About 8 years ago, I went to the beach around 2:00 PM with a very good friend I had not seen in several years. Needless to say, we had a LOT to catch up on. I wore a comfortable two-piece bathing suit and brought my pop-up tent, because the Florida beach at 2:00 PM in the middle of May is just not a pleasant place to be without some shade. Comfortable under our shady tent and with sunscreen applied upon our arrival, we chatted for hours. The shade however, had been quite deceiving. Back then, I was not a board-certified dermatology nurse practitioner yet, so I was not fully aware of the nuances of sun protection, like the fact that UV rays can reach our skin from all directions.
Another fun fact I was not aware of at the time was that all shade is not created equally. Different types of canopies vary in their protectiveness owing to differences in materials, size, and variations in design. Your standard pop-up beach canopy may state that it is 99% UV protective, but unlike UV-protective clothing, shade like a beach tent or umbrella does not block all of the angles that damaging UV rays can reach the skin.
A common reason many people (including myself 8 years ago) forgo sun-protective clothing is because they forget about the presence of UV rays that reflect off of the sand and water. According to the World Health Organization, dry beach sand reflects about 15% of UV rays, and sea foam reflects about 25%. Still other UV rays are diffused by atmospheric particles. I bet you were not thinking about atmospheric particles when you were packing for your beach day.
People often assume that their skin is fully protected as long as they are either under the shade of an umbrella or slathered with sunscreen. Studies have been done that specifically evaluate the UV protectiveness of a beach umbrella and directly compare it with protection provided by sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF).
In one of these studies, participants were randomly assigned to 2 groups: 1 group of 41 participants was sent to the beach with only a beach umbrella, and the other group of 40 participants using only sunscreen with a SPF of 100. All participants remained at the sunny beach for 3½ hours at midday.
Clinical sunburn evaluation of each individual for all exposed body sites was conducted 22 to 24 hours after sun exposure. The results were impactful. There was a total of 142 sunburn incidences in the umbrella group and 17 in the sunscreen group. These results are a clear indication of the importance of having a multifaceted approach to sun protection and not getting too comfortable just because you have shade at the beach or slathered yourself in high-SPF sunscreen.
I don’t feel too guilty though about having put too much faith in my shady easy-up canopy, sunscreen and still ending up with a sunburn. While 25% of Americans frequently stay in the shade, only 16% regularly wear a hat, and 6% report frequently wearing long sleeves. Although I was not aware of it at the time, the literature has shown that barrier methods like clothing and shade are more effective than sunscreen alone in reducing exposure to solar UV radiation.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why even if you are under a pop-up tent, beach umbrella or sun shade covered in sunscreen, you should still protect yourself with a clothing barrier. Put on your Coolibar UPF 50+ sun-protective clothing, apply your sunscreen on any exposed areas, and don’t forget to re-apply every 2 hours (or sooner if you are sweating or after you go for a dip).
My story ends with me learning a valuable lesson: Protecting your skin from all angles at the beach is a must, regardless of whether or not you are sitting in the shade. Even if sunscreen annoys you or makes you feel sticky, protect yourself with UPF 50+ clothing. The best barrier to the sun is physical barrier on your skin.
Linos, E., Keiser, E., Fu, T., Colditz, G., Chen, S., & Tang, J. Y. (2011). Hat, shade, long sleeves, or sunscreen? Rethinking US sun protection messages based on their relative effectiveness. Cancer causes & control : CCC, 22(7), 1067–1071. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-011-9780-1
Ou-Yang, Jiang, L. I., Meyer, K., Wang, S. Q., Farberg, A. S., & Rigel, D. S. (2017). Sun Protection By Beach Umbrella Vs Sunscreen With A High Sun Protection Factor: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatology., 153(3), 304–308. Https://Doi.Org/10.1001/Jamadermatol.2016.4922
I recently tried Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sun protective clothing, which is guaranteed to block 98% of UVA/UVB rays. Self-care to me means massages and pedicures, but in reality it also means taking care of yourself even when it is hard. For example, I booked an appointment with a dermatologist, recently, because I had a spot on my shoulder that was itchy. It wasn’t a mole, it was a pink spot that wasn’t going away. In my gut I knew I needed to get it checked out even though I had every excuse not to go. I had a 2 month old baby and toddler at home, so getting out was very hard! But, I remembered hearing that itchy spots on the skin could be cancer, so I went in.
As soon as the dermatologist examined the spot, she suspected it to be skin cancer. She sent in a biopsy to get it checked out. She confirmed, I had basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. It was difficult to hear that I had cancer. I was scared! I booked an appointment to have Mohs surgery, where they remove the unhealthy layers of skin until they get to the healthy layers. The surgery was approximately 20-30 minutes in total and the recovery process was about 10 days. The remaining scar is a continuous reminder to me to always protect myself in the sun!
I am thankful for the experience because I’m more mindful of how I protect myself, and my family from the sun. One of the best ways is wearing sun protective clothing. Coolibar’s UPF 50+ clothing is guaranteed to block 98% of UVA/UVB rays and helps you stay comfortable in the sun.
When my 8-year-old daughter, Rowan, was little, she would go up to people on the street to tell them all about her life: her latest adventures, her dreams of running a museum, an animal rescue, being a famous singer and on and on. Then and now, she wants to be seen and to be able to tell her story. Gorlin syndrome is part of her story.
Rowan was diagnosed with Gorlin syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, when she was 5 years old. After a couple of years bouncing around to various doctors for odd things and monitoring bumps on her face and body, a pediatric dermatologist biopsied one of them and determined it was a basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a type of skin cancer associated with Gorlin syndrome. Gorlin syndrome is also known as Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome (NBCCS) due to the proliferation of BCCs in affected individuals.
Our family was floored, unsure of how to navigate all the doctor’s appointments, protocols, new recommendations, treatment options, and our mental health. Our diagnosing dermatologist suggested we connect with the Gorlin Syndrome Alliance (GSA), a patient advocacy organization focused on building community, seeking better treatments, and improving the quality of life of those affected by Gorlin syndrome.
Connecting with the GSA has been a beautiful silver lining, as we have met incredible people who have supported Rowan and our family on this journey. Rowan met another girl with Gorlin syndrome, who gave her a stuffed elephant that she treasures; it reminds her that she is not alone.
In Rowan’s first surgery, she had about two dozen BCCs removed from her face and body. Since then, she has had over 1000 BCCs treated in a variety of ways, from excision and laser removals to photo dynamic therapy and a variety of topical creams. She also sees a genetic counselor as well as numerous other specialists, and has maintained her outgoing demeanor, even crafting elaborate mazes on paper for her doctors.
Nothing will fully stop the unrelenting growth of her BCCs but reducing UV exposure from sunlight is crucial to minimizing her BCC burden. High SPF sunscreen and sunblock only provide so much protection; but UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing is best. Coolibar offers kids clothing that protects her with the highest rated UPF 50+ that blocks 98% of UVA/UVB rays. Rowan wears sun hats, sunscreen, and UPF clothing every day. Coolibar’s sun hats have at least a 3” wide brim to protect her scalp, ears, neck and face from the sun.
Gorlin syndrome and UV protection is a big part of her life, but Coolibar helps it be a smaller part, so she can focus on being the amazing, outgoing, inspiring, strong-willed kid that she is. Rowan is heading into her 3rd grade year at French American International School this year, and she has so much of her story ahead of her. I can’t wait to experience her impact on the world — she’s just getting started.
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.
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
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
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!
Have you ever found yourself asking, “What can I use instead of sunscreen”? Maybe it’s the stickiness or the need to constantly reapply that is making you consider something different. The good news is that there are plenty of sunscreen alternatives out there that provide just as much protection while being better for your body and the environment.
Sun protection is relevant for everyone, no matter who you are or where you live. While chemical sunscreens are probably the most common solution, they are not the best one. We’ll cover some of the top alternatives to sunscreen so you can feel confident making the switch.
Why Should You Protect Your Skin with Alternatives to Sunscreen?
The conventional sunscreens lining grocery store shelves are often loaded with active chemical ingredients that can wreak havoc on your body, internally and externally. Many of the chemicals are linked to skin irritation and allergies and can also be absorbed through the skin, enter your bloodstream, and disrupt your body’s hormones.
Chemical sunscreens aren’t great for the environment either, causing damage to coral reefs and other marine organisms. Incorporating natural alternatives to sunscreen into your routine is your best bet for a healthier you.
Avoid harmful chemicals: reducing the number of toxic substances entering our bodies is the primary reason to find a natural alternative to sunscreen.
Allow for healthy absorption of Vitamin D: natural sunscreen alternatives allow your body to maintain a healthy level of Vitamin D, some of which need to be absorbed directly from the sun.
Less risk of skin allergies: a natural sunscreen substitute will be healthier for your skin and body as a whole, reducing the likelihood of skin allergies and other issues.
Protect the environment: switching to a natural alternative to sunscreen will have a positive effect on your body and also the environment.
What to Use Instead of Sunscreen
You may have heard before that some exposure to the sun is healthy and necessary for your body to function correctly. If you always cover your body in chemical sunscreens, it will interfere with the body’s essential absorption of Vitamin D from the sun.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to weakness, loss of bone density, and other problems. In addition, a healthy amount of blue light from the sun through your eyes and skin in the morning helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and boost your mood.
Fortunately, plenty of natural alternatives to sunscreen are effective at preventing skin damage while allowing your body to get the Vitamin D it needs from the sun. Try incorporating one or more of the sunscreen alternatives below into your everyday routine.
Keep Your Skin Covered With UPF Clothing
Time Your Exposure to the Sun
Seek Shade From the Sun
Arguably one of the most accessible and convenient alternatives to sunscreen is UPF Clothing, Sun Protection You Wear. Incorporating UPF clothing into your everyday wardrobe allows you to ditch the sunscreen regimen and have a built-in healthy sunscreen alternative.
When shopping for UPF Clothing, the ratings are based on how much UV light can be absorbed through the fabric, which is different from the SPF rating used for sunscreens. Look for a UPF rating of at least 50 in clothing for the best protection. Coolibar is the world leader in UPF 50+ fabric technology, so you can be confident that your skin is well-protected. At Coolibar, we make garments that are elegant and has technical features of sun protection you wear.
Time Your Sun Exposure
Although sometimes tricky to pull off, timing your sun exposure can be a good substitute for sunscreen. Pay attention to your skin type, the UV index, and the altitude of your location when planning time outdoors. If you can optimize your time outdoors for when the UV index is at its lowest, you can avoid sun damage altogether.
Because the UV index is lowest in the morning and night, it can be difficult to avoid the outdoors during the day. Keep UPF clothing on hand for those times when you can’t avoid the outdoors during the peak heat of the day. It will keep you protected from the sun and cooler than regular clothing!
Seeking shade from the sun is another easy way to prevent sunburn that is chemical-free. Especially on beach days or summer vacations when you are outside for long periods, creating shade for yourself can have a significant impact. Why not opt for a hike through the woods, where you will naturally get shade from the sun?
For days at the beach, Coolibar has a variety of sun-safe accessories like sun blankets and sun umbrellas that are lightweight and perfect for travel. Or, create your own unique sun shade to protect you and your family from the sun.
Check out Coolibar’s blog for more tips on how to enjoy the sun responsibly.
Protect Your Skin with Coolibar’s Sunscreen Alternatives
It’s no wonder UPF clothing is consistently at the top of the list for sunscreen alternatives. Of course, there are many sunscreen substitutes out there, but safely enjoying the sun doesn’t have to be a struggle! Incorporate UPF clothing into your wardrobe, and you’ll be set for any outdoor adventure.
Regardless of the season, we’re all at risk of sunburn and developing other sun-related damage, so sun safety is relevant to everyone. Have you ever wondered if you can get sunburned on cloudy days? The answer may surprise you.
Sun protection isn’t just for summer. We’re here to cover some of the most important aspects of sun protection in cloudy weather so you can stay safe from the sun year-round. Read on to learn more about UV rays and how you can best avoid sunburn.
Before we find out if you can get sunburned through clouds, let’s cover the definition of UV rays and the three different types. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are invisible light rays emitted from the sun and are broken down into three groups based on the wavelength measured in nanometers (nm).
Ultraviolet A (UVA): long wavelength rays (315 to 400 nm) that are less intense but penetrate deep into the skin and cause tanning. UVA rays are responsible for skin aging and wrinkles by breaking down collagen fibers.
Ultraviolet B (UVB): medium wavelength rays (280 to 315 nm) that penetrate only the superficial layers of the skin. UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and are more intense and harmful to the skin’s DNA.
Ultraviolet C (UVC): short wavelength rays (100 to 280 nm) that are completely absorbed by the ozone layer, so they don’t reach your skin.
Can You Get Sunburned on a Cloudy Day?
Now that we understand what UV rays are, and the differences between the three types, can you still get sunburned on a cloudy day? The answer is yes–you can get sunburned on a cloudy day. In fact, clouds only block 10% of the sun’s rays, meaning up to 90% of UVA/UVB rays can reach your skin depending on the type and extent of cloud coverage.
Sun through clouds can be more dangerous because you might not realize you’re being exposed and may not take the necessary precautions. A few telltale signs of a cloudy day sunburn are skin sensitivity, warmth, irritation and itching.
UV rays can travel through clouds
Level of absorption depends on cloud type
Sunburn when cloudy can be even more harmful because you might not expect it
Can You Get Sunburned on a Stormy Day?
Regardless of the time of year, the sun’s rays can cause lasting damage to your skin. UV rays on cloudy days and stormy days can be just as likely to cause sunburn as UV rays in the heat of summer. Our skin can absorb UV rays directly from the sun, and indirectly through the reflection of water, sand, concrete and fresh snow. To avoid overcast sunburn, wear UPF 50+ clothing, keep a sun hat on hand and incorporate sunscreen into your daily routine.
UV exposure is increased by certain surfaces like sand and snow
Sunburns can happen in any season, even winter
Prevent sunburn by wearing both UPF 50+ clothing and accessories and SPF
One of the simplest ways to avoid sunburn on a cloudy day is to keep your skin adequately covered with UPF 50+ clothing and accessories. When it comes to using clothing as sun protection, not all garments protect from sun damage. Search for the highest quality, rigorously tested UPF 50+ clothing that never washes out.
With Coolibar, you can be 100% certain that our technical and elegant fabrics will provide you with the highest level of coverage and quality year-round. Check out some of our favorites for you and your family below.
You’re likely used to wearing sun hats at the beach or on the golf course in the summer, but wearing hats in cloudy, stormy or snowy weather is just as important. Look for sun hats with a brim of at least 3 inches to protect the delicate skin around your eyes and forehead. Coolibar offers a variety of seasonless styles and colors for any outdoor activity. Shop some of our most popular sun hats below!
Most people own umbrellas to stay dry in the rain, but what about sun umbrellas? They can be incredibly useful to create shade from harmful UV rays at the beach, golf course or on your patio. Their intelligent design makes transport a breeze. Take a look at our top sellers below.
Whether you’re planning a long beach day or a ski trip in the mountains, wearing sunscreen daily is one of the most important ways to protect your skin from the sun. Sunscreen is most effective when incorporated into your daily routine, so you’re covered no matter the season.
When shopping for sunscreens, look for a broad spectrum for coverage against UVA and UVB rays. If you aren’t sure what level of protection to go for, take some time to learn what SPF ratings really mean and which is best for you.
Explore more of our highest rated UPF 50+ clothing and accessories for men, women and kids!
Protect Your Skin in Any Weather with Coolibar UPF 50+ Clothing
Sunny, snowy, cloudy, stormy–keep your skin protected in all conditions and seasons. The sun’s rays are sneaky and can reach you through clouds and even when you’re indoors. Coolibar is not only the world leader in UPF 50+ fabric technology but also the first clothing company to receive the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation for safe and effective sun protection.
Long days at the beach can be incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating, but they can also wreak havoc on your skin. What’s more, keeping up your sunscreen regimen can be challenging, especially with young children.
Since most beaches aren’t covered with shady trees, you will need to create your own shade! There are three significant sources of beach shade you can bring with you to keep you and your family covered while enjoying the sun and sand.
Applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher
Cover your skin by wearing lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses. Select clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) for more effective production
Seeking out shade, especially when the sun is at its strongest between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm
Most remember to apply sunscreen and sun protective swimwear, especially when it comes to young people. But they don’t always seek out shade! Coolibar has got you covered…literally. Here are some beach shade ideas for your next vacation in the sun.
DIY Beach Sun Shade Ideas
Shady Wide-Brimmed Hats
First and foremost, protection starts at the top. You need a hat! The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a hat with a brim of at least three inches to shade your scalp, neck, shoulders, and upper back, along with easily overlooked places like the tops of the ears and back of the neck.
There are many fashion hats out there made with materials that allow UV Rays to penetrate the fabric and reach the skin, but with a UPF 50+ hat, you don’t have to worry about it! Here are some of our tried and true favorites:
Second on our list of convenient sun shade options is the beach umbrella. The Intego beach umbrella is made with rigorously tested, highest-rated UPF 50+ material and is even tilt adjustable to maximize sun blockage. You can be sure it will last you for many beach trips with the following technical features:
Easy to transport
Effectively provides shade for up to two people
Stay cool and protected with Coolibar’s UPF 50+ beach umbrella, a sunshade you can transport wherever your next adventure takes you.
Tiny Home on the Beach
A beach canopy or tent is usually made up of four posts with a piece of fabric on top and is an excellent option for a larger group of people. There’s really no limit to how large you can make it, so you can feel confident that your children are getting adequate shade. Beach canopies require just a few materials, are easily packable, and can be made in various sizes and heights, depending on your needs. Below are the materials you’ll utilize to create a beach canopy of your own.
Posts: we recommend using four posts anchored vertically in the sand as the base. You can use tent poles or even sticks found along the beach!
Fabric: for the best protection, use a dark or dense material such as canvas or woven cloth.
Clamps: you’ll need four clamps or another type of fastener to secure the fabric to the posts.
Towels or Chairs: enjoy a snooze or a snack in the shade under your newly created beach canopy!
If you’re not looking to create your own, many Coolibar customers love the Shibumi Shade. It’s lightweight, easy to set up, and can provide shade for the whole family.
Now that you’ve learned about the importance of sunshades, check out Coolibar’s blog for more sun-safe tips and shop their selection of Sun Protection You Wear.
Protect Your Skin at the Beach with Coolibar
Whether you choose to DIY at the beach or purchase one of your own to use for many years to come, a sunshade is a must for your next warm weather getaway. You’ll not only have a spot for everyone to gather, but you’ll keep your skin covered and have a chance to cool off from the sun. With so many varieties of sunshades, there’s one to fit every situation.
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.
UVArays 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.
UVBrays 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
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.
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.
When an emergency arises during your commute to work or long road trip, you will be glad you planned ahead with this list of things to keep in your car for safety. What to keep in your car varies slightly depending on your region, but there are several car essentials that apply regardless.
Traveling by car is a convenient mode of transportation, but it’s important to have an emergency kit packed and ready in case something goes wrong. There’s always a chance of a flat tire, accident, or breakdown, and you’ll be glad you thought ahead if those situations arise.
Aside from the everyday things to have in your car in case of emergency, there are special precautions to take during the summer and winter months if you get stranded. No matter the time of year, UV rays can reach you in the car and cause damage, so sun protection is key. Here are 16 car necessities for every driver to keep in mind when going out on the road.
There are certain safety items to have in your car, no matter where you are going or for how long. These items are necessary and will help with some of the most common issues that occur when traveling by car. Whether your vehicle is used or new, these essentials are vital to keeping you safe in transit.
One car essential for new and experienced drivers alike is a set of jumper cables. If your car is not starting, you do not want to be caught without jumper cables handy. A dead battery is an ordinary car problem, especially with older cars and during the wintertime.
Dead batteries can be caused by simply forgetting to turn off the interior lights in your car. Jumper cables allow you to jumpstart your battery by connecting with another vehicle’s battery. Most cars will have a hidden spot in the trunk that is perfect for storing jumper cables. When shopping for jumper cables, look for the following features:
Cables of 10-20 feet in length
Heavy duty clamps so they properly secure to the battery, with rubber handles for safety
Lower wire gauge number (4 is preferred) for faster jump speed
Clear instruction manual
A flat tire is a major disruptor of travel, so being prepared with tire gear will go a long way to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. Some cars will come with a spare tire in the trunk, but it’s worth it to double-check that you have both the spare tire and the tools needed to change the tire. When preparing your tire kit, be sure to include the following items to address any issues with tire pressure, tire leaks, and flat tires:
First Aid Kit
Another basic item on the list of things you need in your car is a first aid kit. A medical issue could happen at any moment, so having a first aid kit packed is crucial.
It’s a good idea to keep your first aid kit in the glove compartment because it’s a secure and cool spot that children won’t be able to access, but you can. Many stores will sell first aid kits already assembled with everything you need. Be sure that your kit includes these items:
Adhesive bandages and bandage wrap in multiple sizes
Gauze pads and tape
Burn gel or aloe vera
Sunscreen and bug spray
Tylenol or Ibuprofen
Tweezers and small scissors
Last on the emergency necessities list is a flashlight. Having a flashlight in your car can help if you need to jump your car late at night or need to alert other drivers if you are stranded on the side of the road. These key features will ensure your flashlight is ready to help during any emergency:
Long battery life
High brightness level (500-Lumens or above)
Convenient size for storing in your center console
In addition to the necessary emergency essentials, it’s also a good idea to keep some personal items stocked in your car. These are convenient things to have in your car, not just for emergencies but also for everyday use.
Water and Snacks
When hunger and thirst strike, it’s good to have a small stash of food and water in your car. Snacks are best stored in the glove compartment or center console to keep cool. Keeping a water bottle in the front with you and maybe even an extra gallon of water in your trunk can be a lifesaver in an emergency. When stocking your car with food, look for those items with a longer shelf life, such as:
Nuts and seeds
Multi-tool devices such as a Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife are versatile items to keep in the car and will come in handy more often than you may realize. They combine many functions into one tool and have many practical applications. Some even have things like a bottle opener or nail file. When shopping for a multi-tool device, look for it to have these standard components:
Cash is often overlooked nowadays, but it’s wise to keep it in your car, especially if you are traveling in remote areas. You never know when you might find yourself in need of cash.
Maybe you are running low on gas, and the only gas station nearby does not accept credit cards. Or your car broke down, and you need some cash to pay someone for a ride into the nearest town. When getting money ready for your car, keep in mind the following:
Make sure to have a variety of smaller bills like fives and tens
Store the cash in a hidden place like the center console or glove compartment
Avoid large quantities of cash (nothing more than $100)
Running out of phone battery on the road can make an emergency situation even worse. Stay prepared by always having a backup phone charger in your car. While phone chargers that plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter or USB port are great when your car is running, choose one that does not depend on your car, like the options below.
Battery pack that charges via USB (select one that holds many hours of charge)
Charger with a removable battery (be sure to keep a spare battery on hand)
Solar power phone charger
The list of essential items for a car grows longer if you live in a colder climate. Winter storms can wreak havoc on your car and travel plans. Get your car ready for winter with these things to have in your car trunk.
Whether you’ve hit ice and veered off the road or left your car outside during a snowstorm, a snow shovel is a major winter essential, and it’s easy to store. If you are stuck and having to remove lots of snow, you’ll want a winter shovel that will hold up to the wear and tear, so consider the following when shopping:
Durable material like aluminum or carbon steel
Collapsible to save room in your car
Getting your car stuck in the snow can be a nightmare if you aren’t prepared. Having a snow shovel to dig yourself out is great, but you might also need a traction aid for your tires. This will help give your tires some grip so you can more easily accelerate out of the snow.
When stored in the trunk of your car, large bags can also improve overall traction when driving by adding extra weight to rear- and four-wheel drive vehicles. Some examples of traction aids are:
Even if you aren’t stuck in the snow, you’ll want a tool to remove snow and ice from your windows and windshield during or after a snowstorm. An ice scraper will come in handy during the wintertime and should be on your car necessities list. Look for an ice scraper with the following features:
Scraper for ice removal
Brush for snow removal
Other items to always keep in your car during the winter include extra winter gear. If you happen to get stranded, you may have to wait multiple hours for help, especially during a severe storm. Be prepared with extra equipment to keep you warm, including:
The windshield and windows in your car offer some limited protection from the sun, but there’s a reason that most skin cancers occur on the left side of the face and body. If you drive often, you get consistent UV exposure and damage from the driver’s side window. Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen daily and keeping extra in the car. When shopping for sunscreens, look for these qualities:
SPF 30 or above
Wearing gloves when you drive can actually significantly impact skin health on your hands, especially if you drive frequently. UV damage to the delicate skin on your hands can cause aging, wrinkles, and even skin cancer. There are many options out there, but here are some important features to look for in driving gloves:
Tech gloves or fingerless gloves
Coverage for your wrists and arms
Sunglasses are a good thing to keep in your car, and most cars have storage explicitly made for them with easy access for the driver. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV damage that can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. They can also reduce glare when driving. A few things to look for when shopping for sunglasses:
100% UVA and UVB protection
Polarized lenses for the best protection
Large enough in size to protect the sensitive skin around the eyes
Last but certainly not least on the list of car needs is UPF clothing. This is especially important in the summer when the sun is the strongest and during long road trips. Even though you are in the car, your skin can be damaged if left unprotected. Here are some UPF 50+ clothing and accessory items to consider:
Shop Coolibar to Stay Protected From the Sun in your Car
Preparing your car for emergencies is important for all drivers, regardless of age and experience. In addition to emergency and personal essentials, items for sun protection can help you avoid skin damage and stay safe in the car. Read more sun safety tips on our blog, and check out Coolibar’s UPF 50+ clothing for you and your family.