Sun protection factors Sunscreen When it come sunscreen, Environmental Working Group spokesperson Leeann Brown says, “Apply a lot, and often!” One ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) is usually enough to cover sun-exposed body parts, but sunscreens break down in the sun and get wiped away with water, swat, and towel drying, so reapply after getting wet or sweaty or least every two hours. EWG gives the thumbs-up to broad spectrum, mineral-based zinc oxide or titanium dioxide creams that filter significant proportions of both UVA and UVB rays and have an SPF of at least 30. Avoid sprays that can be inhaled and any product that contains hormone-disrupting oxybenzone. Hat Wearing a hat with at least a 3-inch brim provides portable shade protection, says California-based dermatologist Maryam Asgari, MD, MPH. “Fabric weave color, stretch, and weight are key factors in how much sun protection your hat will offer,” Asgari adds. “Look for hats rated UPF 50 or higher. If you cannot find a UPF rating, a good rule of thumb is to hold the hat up to the light and look thorough it. If you see light, the light can see you.” Choose a hat with a dark-colored under brim to absorb reflected UV light. While baseball caps provide some shade, keep in mind they leave your ears and neck unprotected. Green Tea While no substitute for sunscreen or hat, drinking green tea offers a measure of protection from the inside out. It can help squelch inflammation and DNA damage caused by UV radiation, says Santosh K. Katiyar, PhD, professor of dermatology and environmental health sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank green tea were less likely to become sunburned when exposed to UV rays. Katiyar recommends drinking three to four cups per day of green tea made form Camellia sinensis leaves.