While many of us are bundled in layers to keep us warm, there are quite a few of us that use the winter months as a time to get away from the cold and enjoy a little holiday in the sun. But make no mistake jetsetters, just because you’re escaping the chill doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be pulling on the layers! Sunscreen alone can’t protect your skin during long hours in the sun but UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing can. So before you pack your bags make sure you leave a little room for some sun protective threads!
Protective Clothing 101
Sun-protective clothing comes with a UPF rating, otherwise known as an Ultraviolet Protection Factor value, which ranges from 15 to 50+. The rating shows how effectively your clothing will shield you from UV rays; the higher the number, the stronger the protection. The concept of this UV armor started in Australia in the 1990s where, due to frequent and prolonged sun exposure, there is the highest incidence of skin cancer in any country in the world.
How It Works
Sun protective clothing works due to:
- its tight-weaved or knit material, which reduces open space in the fabric
- highly concentrated dyes that disrupt UV light
- chemicals in the fabric that absorb UV light
- fabric type: polyester and nylon do the best job at blocking UV light, while natural fibers like cotton and hemp often have a lower UPF rating.
Brands We LOVE
Coolibar is an Australian brand on a mission “to develop superior sun-protective products that allow people to enjoy life in the sun.” Named after the famous eucalyptus tree found in the outback, Coolibar’s entire line of products features SUNTECT® fabrics which all have a guaranteed UPF of 50+ for the lifetime of the garment. The SUNTECT® line features seven individual fabric lines that range from water-friendly to lightweight, and all have stylish and superior sun protection for men, women and children.
Borelli Design wants to help “active people rock it.” This newer brand hit the market in 2011 and it’s stylish line of wrap dresses and scarves is composed of drirealease™, a fabric that wicks away sweat, features Freshguard™ odor control and provides SPF 20 protection. Founder Marissa Borelli Casellini was inspired by trips to India, St. Barth and Vietnam.
Since 1997, Triple J has provided affordable sun-protective clothing for the whole family. Whether you need UPF clothes for golf, long hikes, tennis, fishing or just kicking back at the pool, this company has a wide selection. The collection also carries the Melanoma International Foundation seal of approval, and most of the clothing and swimwear has a rating of UPF 50+.
Solumbra’s line of “sun-precautious” clothing features SPF 100+ fabrics and was developed by Shaun Hughes, a melanoma skin cancer survivor who once would sunburn through his clothing. Hughes created his SPF 100+ clothing line for medical reasons and to offer head-to-toe sun protection thatlasts all day long. Best of all, the men’s, women’s and children’s lines are all super cute, lightweight and functional.
Mott 50 is a fellow supporter of the Melanoma Research Alliance and perhaps the most stylish line of UPF clothing on the market, for women especially. From basic pieces like cardigans and t-shirts to adorable resort wear and swimsuits, Mott 50 has you covered, literally – the brand features UPF 50+!
Get a SpaFinder® Gift Card, the perfect last-minute gift, and sport these threads on your next getaway!
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Thinking of traveling for the holidays or in the New Year? Use a SpaFinder Gift Card to indulge!