"Your skin looks good," said Dr. A at my recent dermatology checkup. "Unless you see any other odd spots, I don't need to see you for a year." He did take off a small mole on my tummy that was irritated, but he didn't think it was precancerous. Good thing I don't wear bikinis anymore.
Since my mom had surgery for melanoma when she was post-50, I'm very conscientious about my visits to the dermatologist and staying safe in the sun. Growing up in the '60s, there wasn't as much focus on sun protection. My mom worshiped the sun and usually had a deep Bain de Soleil tan every summer. I had a deep tan, too, and now I'm paying for the beach days of my youth with lots of wrinkles and dark spots on my face.
A Sun-Protective Clothing Line
In addition to lathering on SPF creams and sprays, now there is protective fashion made with fabrics that block the skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays. I had a chance to try some styles from the Sundriven brand and really like them. The founder Mitzi Runyan is from California and shared more details on why she developed the line and its benefits.
Mitzi Runyan is founder of Sundriven Age-Defying UV Wear.
"From my early time as a makeup artist for top luxury brands to more recent years in the Beverly Hills medical spa industry, one question was asked again and again: How old do I look?" said Mitzi. "While I did everything possible to help hide the aging on their face, the sun damage on their hands always gave away their true age. And no matter what I did, the sun would cause their wrinkles and lines to reappear."
After her grandparents were diagnosed with melanoma, she decided to change her outdoor habits and find a way to enable women of all ages to embrace the outdoors while looking stylish and staying safe.
"I came to the conclusion that women need something new to protect them from UV rays year-round: A highly fashionable, extremely effective line of products to protect their skin from sun damage and aging. Thus, the Sundriven brand was born," said Mitzi.
Age-Defying UV Wear
Mitzi tested her first line of products extensively to make sure the fabrics were not only comfortable and breathable, but that they protected the skin from harmful UV rays. She started with driving gloves because her research showed that hands are one of the biggest age giveaway zones of the body.
"On average, a woman spends 800+ hours per year driving, exposing her hands to UVA/UVB rays. Talk about unintentional sunbathing," said Mitzi.
Mitzi started her clothing line with gloves because hands are one of the biggest age giveaway zones of the body.
Her clothing line quickly grew to include scarves, wraps, ponchos and other apparel. The dresses are pretty, and the fitness and athleisure wear is nice, too.
Garments are eco-friendly and handmade in Los Angeles, California, with Sundriven's exclusive fabric technology, PrioriTec, which is 98% effective blocking UVA/UVB rays and tested UPF/SPF 50+. The fabric regulates skin temperature, keeping you comfortable in hot weather as it absorbs 50% more moisture than cotton or synthetic fibers while releasing excess moisture into the air.
Wrapped Up In Sun Protection
Mitzi provided me with two Millie Wraps—aqua and black—and a 7-Way Wrap in graphite. The Millie Wraps are perfect toppers for my yoga leggings. I took the black Millie and the 7-Way Wrap with me on vacation. Both packed well and came in handy for sun protection as I walked around Rome and during my stay on the Amalfi Coast in Positano.
Sundriven Millie Wrap in aqua makes a nice topper for my yoga leggings.
The 7-Way Wrap is especially nice to store in your handbag during summer days when you're wearing a sleeveless top or dress. Or keep it in your beach bag to use with a bathing suit. You can throw it over your shoulders or wrap it around your waist for sun protection.
Sundriven 7-Way Wrap protects shoulders from harmful rays of the sun.
While I still use my Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Tinted Sunscreen on my face year round and spray or cream my body with a minimum of SPF 30 sunscreen when exposed, having sun protective clothing is a great benefit for outdoor activities.
Sundriven Millie wrap in black paired with my shorts and packed well for my trip to Italy.
You can find all of Mitzi's stylish age-defying UV Wear at Sundriven.com. Shipping and returns are free.
Shielding Your Hands From the RaysAccording to Mitzi, women should continue to protect their hands from skin damage from the sun. "Over the next decade, commuting times will only worsen, especially in large cities." It's definitely a wake-up call for me. What about you? My hands already have lots of spots!
This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.