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What is UPF and Why is Sun Protective Clothing So Important?

Protecting your skin with a physical barrier like clothing is one of the most simple and effective ways to prevent sun damage, though not all clothing is created equal. Understanding the UPF meaning and rating system is critical when shopping for sun protective clothing. 

Dealing with the aftermath of a sunburn from a long day at the beach can not only be painful and uncomfortable, but it can cause internal damage and increase your risk of skin cancer.  Preventing sunburn doesn’t have to involve greasy sunscreen and reapplication schedules. We’ll cover the definition of UPF sun protection, UPF vs. SPF, and the best clothing for sun protection so you can enjoy the outdoors safely.  

Find more great sun-safe tips and advice in our blog.

UPF Sun Protection: What Does It Mean?

You’ve probably noticed rash guards on more and more people at the beach, but did you know that there are nearly endless options for clothing that protects from the sun? So, what does UPF mean exactly, and what does it stand for? It stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and is the rating system used for fabrics. The higher the rating, the better the fabric’s protection against the sun’s spectrum of UV (ultraviolet) rays that can harm our skin. 

There are different electromagnetic waves around us all the time. All waves have energy and some are natural while other are man-made. Some are harmful and while others are not so harmful.

Ultraviolet spectrum is a part of the electromagnetic waves that are not visible and are produced naturally. They are harmful to the skin, and we need to protect ourselves from them.

If we don’t protect ourselves from these UV rays, energies from ultraviolet rays / waves can pierce through our skin and reach different cell parts affecting our chromosomes. The cells then behave abnormally, and the new cell creation are not in control, thus causing cancer.

Quality UPF clothing is made with UV wavelength in mind, preventing dangerous levels of UV from reaching your body. 

Later, we’ll go over the difference between SPF and UPF, one of the most common questions surrounding this topic. Aside from seeking shade at the beach, having UV protection of 50+ in your clothing is the best way to prevent sun damage for you and your entire family. 

  • Easy to Use
  • Even Coverage
  • Works Wet or Dry

What is UPF Rating

UPF rating is a system made to help users understand their clothing’s level of protection. At this point you are probably wondering what the numbers actually mean. What is UPF 50 compared to UPF 10? The numbers in the rating indicate how much of the sun’s UV rays are absorbed by the fabric, thus preventing them from reaching your skin. 

UPF is followed by a number, ex. UPF 50 means 1 out of 50 portion of the UV reaches the body. This means 1/50= 2%

If the product is mentioned as UPF 10, it means 1 out of 10 portion = 10% of the UV rays reaches the body.

UPF 20= 1/20 = 5%. 95% UV reaches the skin

UPF 30 = 1/30 = 3.3%

UPF 40 = 1/25 = 2.5%

UPF 50 is considered a good level of protection, i.e. only 2% reaches your body.

Does only a percent or a half percent makes a big difference? The answer depends on how long would you be exposed to UV rays. A small percentage difference for long period of time is significant.

Difference Between UPF and SPF

Let’s take a look at the difference between SPF and UPF. UPF is a rating system used exclusively for sun protection offered by clothing, while SPF (sun protection factor) is a rating system used solely for sunscreen. Similar to UPF, the higher the SPF rating, the better the sun protection for your skin. The most important differences between the two are listed below. 

  • UPF is the standard rating for clothing, while SPF is the standard rating for sunscreen
  • UPF applies to both UVA and UVB rays, while sunscreen applies to UVB rays only
  • UPF should not need to be reapplied to ensure protection, while sunscreen does

4 Things You Need to Know About UPF Protection

Not all clothing can be made UPF 50+.   

UV protection is better achieved with tight weaving/ knit, thick yarn, dark colors. It should not allow UV rays that have wavelength of UVA (315-400 nm) UVB (280-315 nm) to pass through the micro holes between the yarn.

  • Challenge: Not comfortable, heavy, does not let sweat pass through and limited color choices. Comfortable fabrics are normally light, thin.

Mesh fabric or loosely knitted / woven fabric cannot be used. Sometimes two layers of fabric or lining are used in hats to make sure that the UV rays do not reach the head.

  • Challenge: How to make a fabric that is both UV protection, comfortable and have all the colors like any other elegant clothing.

To achieve both, we have to study different fabrics and test it under a UV testing machine to find the right option. Many clothing company trust the fabric vendors who may or may not test the fabric well before the use, or it may not be tested regularly to assure that all the lots of fabric used are really UPF 50+. At Coolibar, we have tested many garments with this claim and sadly only 50% of them passed the real UPF 50+.

UPF Ratings Do Not Exceed 50+

UPF can exceed 50. UPF 50+ has a + sign which has a very significant meaning. It means over 50. This could be 100% coverage, i.e. not even a single portion reaches the body.

If a fabric allows only 1% of UV reaches the body, then it is 1/100 which is equal to UPF100. If it allows only 0.5%, then the rating is UPF200

Why is it not specifically called out? Currently, there isn’t an official rating for clothing that completely blocks all UVA/UVB rays, so the maximum rating given to any fabric with a UPF rating higher than 50 is 50+. 

Coolibar is the world leader in UPF 50+ fabric technology, so you can guarantee you are getting maximum sun protection with every purchase. Some of our fabrics even block out 100% of UVA and UVB rays! Be cautious of any clothing brand that lists a rating greater than 50. Neither of those are accurate or official ratings for fabrics.

  • Maximum rating is currently 50+
  • Coolibar offers the highest rated sun protection clothing
  • Watch out for brands claiming ratings above 50 

UPF Washes Out of Some Brands

UPF can wash out.  Cotton fabric shrinks after multiple washes, the holes between the yarn get smaller so there’s more UPF than before. If the garment is not well handled and gets stretched through different washing or drying process, the holes can become bigger and looses its properties.

Some fabric cannot achieve the UPF 50+ without a certain chemical treatment, especially light fabric, some fabric composition and specific light colors. If these chemicals are not well locked into the fabric construction at the time of manufacturing, and comes out after the wash, then the UPF level will fall. 

Instead, purchase confidently with our industry-leading fabrics. At Coolibar, our sun protective clothing blocks 98% of UVA/UVB rays and never washes or wears out, no matter how much you sweat or swim.  

  • Look for active ingredients infused in every fiber
  • Avoid spray ons or laundry aides
  • Coolibar’s sun protection never washes out

Look for the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation

You have options when it comes to UPF clothing, but not all companies are backed by the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. It’s crucial to look for this seal, especially if you’re shopping for clothing for working in the sun or clothing for long days at the beach. 

The Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal is trusted worldwide, indicating safe and effective sun protection, and Coolibar was the first clothing company to receive it. To meet this recommendation, fabrics must have a minimum of UPF 30 protection. Coolibar goes above and beyond Skin Cancer Foundation-approved clothing with all products rated 50+.

  • Skin Cancer Foundation’s Recommendation awarded for safe sun products
  • UPF Clothing Must be at Least a 30 Rating
  • Coolibar’s Products Are the Highest Rated UPF 50+

Seek Out Brands That Rigorously Test Their UPF Products

Aside from the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal, continuous product testing is necessary to maintain product integrity year after year. Sadly, this is an overlooked step for many clothing companies. 

Look for brands who specialize in UPF clothing and have been focused on this as their main business mission for many years. There are brands who carry UPF clothing but it is only a small part of their brand and they do not take it that seriously.

At Coolibar, UPF is what we do. Brands that know UPF inside and out can explain their manufacturing and testing processes. They have the necessary tools and team to control their fabric and product process. It is worth paying extra money for reliability.

Brands with no obvious background in sun safety and claim to sell low price UPF 50+ clothing should not be trusted. It can be very dangerous. If you wear these types of clothing regularly, you may end up regretting it when you have to visit your dermatologist.

We have a rigorous testing process for all our fabrics. We test multiple times against the world’s highest rating standards for UV transmittance and safety. We also perform life cycle tests to ensure that even after laundering, exposure to sunlight, and chlorinated water, your Coolibar clothing offers the same sun protection. 

  • UV Transmittance and Safety Testing
  • Life Cycle Testing
  • Coolibar’s Fabrics All Meet the World’s Highest UPF Standards

Explore our UPF clothing for men, women, and kids!

Why is Coolibar the Best Sun Protective Clothing Brand?

Coolibar’s 100% business is Sun Protection products for different users. We’ve been in the business for more than 20 years and all users have appreciated our reliability.

We have invested in multiple UV testing machines and all our offices throughout the world have these machines. Each machines cost more than $30,000.

Each fabric lots are tested at the time of approval for first usage and then each lot of fabric for bulk production thereafter. We allow the vendors to cut the fabric only when the test is done. We can trace each garment back to each lot of fabric used.

Before selecting a fabric to be used in our styles, we test the fabric before wash for UPF 50+, then we do 40 cycles of wash and expose it to 100 hours of xenon light simulating real sunlight and then retest again for UPF 50+. We can confidently say that our UPF50+ is guaranteed for lifetime of the garment.

We also take into consideration the design of the products. For example, to help manage perspiration, we use mesh fabric in our clothing but not in places where there is direct exposure to sunlight. We add technical features such as thumb hole, high collar, etc. to provide extra sun protection.

Shop Coolibar’s High Quality, Technical, Elegant Sun Protection You Wear

Whether you are embracing the Coastal Grandmother trend or shopping for a new look for your next garden party, Coolibar has you covered with the highest rated UPF 50+ clothing on the market. You don’t need to sacrifice style or comfort with our highly technical and elegant clothing for the entire family. 

Coolibar is the industry leader in UPF fabric technology, trusted and recommended by dermatologists worldwide. Discover more sun safety tips on our blog from our team of experts!

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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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Live Wisely

6 Easy New Year’s Resolutions You Must Try this Year

New year, new you. It’s a phrase we are all very familiar with and tell ourselves every 12 months. In a recent study, they found that approximately 80% of resolutions fail by February.

The secret to successful resolutions is keeping them realistic and attainable in a way that you feel progress from the start. Go for the win by focusing on things that give you emotional satisfaction as well as outward results. So, here are 6 little things you can easily do to feel good and realign goals you’ve been carrying for the last few days, weeks or perhaps even years. But, this year is different because it is YOUR year.

1. Get Outside

Almost every year, it seems like people sign up for a new spin class or a personal trainer at their local gym. They dedicate themselves to it for two months and burn out. Don’t worry about joining a club, just get outside. It can be as simple as going on a 30-minute walk before you start your day to going on a quick bike ride around the neighborhood in the afternoon. The fresh air will recharge you! Don’t sacrifice your skin though. Keep sun-safe and cool in a hat and UPF 50+ clothes made for fitness, like those that have cooling technology built in.

2. Sign Up for a Lesson or Class

Never too old to learn a few new tricks! An always popular choice is taking up golf or tennis. Just make sure to cover up for all that added sun exposure! Other ideas could be learning a new language or picking up a new computer skill. You’ll never regret owning an abundance of diverse skills later in life.

3. Rekindle Important Relationships

Life gets crazy. It’s inevitable. But NEVER lose sight of, or become too busy for, your friends and family. Make one phone call a week with a distant friend; simply inviting family over once a month for dinner (delivered if you’re not into cooking); that’s all it takes. once a week, to simply inviting family over once a month for dinner, that’s all it takes, and it goes a very long way. At the end of the day, the relationships we have are more valuable than anything imaginable.

4. Take Care of Your Skin

This is one we are really challenging you to this upcoming year. How often are you consciously thinking about the amount of sun exposure you are receiving every day? Whether you are in the car or at work, there are so many sneaky ways that we are exposing ourselves to UV rays! A good habit to start as soon as possible is applying a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 daily. Afraid of needing to reapply or having an oily feel to your skin? Choose UPF 50+ clothing that blocks out 98% of UV rays and never washes out!

5. Indulge Once a Week

A classic resolution, like dieting, can be extremely tricky, hence the reason it is a reoccurring challenge. One of the secrets is balance and easing into it. Start by dedicating 5 days a week of healthier food choices and then rewarding yourself with a cheat meal. If you become too obsessed with it right away you will become miserable, and nobody wants to associate food with misery. If you are struggling with figuring out where to start, here’s a great beginners guide to understanding food.

6. Be Kind to Yourself

Be good to yourself. Do nice things for yourself. Reward yourself for all your hard work. We can get so caught up in our jobs or daily chores and forget to take care of ourselves. Need a spa day? Have it. You’ve been looking at that new bike for a while? Get it. That tropical vacation you’ve had your eye on? Book it. Try and do one thing completely for yourself at least once a week.

New Year’s is an end and a beginning. It allows you to turn the page and focus on the new goals you’ve just created for yourself. But remember, all of this depends on you and how ready you are to commit. Make the most of 2020. We are all rooting for you!

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Live Wisely Wear to Where

Why You Should Wear Gloves While Driving

If you follow us on Instagram, you have most likely seen us share dozens of Stories with our followers wearing their UPF 50+ gloves. To some, this may look or seem completely ridiculous to wear gloves while driving, but there is a lot of reasoning behind the logic of wearing them!

The average driver in the U.S. spends 17,600 minutes in their car each year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. That is 293 hours! With all that potential sun exposure, your hands and arms suffer the most and are typically exposed to more UV rays while driving that most other parts of your body.

Even with all that time in your vehicle, you may feel like your car offers a lot of protection from the sun, but for the most part, that is just not true. Your windshield may block some UV rays, but your door windows offer minimal protection. An interesting, but true statistic is that typically the left side of our bodies show more sun-related aging because of the time spent driving!

So that brings us to the point of the entire blog… Why should I wear them? The answer is simple: To protect your hands from unnecessary sun exposure that leads to aging, wrinkly skin and skin cancer.

From fingerless to sleeves, we offer a variety of gloves that can fit your preference and need!

Looking for the classic driving coverage? These are perfect!
For those that want a little more extended coverage:

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Live Wisely Wear to Where

5 Ways to Protect Your Skin From the Sun

It’s no secret that the most effective protection against the sun is the protection that you wear.

Ever heard of sunscreen? Of course you have. It’s been around for nearly 90 years. It’s a good form of protection from the sun, but there is one catch to its effectiveness – It must be reapplied every two hours. Sunscreen paired with other forms of protection works wonders, but alone it’s just not enough. For that reason, you won’t find any products with SPF in our top 5.

UPF 50+ clothing and accessories, on the other hand, provide the most effective form of sun protection because there not as much of a commitment as sunscreen ends up being, won’t wash off due to water or sweat, and always applies to UVB and UVA rays.

Still trying to figure out the difference between UPF and SPF? Check out our blog on it.

Follow these 5 tips to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.

1. Wear a wide-brimmed hat

Choose a hat with a 3-inch or greater brim to protect your face, scalp, ears and neck.

Coolibar Choice:

2. Switch Out Everyday Favorites

Swap everyday favorites for long sleeve UPF 50+ shirts.

Derm Choice:

3. Add UPF 50+ Coverage

Add coverage to short sleeves when lounging outdoors or performing workouts.

Derm Choice:

4. Protect Over-Exposed Hands

Keep a spare pair of UPF 50+ gloves in your car to protect your hands.

Derm Choice:

5. Use Sun Blankets for On-the-Go

Pack a UPF 50+ sun blanket for handy sun protection when you’re out and about.

Derm Choice:

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Experts Say

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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Live Wisely Wear to Where

When to Wear a Sun Hat

Some of the most common places to be diagnosed with skin cancer – face, scalp, and ears – are located on your head… So choosing to wear a hat, especially one that is UPF 50+, just makes sense. The bigger challenge is trying to figure out when it is most crucial to have one on your noggin.

Reading a Good Book on the Beach

Whether it’s the ocean or poolside, having your favorite read teamed up with a wide-brim hat is the duo you’ve been looking for. Spend more time getting into that New York Bestseller and less time worried about the sun.

Coolibar Choice:

Hitting Up the Country Club

Have a membership at the local country club? Hours of direct sunlight on the golf course or tennis courts adds up and can be detrimental to your skin health. With the reapplication of sunscreen and a good hat on your head, you should comfortably be able to play 18 holes unscathed by the sun.

Coolibar Choice:

Fishing on the Lake

Summer is all about going up to the cabin, taking the boat out and taking advantage of the good weather. For the big fishers out there that just love being on the water and lose track of time easily, a hat with extended coverage is vital because of the straight hours of direct sunlight and the UV rays reflecting off the water. 

Coolibar Choice:

Running Errands Around Town

It’s your day off and it has to be spent buying groceries, stopping by the bank, picking up the kids from school, going to the dentist’s office and countless other things on your agenda. With all that scheduled for your day, the accumulated UV rays add up quickly!

Pro tip: Keep a packable sun hat in your car or purse to always be ready for the sun.

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Paired with the Perfect Outfit

A very underrated piece of an outfit that can really bring the whole look together is a well-styled hat. There may be no better time to have a perfectly selected wide-brim hat than for a Kentucky Derby party or event!

If you are struggling to find the right one, our team has designed a guide to help you find the perfect hat that works with your face shape.

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Taking the Dog for a Walk

Our furry companions need their exercise too, it’s an important part of being a pet owner. With that being said, typically, you’re taking the dog out for a little stroll during the day while UV rays are present. It shouldn’t be a very time-intensive chore to get prepped for a walk! Simply apply a little SPF 30+ sunscreen and a hat… and voilà!

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Enjoying the Great Outdoors

This one is for you adventure seekers that love camping in the woods and exploring nature! If you’re the weekend warrior that joins every hiking group they can, you need a great sun hat paired with some long sleeves.

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Regardless of the activity, you’re doing and the style you choose, make sure to get in the habit of wearing sunscreen on your face with your hat to help lessen the chances of extreme sun exposure even when wearing a hat .

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What's Hot

All Terrain® and Coolibar Team Up for Total Coverage

All Terrain Sun Protection Kit

Here’s an offer that’s only natural. Purchase $150 or more from Coolibar, and get a FREE All Terrain Family Sun Protection Kit! Just enter KIT14 at checkout.

This all-natural sun safety kit includes:

– 3-oz. “no slip, dry grip” All Terrain AquaSport Sunscreen SPF 30

– Convenient spray-on All Terrain AquaSport SunSpray SPF 30

– Minty fresh, oxybenzone-free.15-oz. All Terrain Lip Armor SPF 28

– A reusable hemp cosmetic bag

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you use a broad spectrum SPF 15+ sunscreen every day. For extended outdoor activity, you should use a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.

All Terrain makes UVA/UVB sunscreens that are extremely moisture resistant and great for sensitive skin with no eye sting. They are transparent (no white noses!) and water resistant to 80 minutes. They are also PABA-, oxybenzone- and paraben-free, a terrific alternative to chemical-based products.

It’s total coverage and unbeatable sun protection from All Terrain and Coolibar sun protective clothing! SHOP NOW!

NOTE: If you purchase $150 or more from Coolibar online, do NOT add the sun protection kit to your shopping bag. Simply enter KIT14 at checkout and it will be added for you as a FREE item! Limit one kit per $150+ 0rder. All Terrain Family Sun Protection Kit is also available for individual purchase at a $35 retail value.
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Inside Coolibar What's Hot

Coolibar’s Favorite Looks for Fall

Take your favorite Coolibar pieces from summer to fall. Scroll through our album of hot looks for fall days that are so fabulous, they’ll blend flawlessly into your wardrobe.  You may even see something new in our UPF 50+ line that you’re missing.

Coolibar designers have taken the time to pair customer favorites with hot trends for fall that you likely already have in your closet or jewelry box. Every collage below shows in detail how to create each unique look.

Style Idea 1: Coolibar Shirt Dress – Pair with a trendy fedora style hat, like the Coolibar Fairway Golf Hat. Add color with a multi-toned bracelet and a bright green necklace. Complete this ensemble with a pair of knee-high brown leather boots. Add some fun tights for a breezy fall stroll in the park.

 

Style Idea 2: Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap – Layer over a tank, such as the Coolibar Basic Sun Shell, and wrap a belt around the undershirt to really flatter your mid-section. Intensify contrast with turquoise, gold jewelry or metallic sunglasses. Finally, lace-up some ankle wedges for look that commands attention from bystanders.

 

Style Idea 3: Coolibar ZnO Long Sleeve T-shirt – Add bold prints like a leopard scarf to give black a fierce look. Ruby red accessories and heels give your sharp assembly even more of an edge. At last, tuck your shirt into a skirt that falls just above your knees and sits at the waist, like the Coolibar Wrap Skirt. Just wait for the whistles of admiration to start once you walk out the door.

 

Style Idea 4: Coolibar Pin Tuck Blouse – Keep it simple and elegant with lustrous accents and pearls. Add even more shape to the waistline with a metallic skinny belt. Slip on your favorite pair of skinny pants, preferably a neutral tone; and to top it off, opt for a brimming hat, such as the Coolibar Montauk Sun Hat. Now you’re ready to hit the town in ultra feminine fashion.

 

Style Idea 5: Coolibar Essential Blouse – Light lilac and pink tops really shine when up against charcoal and grey compliments, such as grey business slacks. Take a piece of silver jewelry you’ve had put away forever and make it like new again while adding more polish to your look. This outfit is perfect for the office, but please feel free to take it out to lunch with a floppy hat, for instance, the Coolibar Packable Wide Brim Hat.

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