Most Australians are pretty good at remembering sunscreen these days (mainly because we’ve all learnt the hard way how painful sunburn is). We wear long-sleeve shirts and hats. But we often forget one area of the body that catches plenty of sun year-round – our neck.
The neck is a tricky spot when it comes to sun protection. Most tops don’t come up high enough to cover it, and a lot of caps and hats fall well short of offering adequate protection. But if you’ve ever been sunburnt in this sensitive spot, you’ll know how important to include neck sun protection in your sun-safe regimen!
Here’s how to keep your neck safe from the sun during summer, beyond the standard sunscreen (although we’ve included that too!).
1. Choose a high-neck sun protection shirt
UPF50+ sun protective clothing is the best way to protect your skin. Our range includes sun-protective base layer shirts with high necks, specifically to stave off the Aussie sun’s harsh rays.
These lightweight, breathable tops are made from nylon and polyurethane, and they block 98% of UVA and UVB rays from hitting your skin. They also wick moisture away from the skin, and can cool your body by up to 5 degrees Celsius thanks to our patented cooling technology.
Unlike other undergarments, you’ll forget you’re even wearing our sun protection base layers – they allow for maximum movement and optimal comfort, so they’re excellent for busy people or those with physical jobs or hobbies. Plus, they’re easy to wash in the machine and dry quickly, ready to wear again. Pop one on under your top or t-shirt whenever you head outside, for an extra layer of sun protection around your neck.
2. Add a UV face shield
If you’re outside for long periods and want to ensure your neck has maximum protection, another option is a UV face shield (also called a gaiter). Worn in conjunction with sunscreen and a hat, a face shield is the best sun protection you can get for your neck, and there are five versatile colours to choose from.
A UV face shield is ideal for outdoor chores around the house such as lawnmowing, or for those who work outside, like tradespeople or even teachers. Our UV face shields are made from the same UPF50+ fabric as our popular sun sleeves, giving you protection against 98% of UVA and UVB rays; they really are the best when it comes to neck sun protection.
The mesh section at the front is there for breathability, not UV protection, so don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your face before popping the face shield on. And remember, this is a UV face shield, not a medical face mask – it won’t protect you against airborne viruses like Covid-19.
3. Apply SPF50+ sunscreen
Whether you’ll be standing on the cricket pitch all day or ducking in and out of shops running errands, the easiest way to ensure your neck is protected is to apply a layer of our organic, dermatologically tested SPF50+ sunscreen made from natural ingredients. You’re already applying it to your face, so it will only take you a few extra seconds to lather up your neck too (don’t forget your ears, too).
Make sure you pop sunscreen on at least 20 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours – more frequently if you’ve been swimming or sweating a lot. Adults need about 35mls for a full-body application, which is about one teaspoon per limb: one for the front of your body, one for the back, and one for your face. Always supervise kids when they’re applying sunscreen and help make sure they don’t miss any spots.
4. Invest in a good wide-brimmed hat
According to The Cancer Council, a wide-brim hat, in combination with sunscreen, can protect both your face and neck from the sun. Look for one with a really wide brim – for bucket hats, that’s at least 6cm wide for adults and 5cm for children, and for broad brim hats, at least 7.5cm. You could also opt for a legionnaire hat with a neck flap. Baseball caps and fedoras are good for shielding your eyes, but won’t help protect your face or neck from the sun at all.
With skin cancer rates in Australia one of the highest in the world, it really is important to think about every area of your body that’s exposed. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. Sun-protective clothing for your neck is the most effective option, followed by sunscreen and a wide-brim hat.