UPF clothing, swimwear and accessories to protect you from the sun
As the hottest months of the year approach, sun protection is a priority for many travelers. And while sunscreen is a no-brainer, one of the most practical, if less commonly used, ways to keep your skin healthy is to pack clothes with built-in UPF.
UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate fabric and reach your skin. For example, UPF 50 fabric blocks 98% of the sun’s rays, which significantly reduces the risk of exposure, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
“Wear UPF clothing and FPS protects against the development of skin cancer and reduces the risk of photoaging, which can present as sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles,” said dermatologist Dr. Joanne Simpson, MD, MPH said.
Simpson uses the example of a basic white T-shirt, which, although unmarked, has a UPF of around seven. If the shirt gets wet, the UPF drops to three. For regular non-UPF garments, Simpson’s recommends choosing darker colors and tightly woven fabrics. But for even more protection, look for clothes with a UPF rating above 30 (50 is the highest and the most protective).
UPF clothing is especially important for those who work outdoors, are sensitive to certain sunscreen ingredients, or are active around water, Simpson says, making it a great addition to the packing list for your next boat adventure, waterfall hike or beach trip. Since children tend to squirm while applying sunscreen, UPF clothing from brands such as Reima can also be particularly useful.
Fortunately, UPF clothing seems to be getting easier to find with each summer season as more and more brands understand the need and desire for sun protection. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite UPF apparel, keeping style, comfort, and versatility in mind when choosing these travel-friendly picks.