Your must-have anti-aging accessory in the dog days of summer is… an umbrella?
SPF wearables continues to be a trend Charlotte’s Book is keeping an eye on. Earlier this summer we reported on the best scarves with SPF, our skincare + fashion correspondent Samantha Brown brought us the best and most fashion-forward hats to protect you from nasty UV rays, and we also took a look at the best sunglasses to protect you from crow’s feet.
Next: this super-light, super-cool umbrella by Parasun that we spotted on the streets of New York.
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Yes, it’s an umbrella, but it’s carefully designed to protect you from the sun (it works for rain, too). So how is it different than just a regular umbrella, you ask? Instead of one layer of fabric, Parasun features two layers that serve very specific purposes. The outer layer is a light color, reflecting the sun’s heat and light away from you. The inner layer is a dark color, absorbing reflected heat and light from the ground away from you. And the best part—Parasun blocks up to 99.42% of UVA radiation and 99.98% of UVB radiation, the infamously nasty rays that cause cancer, wrinkles, and dark spots.
It’s also light, at just 12 ounces, and purse-size, measuring 10 compact inches. But you don’t sacrifice wingspan: the umbrella opens to a comfortable 35 inches.
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Parasun is easily the highest tech, most futuristic umbrella on the market. The team at Parasun developed a UV index alert system that will remind you (especially on cloudy days, when it’s easy to forget) to carry your umbrella. The system sends a notification to your iOS device when the UV Index in your area reaches either Moderate (3 or above), High (6 or above), Very High (8 or above) or Extreme (11+). You’ll know exactly when its time to pull out your sunbrella—warding of wrinkles, dark spots, and more.
If you’re a chronic $5 umbrella loser and you’re worried about investing in such a fancy piece of sun protection, never fear: Parasun thought of that, too. For an extra $25, you can attach the Tile Tracker to your umbrella, a tiny white square that uses bluetooth technology (linked to your phone, of course) to locate your Parasun. Other accessories include absolutely necessary clamps, for beach chair or table.
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Charlotte’s Book loves the Parasun origin story—as usual, it’s an invention borne of necessity. Dara Kubovy-Weiss steals a great Woody Allen quote when explaining her dilemma: “When I go to the beach, I don’t tan, I stroke.” She struggled with stingy sunscreen, wearing leggings to the beach, the hair + sunhat dilemma, and finally decided on a parasol. Weiss says, “But have you seen what a “parasol” looks like? Its design has not made great strides since the Victorian era. Parasols tend to be lacy, frilly affairs, with light colors and thin fabrics. So in addition to not being fashionable, they’re often are not as sun-protective as they should be.” She opted for a dark rain umbrella, which of course looks like a rain umbrella repurposed for sun protection. “After years spent looking for a stylish sun-protective umbrella and coming up empty-handed,” Weiss explains, “I went ahead and invented one.”
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