In L.A. we generally agree: We've hit the climate jackpot (the drought notwithstanding). Where else can you hike all "winter" long, or celebrate New Year's Day with a run on the beach? Angelenos live the indoor-outdoor dream as the rest of the country weeps frozen tears… but with freedom comes a price: skincare vigilance.
Even those genetic lottery winners with flawless skin can't fight science: Prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB rays can cause sunburn, wrinkles and potentially lead to skin cancer. And since the sun reaches us even on that rare cloudy day, it's important to protect ourselves— of course, in fabulous SoCal style.
The Sol Cool Shirt from Ex Officio ($60) offers maximum garment sun protection with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50+, and is also sleek, slimming and infinitely comfortable. It's made from Icefil-treated fabric, which weaves in Xylitol (which naturally occurs in birch trees) to cool the surface of the skin up to 5°F.
If climbing a mountain while channeling your inner wildcat appeals, try on the Vie Active Hannah Black Leopard Sports Bra ($89) or Libby Black Leopard Hoodie ($198). Both offer proprietary F3 compression technology for a flattering fit, as well as 30+ UPF sun protection. The Aussie company's pop-up store on Abbot Kinney has closed, but try their website or some Equinox locations.
OC-based Oakley is practically a SoCal institution, and it's clear the company knows what locals need. The Polarized RPM Squared sunglasses ($190) uses Plutonite lenses that filter out UVA, UVB, UVC and blue light up to 400nm (as well as 99% of reflected glare, helpful in the blinding sun), boasts a three-point fit that only touches the side of the head and bridge of the nose to spare pressure points, and features "flexible yet stress-resistant frames" (an admirable goal for our bodies, too).
Warby Parker has made super-hip glasses accessible and affordable, but did you know they offer an excellent range of sunglasses? While not polarized, they give 100% UV protection, are made with either CR-39 or polycarbonate lenses (the most impact-resistant available) with an anti-scratch coating, have PVC nose pads to prevent slipping and can even be made prescription. Plus, the Abbott titanium frames (starting at $145) look great whether you're sweating it out or chatting at brunch afterwards.
You'll want to cover any exposed skin with a reliable sunscreen. If your sport of choice is a wet one — surfing, swimming and paddleboarding come to mind — this can be especially tricky. Glare from the water increases your UV exposure, and of course you also need something really waterproof. Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ WetForce is the answer; it is actually more effective after being exposed to water for 15 minutes.
The designers of the Shine Run Hat ($30) from Pearl Izumi have thought of everything: While elegant in its simplicity, it offers high reflectivity for early morning or nighttime visibility and a new low-profile adjustable closure system that allows the use of headlamps, plus UPF 50+ to protect the scalp, a black bill on the underside to reduce bright sun reflection, and their Elite Transfer fabric to wick sweat away and keep the skin cool no matter how far you go.
And for true simplicity, the Halo II Athletic Headband ($15), from its California-based manufacturer, keeps eyes clear and dry using their antimicrobial Dryline Fabric and boasts a SweatBlock Seal that actually channels sweat away from the face. It tapers towards the back of the head to neatly clear the ears, fits easily beneath a helmet and comes in a variety of colors, ensuring you look fabulous even at your sweatiest.