Best Sun Safe Fabrics for the Whole Family

Best Sun Safe Fabrics for the Whole Family

Great skin is always in—and so is warm weather, comfortable clothing, and endless fun all summer long. Put it all together and you might end up with a little bit of a mixed bag if you don’t make your skin a priority. The truth is that while that blazing sunshine might feel amazing, it’s not doing your face and body any favors. The good news is that there are several things you can do, from slathering on sunscreen to wearing sun-safe fabrics that go the extra mile to protect your skin.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect women’s summer shirt, a bathing suit, or even a cardigan, you’ll find dozens of pieces made with protective fabrics. They all feature an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating of 50, the highest option available. This means that only a 50th of those potent ultraviolet rays ever pass through the material, blocking 98% of them in the process. Still, you always want to wear sunscreen to ensure your skin is as safe as possible. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your choices during the warmest months of the year.

Fabric Choices Matter

You’ll find materials of all kinds designed for summer wear. While you may automatically reach for the gauzy tunic top or the thinnest possible dress that still provides enough coverage, those types of materials won’t safeguard your skin from powerful UV radiation. The general rule of thumb is that if you can see through the material, those rays can just as easily penetrate the fabric and make contact with your skin. That includes materials like rayon, flax, and cotton.

So what’s best? Stick with something thicker and more substantial. Dense fabrics may not resonate with steamy summer days, but materials like nylon, polyester, and silk combat those harmful rays like a dream. And it’s entirely possible to find garments made with these materials that are perfect for spring and summer wear.

Fit Matters Too

Just as important is the way that summer dress fits your body. Does it gently graze your skin, elegantly gracing your silhouette without sitting too snugly or uncomfortably against your body? Or does it feel tighter and more form-fitting? The fit makes all the difference where sun protection is concerned.

If your ultimate goal is to wear something that shields your skin from the sun, opt for a more forgiving silhouette that doesn’t sit tautly and stretch. The more the fabric pulls apart, the more the fibers are stretched to their limits — which means more UV rays can pass through the material. When in doubt, go with something that’s looser and less stretchy. Bonus: You’ll feel more comfortable, too!

Serious Sun Coverage

What to do when your plan is to spend the entire day at the beach, frolicking in the water with the kids and lounging on the sand for some much-needed “you” time? Think practical. Look for clothes and swimwear that feature the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Approval—they’ll give you that extra peace of mind you need to feel good about your choices in and out of the water.

The choices abound when it comes to selecting sun-friendly fabrics to wear by the pool and at the beach. Throw on a breezy beach cover-up featuring UPF 50 sun protection over your UPF swimsuit or tankini. Try a pair of laid-back shorts or cropped yoga pants if you’re walking around on the boardwalk and want to make sure you stay safe when you’re on the go.

All You Need

Your warm-weather schedule is filling up. There’s the annual visit to the lake. The family trip to the beach. The backyard barbecues. The outdoor weddings. The Sunday brunches. The lazy outdoor dinners on serene evenings. The walks around the neighborhood and the impromptu visits with neighbors. The list is nearly endless, which means you need practical clothes for every occasion, whether it’s bright and early on a vibrant morning or the sun is just about to set.

Clothing with UPF is designed to keep you safe, sure, but it also adds some serious style to the equation. A pair of easy women’s yoga pants and a light T-shirt make the perfect choice for everyday wear — whether you’re meeting up with girlfriends for a much-needed catch-up session or headed into town to run some errands. And just because it’s sunny outside doesn’t necessarily mean it’s warm. On those brisk spring days, try a quarter-zip UPF pullover with a pair of jeans to safeguard your skin from top to bottom. You’ll love the lightweight feel and the coverage it provides.

Why risk a sunburn? With the right fabrics in your closet, you can easily stay in control all season long without the fear of dealing with discomfort. UPF clothing has you covered from top to toe.


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