodity in Michigan, so when the golden rays illuminate the sky, it is tempting to throw caution to the wind and soak it all in. While it is important to get necessary vitamin D from the sun’s rays, it is equally important to enjoy the light and warmth of the sun safely.

Clothing is the first line of defense when protecting the body’s largest organ. Before taking a walk or run along the shores of Lake Michigan, slather on sunscreen, purchase protective clothing and enjoy the summer worry-free.

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