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What’s the Difference Between SPF and UPF?

Did you know there’s a difference between SPF and UPF? Both have something to do with keeping your skin protected from the sun but mean very different things. Sunlight includes rays of invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation; overexposure to UV rays can lead to sunburn, accelerated skin aging and skin cancer. Sun protective clothing and sunscreen offer your main forms of UV protection but are rated two different ways with SPF and UPF.

UPF is the standard used to measure the effectiveness of sun protective fabrics. UPF stands for “Ultraviolet Protection Factor” and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin. UPF is associated with fabric and you will see a UPF rating from 15-50 associated with products that claim that they are sun protective. A fabric with a rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. This means the fabric will reduce your skin’s UV radiation exposure significantly because only 2 percent of the UV rays will get through. This also means that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays while SPF only takes the UVB rays into account.

SPF is a standard used to measure the effectiveness of sunscreen. SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”. It measures the amount of time it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden, while UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin. Remember that SPF only accounts for UVB rays unless specifically stated as a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Here is a visual breakdown of the two compared to each other.

As you can see when you are trying to keep your skin protected it is important to know the different rating systems. Many skin-care experts believe clothing shields skin more effectively from UV light than sunscreen. Many of us often apply sunscreen lotions too thinly, giving our skin less protection than the sunscreen’s available SPF rating, and we neglect to reapply it as directed by the specific sunscreen that we use.

To receive The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, sun-protective fabrics must have a minimum UPF of 30. They consider a UPF rating of 30-49 to offer very good protection and 50+ excellent protection. Coolibar was the first clothing brand to receive the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. All of our clothing is rated UPF 50+, with protection that will never wash out.

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Sun Protection Clothing Wear Sun Protection What's Hot

UPF 50+ Outfit Makeover

Helen Vong, skin care guru at theskiny.com, came to us with a brilliant SunAWARE idea. “Let’s do a Coolibar UPF 50+ outfit makeover to show how easy it is to be protected from the sun.” Who are we to argue?

“After writing a magazine story about the aging effects of the sun, back in the early spring, I decided that this (now past) summer is going to be year I start changing my ways. Why? Well frankly, I’m getting older and my skin isn’t bouncing back like it did from weekend trips to the cottage.

Like most people I only really wore sunscreen on vacation, and in my twenties, I went on my fair share of sun escapes – and I have the sunspots to prove it. In fact, I’ve got a newly formed speckle on my lower lip that wasn’t there last year (thank you, Ibiza). After age 30 you can’t get away with calling these spots ‘cute freckles’ anymore.

Helen Vong Before and After Coolibar

Consider this photo taken last summer at the hotel lobby at the Thompson in Beverly Hills (before picture). At first glance, you’d think I was being sun smart with a wide brimmed hat and long sleeved button up shirt. Truth is, that flimsy hat was a cheapie from Walmart with absolutely no sun filter. The shirt was also a bargain that was useless against the scorching UVA rays (think of the “A” as for aging) I surely soaked in that weekend.

I guess I could’ve wore clothing with sun protection, but I’ve long equated anti-sun clothing as frumpy athletic gear. And who wants to look blah on Rodeo Drive? In retrospect, I wish I knew about Coolibar, back then. This company makes sun-protective apparel look sexy! I particularly fell in love with their sun hats. My dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett, says that size matters when it comes to the brim of an effective sun hat: six inches is the way to go.”

Helen took her look and gave it a UPF 50+ makeover (after picture).

Visit theskiny to see Helen’s full review: http://theskiny.com/shun-the-sun-in-style/

See all Coolibar’s UPF 50+ women’s sun hats and women’s clothing for your sun protective makeover.

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Inside Coolibar What's Hot

One UPF 50 Shirt, Five Looks

One of Coolibar’s favorite go to stylists Bridgette Raes recently created a blog post on styling the basic white t-shirt. We thought it was such a great idea, our Coolibar stylists translated it to UPF 50+ with our white ZnO Long Sleeve T-Shirt! View our outfit ideas below and you’ll realize UPF 50+ sunwear works with almost any outfit.

Take it to work…

Take it on the town…

Take it to dinner…

Take it to yoga…

Then wear it all weekend…

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

Style Expert Bridgette Raes on Summer Trends in UPF 50+

Since 2002, Style Expert Bridgette Raes has transformed the wardrobes and styles of hundreds of clients. She is the president of Bridgette Raes Style Group in New York and author of the book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want. Her witty, down-to-earth and educational advice has made her a sought-after writer, spokesperson and style expert for many media outlets. Now, Bridgette brings her expertise to the Coolibar Blog to show us how to prepare our wardrobe for warmer weather in a trend setting way.

The warm weather is here!  It’s time to get out and enjoy the sun.  Getting enough sunshine is important for your health and wellbeing, but too much sun can be very dangerous.  With Skin Cancer Awareness month this May, I thought it was important to write a blog that showed you how you can safely enjoy the sun this summer….while still looking fabulous.     

I decided to take some of Coolibar’s more popular pieces, all that have UPF 50+ and 98% UV Protection to show you just how easy it can be this summer to look good and care for your skin at the same time.

For this first look, I took Coolibar’s ZnO Harbor Hoodie in a classic navy and white stripe and paired it with some trendy red cropped pants.  Colored pants are so popular for summer and the overall look, worn with a pair of metallic wedges and an easy tote offers a timeless nautical style that is perfect for summer, be it for boating, going to the beach, the park or attending a barbecue with friends.  

 

Bright colored tunics and color blocking are two big trends right now. To address both, I took Coolibar’s ZnO Bayside Tunic and paired it with white Bermuda shorts and a pair of bright green sandals.  For more protection, I added Coolibar’s very versatile Sun Hat.  This is a great look that can be worn for just about anything you may be doing out and about this summer from a day out sightseeing to a casual dinner out with your mate.

 

For the beach, Coolibar’s Print Ruche Swim Shirt in this trendy zebra print is so exciting.  Not only can the chlorine and salt-water resistant swim shirt be cinched up and worn in the water, but it can also be worn as a tunic-length cover-up.  For additional sun protection (and style) can throw on Coolibar’s Packable Wide Brim Hat and a pair of their fabulous sunglasses.  Yellow is  one of the “it” colors for summer.  I went with a trendier yellow for that extra punch.  Lastly, a black straw bag and you can take from the beach to the street with this two-for-one piece.

 

In the summer, most of us get outside to exercise.  Often when working out we don’t think about how the sun could be damaging our skin.   There is a way to look stylish and be sun protected while getting your heart rate up.  Coolibar’s Swim Bike Run Jacket that has stylish contrast piping gives you a high performance jacket that can also be worn in the water.  Paired with their swim active capris and one of their fabulous hats, I threw in some additional pink accessories to inspire you to get out and get moving…while protecting yourself. 

 

Lastly, a tank top and capri jeans.  Who doesn’t have this look in their wardrobe for summer?  It is important to point out that if you’re looking to protect yourself from the sun this summer it does not mean that you have to get rid of your entire wardrobe.  Coolibar offers great ways to add protection to your existing style.  Every woman owns at least one cardigan in her wardrobe.  It’s a great piece to grab when you get chilly.  I love Coolibar’s ZnO Sun Wrap, particularly in their olive fatigue, which works so well with the most popular color of the summer season, orange!!!!  Worn with a pair of sandals, and one of Coolibar’s protective sun hats, you’ll be styling and saving your skin at the same time.

Shop Coolibar UPF 50+ Trends

Listen to Bridgette Raes on her radio talk show “Where Are You Going In That?” as she talks about Melanoma Month, the Melanoma Research Foundation and Coolibar.

Listen to internet radio with BridgetteRaes on Blog Talk Radio

 

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What's Hot

What to Wear: Garden Party Attire for Men and Women

The Scenario:

You received an invitation to an outdoor wedding. It’s going to be beautiful, but it’s August in the U.S. and it’s guaranteed to be sunny and hot.

The Challenge:

Find something to wear that won’t cause you to melt before the reception starts or get a sun burn from overexposure!

The Solution:

Sun protective clothing that keeps you fresh and cool in the sun and shields your skin from UV rays! To build your perfect garden party wedding attire, we go back to the simple steps to protect your skin. The same rules apply whether you’re on a hike or watching an outdoor wedding ceremony.

  1. Wear a wide-brimmed hat
  2. Switch out everyday favorites
  3. Add UPF 50+ coverage
  4. Protect over-exposed hands
  5. Use sun blankets for on-the-go

Lighter than Aire™ Fabric for Women

The Aire™ fabric of our Garden Party outfit collection is luxurious, silky soft, feather-light and breathable with a built-in stretch. It was specifically designed to tolerate hot, humid days or long hours under the sun! Here are some of our favorite looks and the UPF 50+ accessories to go with them…

Clara Sun Hat & Calvada Cover-Up Dress Outfit

The beauty of the Calvada Cover-Up Dress is that you can customize the fit to compliment your shape. Wear it open and loose, or add a skinny belt to accentuate your waist, or a thick belt to create shape.

Rhodes Shirt & Isla Convertible Wrap Outfit

This look perfectly satisfies the coastal grandmother trend with a soft and elegant pop of color…

Stella Scarf Detail Hat & Cannes Tunic Dress outfit

Add the Bona UV Mid-Length Gloves to protect your forearms and hands and Pesaro Sun Shawl to drape over your legs in case the sun gets too intense.

Soft, Flowing, Elegant Modur™ Fabric for Women

Vedra V-Neck Tunic Top & Marigot Midi Skirt Outfit

Add the Bodrum Sun Shawl to protect your shoulders until the sun goes down, then provide some warmth when the sun has set!

Technical Fabrics for Men

When dressing men for a garden attire wedding, it’s all about finding the right fabrics in classic styles like the button down or polo. To meet the challenge, we have a few fabrics and styles to choose from…

A Cooler Classic Button Down

Aricia Sun Shirt and Holden Packable Travel Fedora

Typically, you don’t think of a long-sleeve button-down shirt as a warm weather basic, but that is exactly what the Aricia Sun Shirt is. It was designed with strategically placed vents that circulate air into the shoulder and underarm area. With its moisture wicking, lightweight and breathable 3Ddri™ fabric it’s an incredible way to stay cool and protected from the sun.

Add the Holden Packable Travel Fedora to protect the scalp, face and neck.

Vita Button Down Shirt 

The technical genius of the Vita Button Down is the fact that it is made with our Active Athlon™ fabric made for our active line. It was designed to work best when the body is especially warm either from the sun or exertion. It’s lightweight, breathable and moisture wicking, the perfect attire for a garden party.

Add the Men’s Fairway Golf Hat to provide a little shade and keep the scalp, face and neck sun safe.

Arobello Polo

The Arobello Polo brings a little elegance to the classic men’s style. It’s all about the Active Diamond™ fabric and the jacquard knit construction with a subtle raised pattern that accelerates moisture wicking for fast quick-dry performance.

Add the Galileo Packable Travel Hat to provide sun-safe shade from the top down.

Don’t forget the wedding party!

For the bridesmaids and groomsmen standing out in the sun, recommend that they are gifted accessories to stay sun-safe! They’ll look oh-so-sun-smart and elegant in the wedding photos.

Pesaro Sun Shawl

This is the perfect drape to keep bridesmaids cool and protect them from UV rays.

Peyton Lightweight Fedora

The Peyton Lightweight Fedora is a classic way to add sun-safety at the top! It has a 3” brim to shield the scalp, face and neck, and is made with a paperbraid that maintains its look and shape.

Stay Sun-Safe and Look Elegant in Coolibar at Your Next Garden Party

Garden party formals almost always involve extended periods outdoors, so in addition to ensuring your outfit is appropriate for the occasion, keep your skin protected with Coolibar’s highest-rated UPF 50+ clothing for the whole family. Not all clothing is the same when it comes to sun protection. Use this guide as a resource for your next garden party outfit!

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What's Hot

Coastal Grandmother: Sun-Safe Style Tips for the Grandmother Aesthetic

As more women embrace the joys of aging, the coastal grandma aesthetic trends on social media platforms. Its elegant grandmother style meets coastal casual attire with a carefree lifestyle to match.

Being a coastal grandma means savoring everything life has to offer, including sunshine. However, many SPF sunscreens only protect against some harmful UV rays. Unlike SPF sunscreens, UPF 50+ clothing blocks 98% of UVA/UVB rays.

Coolibar is the world leader in UPF 50+ fabric technology. Our technically elegant clothing can help you achieve the perfect coastal grandma aesthetic.

Learn more about sun-safe grandma fashion trends from a popular Instagram influencer on our blog.

What is the Coastal Grandmother Trend?

The coastal grandmother trend is about wearing comfortable clothes that make you feel good and protects you from the sun. The term coastal grandma became popular when a TikTok user named Lex Nicoleta started talking about it in her videos. Surprisingly, she is in her 20s, reminding us that the coastal grandmother aesthetic is for women of all ages! It’s also sometimes referred to as grandmacore aesthetic or granny core. 

Key Elements of a Glamorous Gran’s Wardrobe: 

Coastal Grandma Inspiration

The coastal grandma aesthetic was inspired by several movies created by filmmaker Nancy Myers. The aesthetic includes lots of beige and other neutral tones. A coastal grandma may spend her Sunday morning at the farmers’ market and her afternoon carefully cooking fresh food. She enjoys the simple pleasures of life like gardening and hand-written notes. 

Notable films, TV shows, and celebrities that influenced the coastal grandma aesthetic include:

  • Father of the Bride
  • Something’s Gotta Give
  • It’s Complicated
  • Golden Girls
  • Lex Nicoleta
  • Diane Keaton
  • Anne Hathaway

Sun-Safe Style Tips for the Grandma Aesthetic

Grandmothers know the importance of sun protection which is why Coolibar’s Sun Protection You Wear pairs perfectly with the grandma aesthetic. Here are some beach aesthetic clothing trends inspired by grandma’s style.

Breathable Long Sleeves

Being a grandma at the beach means lots of sun exposure. Rather than having to lather on sunscreen every 2 hours, grandmas know the best outfit for all-day lounging in the sun includes loose, breathable long-sleeves.

While it may seem counterintuitive, long sleeves help circulate airflow and actually keep your skin cooler than wearing short sleeves while out in the sun. Better yet, consider a flowy dress or long-sleeve tunic as the basis for your grandma look. Here are some grandma aesthetic-inspired options: 

Wide Brim Sun Hat

Topping off your outfit with an elegant sun hat can totally transform any look. Whether you choose a full-coverage hat or a fedora style, you want something made with rigorously tested UPF 50+ material to protect the sensitive skin on your face and scalp. Explore our large collection of sun hats to find the right one for your glamorous gran style:

Wide-Leg Pants 

The coastal aesthetic is all about comfort and mobility. Wide-leg pants provide more range of movement for activities such as squatting down in the garden or walking on the beach. These pants are also feather-light and breathable for maximum air circulation on hot summer days. With wide-leg pants from Coolibar, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for coverage. 

Flowy Outer Layers

Consider some of our sun wraps or cover-ups to complete your collection of grandma attire. For colder months, you can get your grandma sweater aesthetic on with hot chocolate next to a warm fire. When choosing the best layers of sun protection you wear, always prioritize comfort and coverage. You won’t be disappointed! 

How to Embody the Beach Grandma Aesthetic

We all know how much the right outfit matters for any occasion, but remember, that’s just the beginning of the journey towards embodying the beach grandma aesthetic. 

Comfort is Key

For many of us, getting older means learning a valuable secret: life is way more fun in comfortable clothes! The beachy aesthetic really lends itself to comfort more than other trends—no need for tight waistbands or tops when you can have loose button-ups and wide-leg pants. 

  • Consider what it is that you really love about your favorite pieces of comfy clothing and try to incorporate that as you expand your coastal grandmother wardrobe.
  • Choose materials that are lightweight and breathable, like our buttery soft Aire and Moduri clothing lines. 
  • Look for pants with a drawstring for maximum waistband comfort

Embrace Ease and Versatility

There are many ways to prevent sunburn at the beach while fully embodying the beachy grandma lifestyle. They include wearing a UPF 50+ full coverage sun hat and breathable clothes. Luckily, beach aesthetic clothes usually promote ease of movement by being loose and flowy. Layers add versatility to your look to protect you from the sun and keep you warm on cool, breezy days. 

  • Keep a shapeable or roll-up sun hat in your car for impromptu adventures.
  • Seek out clothing that can be paired with various styles and items that you already own. 
  • Build outfits with flowy layers to help prevent sunburn and regulate body temperature. 

Self-Confidence and Self-Acceptance

The Golden Girls inspired a generation of women to be confident and independent as they age. Now, Golden Girls’ fashion is more popular than ever, which reflects how much this lifestyle continues to resonate with younger generations. While cool grandma clothes are part of it, this trend is really about self-confidence and self-acceptance.

  • Choose clothes that make you feel good without focusing on how they look in the mirror
  • Use a vision board to help you discover your own unique grandma clothes aesthetic
  • Don’t be afraid to express yourself. Remember to have fun! 

Embrace Your Inner Coastal Grandmother with Coolibar 

Getting older doesn’t mean sacrificing style. On the contrary, Grandma fashion empowers women of all ages to dress in a way that’s technically smart and still very elegant. You want your cool grandma outfits to keep you comfortable and sun-safe for many years to come. Unfortunately, a lot of flowy, breathable clothing allows light to pass through, which means you can get sunburned through your clothes.

Coolibar is the world leader in sun protection you wear. Our clothing is rigorously tested and guaranteed to block 98% of UVA/UVB rays. It is even recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and dermatologists worldwide. With Coolibar, you can choose cool grandma clothes that embody the coastal aesthetic while also staying sun-safe.

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Inside Coolibar

What the Heck is a Rash Guard?

what is a rash guard cover image

You’ve probably noticed the athletic-style shirts on people at the beach or pool and wondered what it’s for. So what is a rash guard? Its purpose is so much more than just a functional piece of clothing to wear around water and protect you from the sun.

You might be wondering why it is called a rash guard in the first place. Rash guards are shirts that were originally developed for surfers who experienced irritation to the skin from sand and residue on their surfboards. They continue to be a popular choice for surfers and lifeguards due to their comfort and high performance.  

Explore our wide selection of sun protection products to help keep you and your family safe while enjoying the outdoors.

What Are Rash Guards For?

Rash guards are no longer just for surfers. They are a versatile piece of clothing for all family members, whether boating, swimming, or just hanging out in the sand and sun. Below are three top benefits they provide.

  • Rash Protection: no need to worry about chafing and rashes, as the tight-fitting rash guard is an extra layer of protection for your skin
  • Sun Protection: they offer coverage from the sun, so your skin will be protected from harmful UV rays
  • Breathability: they are made with a combination of fabrics, providing comfort, breathability, and ease of movement

Best Rash Guard for Every Person In Your Life

Rash guards are versatile pieces of clothing for any outdoor occasion. Maybe you love to snorkel or just enjoy spending time on the beach reading a book. Whatever activities you prefer, extra protection and comfort will keep you and your family looking and feeling your best.

Best Rash Guard for Women

Rash guards provide fierce protection and functionality. They make a wonderful gift, and with a range of beautiful colors and prints, you really can’t go wrong! Read about free diver Ashleigh Baird’s review of our Coolibar Quick Zip Rash Guard, and see more of our women’s rash guard styles below.

Best Rash Guard for Men

Whether you are a water sports fanatic or just spend a lot of time outdoors, rash guards are the best outdoor clothing choice for men. They are perfect for long days outside spent working on the lawn or leisure activities like playing a round of golf.

The sporty designs feature high performance in cooling and sweating-wicking properties. We offer a variety of colors and styles for men. Here are some of our favorites:

Best Rash Guard for Kids

Rash guards are especially great for kids because of the sun coverage and protection. There is no need to worry about keeping their entire bodies lathered up with sunscreen when they’re in and out of the water.

A long sleeve guard reduces exposed skin to the elements. Your children will also love the range of bright colors and prints. Shop some of our top kids’ styles at the links below.

When Should Rash Guards Be Worn?

Since the purpose of rash guards is so varied, there is really no limit to when one should be worn. Their protection from sun, sand, and rashes makes them an excellent addition to any beach day. Some activities that are especially great for wearing this protective layer are:

  • Water Sports: they are perfect for wearing out on the water for activities like water skiing, tubing, surfing, and wakeboarding. Not only will you be protected from sun damage and skin irritation, but you will be protecting yourself from skin irritation while staying sun safe.
  • Beach Sports: long days on the sand playing beach volleyball or other beach sports can wreak havoc on your skin. Be prepared by wearing a beach rash guard to defend against damaging UV rays and irritation from the sand. Their sweat-wicking properties make them the ideal gear for all beach sports.
  • Other Sports: if you spend extended amounts of time doing other outdoor sports like running, golfing, or biking, rash guards may be a solution you might not have considered. Their sun protection and sweat-wicking properties will keep you safe and comfortable.
  • Yard Work: this is another excellent solution for anyone who does a lot of outdoor work. Even just regularly mowing the lawn can cause damage to your skin. Getting in the habit of wearing your rash guard for doing work outside can significantly impact your overall skin health.

Other Common Questions Around Rash Guards

Before we dive into the best rash guards for everyone in the family, let’s tackle some common questions that come up.

Does a rash guard protect you from the sun?

Getting a sunburn at the beach is never fun, but there are plenty of ways to prevent sunburn. Rash guard clothing from Coolibar provides a physical barrier from the sun and comes with the added benefit of having UPF protection built into the fabric. At Coolibar, our world-leading fabric offers the highest level of UPF protection and is guaranteed to block 98% of UVA and UVB rays.

Are rash guard shirts hot?

Unlike wetsuits, rash guards are not meant to keep your body warm. They are not as thick as wetsuits, so they do not trap body heat as well. They actually can have a cooling effect on the body because of their material and how tight they lay on your skin.

What are rash guard shirts made of?

Since the purpose of rash guard shirts is to prevent rashes and protect you from the sun, they are generally made of athletic fabrics like polyester, nylon, lycra, and spandex. These materials are soft, durable, and lightweight while allowing for breathability and stretch to maximize your comfort.

What do you wear with a rash guard?

What to wear with a rash guard is most often a matter of personal preference. However, since they’re generally worn during outdoor activities, we recommend pairing it with other UPF clothing items to ensure maximum sun protection, such as:

Explore Rash Guards And Sun Protection Clothing From Coolibar

Long gone are the days when rash guards were only worn by surfers, and for good reason! They keep your skin healthy and protected from the sun’s harmful rays so you can make the most of your time outdoors.

Check out our blog for more helpful sun protection tips, and read about some of our favorite styles for spring!

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Live Wisely

SPF 30 vs 50: Which One Is Better For Your Skin?

At Coolibar, we know that the amount of sun protection options on the market can be overwhelming and leave you with a lot of questions like if SPF 30 vs. 50 is better for your skin.  

Whether you love spending all your free time outside at the beach or you just venture out for the occasional picnic or hike, sun protection is essential. UVA and UVB sun rays can damage your skin, causing sunburns and wrinkles, and increasing your risk of cancer. That’s why understanding the difference between SPF 30 and 50 is necessary to properly protect yourself from damaging sun exposure.

Learn more about how to safely enjoy your time outdoors with our 10 tips for sun protection. It covers how to apply sunscreen correctly and alternative sun protection options to ensure you and your loved ones are always shielded from the sun’s damaging rays. 

What is SPF?

SPF stands for sun protection factor. The SPF rating number tells us how much of the sun’s harmful rays will reach our skin while using the sunscreen according to the directions. The higher the SPF rating, the more UV sun rays are blocked. So, the most straightforward answer to whether there is a difference between SPF 30 and 50 is yes!

But what are UV rays exactly? UV stands for ultraviolet. UV rays are invisible beams of light from the sun that can damage our skin. There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB.

  • UVA rays from the sun do not cause sunburns, but they can cause wrinkling and other skin-aging effects. While some sunscreens protect against UVA rays, the SPF rating does not measure this.
  • UVB rays are those pesky ones that burn our skin and can lead to cancer. All SPF sunscreens protect against UVB rays, but check your sunscreen to make sure it says “broad spectrum.” This means it protects against the aging effects of UVA rays as well.

Remember that UV rays can damage your skin even on cloudy days, so no matter what SPF rating you choose, make sure to lather up any time you are going to head outside! Also, according to sunscreen expert Kirk Minster, the specific ingredients in your sunscreen matter, so make sure to do your research when choosing the best sunscreen for your skin. 

What’s the Difference Between SPF 30 and SPF 50?

In the debate between SPF 50 vs. 30, it’s vital to understand what these ratings mean. Since we know that higher SPF ratings indicate more protection, SPF 50 protection is going to be stronger than SPF 30. But let’s dive more into each of these ratings.

SPF 30

So what is SPF 30, and why is SPF 30 good? SPF 30 sunscreen only allows 1/30 of the sun’s UVB rays to penetrate your skin. That means it blocks about 96.7% of those harmful rays. To ensure this level of protection, make sure to follow all directions on the sunscreen label, including reapplying at least every two hours.

  • Recommended protection: SPF 30 sunscreen meets the recommended SPF rating from the Skin Cancer Foundation. They recommend SPF 15 for everyday use and SPF 30 for those days where you are spending hours outside.
  • Reduced risk of cancer: Because UVB rays are the ones responsible for causing skin cancer, all SPF 30 sunscreens help protect you from this risk. 
  • Everyday protection: UVB rays can even penetrate through windows, so SPF 30 can provide everyday protection while driving or sitting at home. 
  • Who should wear it: Anyone who is outside for longer than 20 minutes a day, even on cloudy days, can benefit from wearing SPF 30 sunscreen.

SPF 50

SPF 50 sunscreen only allows 1/50 of the sun’s UVB rays through, blocking 98% of them. Answering the question of is SPF 30 or 50 better is really a personal decision. If you are still getting burned while using SPF 30 sunscreen according to the directions, then consider switching to a different SPF sunscreen with a higher rating.

  • More protection: SPF 50 blocks about 1.3% more harmful UVB rays than SPF 30.
  • Longer protection: SPF 50 sunscreens can protect your skin for longer, which means you have to reapply less often. Many SPF 50 sunscreens recommend reapplying every 150 minutes rather than the recommended 120 minutes for SPF 30. 
  • Protection at high elevation: The sun’s rays are stronger at higher elevations, so if you are going skiing or hiking in the mountains, consider SPF 50 or higher.
  • Who should wear it: Anyone with an increased risk of skin cancer, has prolonged sun exposure, or is outdoors at high elevations may benefit from SPF 50 sunscreen.

UPF is Also Important for Sun Protection

Now that the critical question, “What is the difference between SPF 30 and 50?” is answered, let’s look at another type of sun protection: UPF clothing. UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor. It’s similar to SPF ratings in that it measures how much of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate through the clothing’s fabric to your skin. A shirt with a UPF 50 rating will only allow 1/50 of UV rays through.

The biggest difference between SPF and UPF is that UPF ratings measure both UVA and UVB rays while SPF ratings only measure UVB rays. This means you are potentially getting more sun protection from UPF clothing than you are from sunscreen. Even with broad-spectrum sunscreen, you may not know exactly how much UVA protection you are getting. Furthermore, sunscreens often contain harmful chemicals, while UPF clothing protects your skin without any dangerous additives.

Learn more about the benefits of UPF clothing versus sunscreen on our Respect the Sun blog.

Discover UPF Sun Protection Clothes and Accessories From Our Team at Coolibar

Sun protection is no longer simply a question of SPF 30 vs. 50. There are broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays, plus there are more quality UPF clothing on the market than ever before. We offer a variety of clothing with UPF sun protection, including wide-brimmed hats, sun sleeves, and breathable gloves. We’ve got you covered no matter how you like to spend your time in the sun, whether it be lounging at the beach or summiting a mountain!

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This is Brave

Be Brave: A Week of Gratitude


As a part of Melanoma Awareness Month, we’d love to hear and share your Coolibar gratitude throughout the month of May! Make sure to tag us on social media for a chance to get featured.

From: Michelle, Coolibar

“As a parent, I’m so grateful that I have learned how to keep my kids sun-safe. Before working at Coolibar I depended on sunscreen alone and spent so much time battling to reapply it. Now my kiddos see themselves as Coolibar sun protection ambassadors. They’re always wearing their UPF 50+ gear and are constantly asking me for ‘swag’ for their friends and their teachers. They’re 8 and 10, but already understand the importance of teaching other to be sun safe”

From: Kelsey, Coolibar

“As an avid golfer growing up, I used to only apply sunscreen at the beginning of every round but would always forget to reapply. I had no idea how bad that was for my skin. I’m truly grateful of the awareness and knowledge that working for Coolibar has given me. One of the great things about our UPF 50+ protection is that I don’t have to worry about reapplying it. I feel confident golfing and doing other outdoor activities when wearing Coolibar because I know that I’m sun-safe!”

From: Laurie, Warrior

“When I was first diagnosed with melanoma, I quietly rearranged my personal life to fit the sun’s schedule. I was afraid of the sun! Sun protective clothing has been a Godsend. I can get out and golf, ride bikes and enjoy the pool with my grandchildren. I’m finally learning to get back in the sun.”

From: Kani, A Sun-Safe Mom

“Living in Southern California as a busy mom, it’s very hard to shelter myself from the sun. I just want to say that Coolibar’s neck scarves are absolutely amazing! I have them in several colors and can’t wait to buy more!”

Our year-round mission is to protect the world from sun damage. During Melanoma Awareness Month, we show additional support to our community with our ‘Be Brave’ campaign! We are determined to change the one in five statistic of people developing skin cancer in their lifetime.

You can help support life-saving research, education and awareness by donating to the Melanoma Research Foundation

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Experts Say Live Wisely

How to Prevent Sunburn at the Beach

how to prevent sunburn cover image

Avoiding sunburn may seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Even during the hot summer months, when your sun exposure level is high, you can take steps to ensure you are protected. 

How long does it take to get sunburned? Can you get sunburned through a window or water? These are important questions to know the answers to so that you can avoid sunburn in the future.

Sunburn is caused by harmful UVB rays from the sun. This type of light ray causes more damage than just sunburn and skin aging. It is often linked to skin cancers. When we talk about how to protect your skin from the sun, we are not only considering how to avoid sunburn but also how to limit your risk of developing skin cancer. 

Sunburn prevention is an important topic for people of all ages. Explore our blog for more sun safe tips and advice so that you can avoid getting sunburned again.

image of a person with sunburn

Is Sunburn Dangerous?

If you’re wondering how long it takes to get a sunburn, it depends on factors such as your skin type and the UV index. Sometimes it can occur in 15 minutes of exposure or less. So, how bad is sunburn for you? 

Sunburns cause more than just the visible damage you see to your skin. The UVB rays are responsible for sunburns that are more intense, causing damage to the actual DNA in your skin cells. Over time, this damage at the cellular level can lead to skin cancer. 

Can you get skin cancer from one sunburn? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Any length of sun exposure could be causing damage, even if you don’t actually burn from it. Consistent over-exposure to the sun, especially at a young age, increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

can you go outside with sunburn

Is It Bad to Go Outside With a Sunburn?

If you have a sunburn, one of the worst things you can do for your skin is going back out into the sun. Skin that is burned or recently healed from sunburn is extremely sensitive, so it’s best to stay inside. If you can’t avoid the outdoors entirely, there are some safety precautions you can take. 

Drink plenty of water and avoid excess activity, as sweating does make a sunburn worse by irritating the skin that is trying to heal. You can stop a sunburn from burning by applying a sunburn moisturizer with aloe vera or taking a cold shower. 

Wearing UPF clothing and applying sunscreen on sunburn can help minimize further damage. It’s important to note that sunscreen only protects against sunburn if used correctly. Keep the following best practices for sunscreen use in mind:

  • Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 (50+ is preferred)
  • Apply enough sunscreen to cover your body (roughly 1 ounce)
  • Reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes at the minimum and every 40 minutes if swimming or sweating
  • Avoid using expired sunscreens
how to avoid sunburn

How to NOT Get Sunburn at the Beach: 6 Simple Solutions

Figuring out how to not get tan or sunburned at the beach may seem like an impossible task, but you can be prepared and protected with the following steps. 

Sun Protective Clothing

You may not realize that you can get sunburn through your clothing. One of the easiest ways to avoid getting tanned and sunburned is to start integrating sun protective clothing into your wardrobe. This option is great for the whole family, whether you’re spending the day at the beach or needing daily sun protection.

Coolibar’s UPF 50+ clothing incorporates sun protection into each and every fiber, and it never washes out. You can rest assured knowing that all of our clothing and accessories provide a minimum UPF rating of 50. We offer sun-safe solutions for men, women, and even kids & babies! Sun protective clothing is easy to use and gives you the peace of mind you need, with many benefits, including:

  • Sun protecting minerals embedded in every fiber
  • Tight weave construction offers maximum sunlight blockage (UPF 50+)
  • Permanent sun protection (no washing or wearing out)

Apply Sunscreen Often (and Thoroughly)

Applying sunscreen is another relatively easy and effective method for preventing sunburn, but only if used correctly. When buying sunscreen, look for one with at least SPF 30, and be sure to apply enough to cover your entire body. Sunscreens must be reapplied every 80 minutes. If you are actively swimming or sweating, you should aim to reapply every 40 minutes. 

Sunscreen is one of the most common methods for preventing sunburn, and for good reason. It can be used for the entire family and has advantages, such as:

  • Solution for exposed skin
  • Prevents sunburn and other skin damage
  • Easy to apply and readily available

Create Your Own Shade

Although you can get sunburn in the shade from light reflecting off other surfaces, it’s better than direct sun. Creating a shaded spot can also give you relief from the heat. If staying in the shade is possible, it’s an excellent solution for minimizing sun exposure. Coolibar makes it easy with sun umbrellas you can take with you on the go.

  • No direct UV radiation
  • Lowers risk of sun damage and sunburn
  • Easy solution

Know When the Sun is Strongest

Understanding when the sun is the strongest and what sun hours to avoid can make a big difference. The sun’s UV radiation is usually at its peak between 10 am and 4 pm. If possible, staying indoors during this time frame is a simple solution. 

  • Eliminate possibility of sunburns
  • Decrease risk of developing skin cancer
  • One way to prevent tanning of the skin 

Wear a Hat That Protects Your Neck

Shielding susceptible areas from the sun’s harmful rays is another simple way to stay safe when you want to be outdoors. The face and neck are sensitive areas that a hat can cover perfectly. 

Even on a cloudy day, the sun’s UV rays still break through, so wearing a hat will minimize UV exposure and skin damage. Coolibar offers a wide variety of sun hats with UPF 50+ protection so you can feel confident and protected from the sun.

  • Keeps your head and neck cool
  • No mess and easy to incorporate into your day
  • Range of style offerings for everyone

Wear Sunglasses With UV Protection

Your eyes are another critical area to protect from the sun, not only because the skin around your eyes is particularly thin and sensitive, but because UV damage in your eyes can affect your vision. Prolonged exposure to UV rays has been shown to increase the likelihood of developing vision issues such as cataracts and macular degeneration. When looking for sunglasses, check for 100% UVA/UVB protection.

  • Provide comfort from the bright sun for your eyes
  • Minimize UV damage to your eyes and vision issues
  • Simple sun-safe solution
can you get sunburned under water

Sunburn Prevention FAQs

Those are some simple solutions to reducing sun exposure and avoiding sunburns. Here are some commonly asked questions about sunburn prevention.

Can You Get a Sunburn Underwater?

Although water does partially block UV rays, most of those rays do travel below the water’s surface and can cause sunburn to your skin. Water is also an excellent reflector of light, so while you are swimming, you are likely getting more intense sun exposure than you would out of the water. 

Can You Get Sunburned in the Shade?

Sticking to the shade will significantly reduce sun exposure, but it depends on the quality of the shade. Due to light reflection from other nearby surfaces, it’s still possible to get a sunburn in the shade with long enough exposure. 

Should You Wear Sunscreen Even If You Don’t Burn?

Sunscreen doesn’t just prevent sunburn. It also deters the other damaging effects the sun can have on the skin. Wearing sunscreen will minimize the risk of developing skin cancer and slow skin aging, so it’s essential to wear sunscreen, even if you don’t burn. 

avoid sunburn

Shop Coolibar’s Sun Protection Solutions

The sun can cause severe damage to one of our body’s most vital organs, our skin. Learning how to prevent sun damage is key to a long and healthy life. 

Living sun-safely is important. That’s why we developed the most technical, elegant sun protection you wear so that you can enjoy life under the sun. Check out our blog for more sun safety tips, and shop our latest styles for men, women, and kids & babies.

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