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Protection from the Sun: When Sunscreen Isn't Enough
It's not uncommon in Asia to see umbrellas used for more than just a rain shower. Head out on a sunny day in Taiwan, and you could still be dodging them. I saw many women walking down the street in the protection of an umbrella's shade on a day when the sun's rays beat down. I would dodge them, wiping off perspiration, hoping that my sunscreen lasted. I'm sure that my freckles made me look mottled to most Taiwanese. Okay, so I like my freckles, but there is that pesky issue of skin cancer.
There's a company, Soleil Chic with a mission to keep people's skin shielded from the sun. After her husband died of skin cancer, Lynn Rose began making umbrellas and hats that block UVA and UVB rays. Even if you put on sunscreen, unless you reapply it every two hours, you're not as protected as you might think.
This article in the Washington Post in August is about how umbrellas are becoming more common for anytime weather in the U.S. For those looking for better protection, Soleil Chic products look like a great option. However, as you travel about, don't forget you have one of these umbrellas, and leave it behind somewhere. They aren't that cheap, They are less expensive, however than a pair of high quality sunglasses.