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Everything You Need to Know about Sun Protective Swimwear




Family wearing sun protective swimwear

As a water-sport enthusiast, you face a unique problem during the hot summer months - the sun itself. Yes, this sounds like a contradiction. After all, the sun is the reason why you, like everyone else, love summer. That’s true. Also true is that the bright sun you so love holds a dark secret.

The Sun and Skin Cancer

If you guessed it right, besides giving you a lovely tan, the sun’s rays can also give you sunburn or worse, skin cancer. Although many people know about the sun’s dark side, they don’t take it seriously. But cancer is serious, especially after you read the statistics on skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Statistics

The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates skin cancer affects 20% of Americans. What’s more, the foundation attributes nine out of 10 signs of aging to the sun, including distended capillaries, inflamed pores, and red skin among others. But if you think seniors have it rough under the sun, infants have it worse.

According to the foundation, six-month-old infants shouldn’t even be in the sun. Apparently, the sun is particularly brutal on their extra-fragile skin. What should you do about children old enough to play in the sun?
Although they, too, are vulnerable, so teach them how to cover up or at least to apply sunscreen. Sun damage accumulates in the skin for a long time before becoming problematic, the foundation adds. So, the earlier you teach your kids how to protect your skin, the better.

The Effectiveness of Sunscreen

Speaking of sunscreen, just how effective is it? According to researchers at the Skin Care Foundation, the simple answer to this question is that sunscreen is very effective. However, they warn that to be on the safe side, only use broad-spectrum sunscreen lotions, blocking both UVB and UVA spectrum rays.

How to Use Sunscreen Wisely

First, ensure you cover every part of your skin with the lotion, including easily-forgotten parts like ears and the scalp. And whatever you do, avoid sunscreen sprays. Although they’re effective, they don’t cover the skin as well as do lotions.

If you intend to remain outdoors while doing little, apply the screen every few hours. On the other hand, if you’re active outdoors, especially in water-sports, apply every hour.

Remember, as a water-sports enthusiast, whatever the water doesn’t wash off, sweat will. However, if this necessary routine seems long and tedious to you, that’s because it is. So, is there a long-lasting, less-tedious, yet better way to protect your skin from the sun?

In fact, there is - sun protective swimwear. But how does it compare to good, old sunscreen? Let’s find out.

Some Facts on Sun Protective Swimwear

Also known as UV-protective clothing, sun protective clothing and swimwear greatly differ from your regular clothes and swimsuits. For instance, they’re made with densely woven fabric or from fabric covered with UV-resistant dyes. As a result, such fabrics have the same sun-protection rating as your regular sunscreen.

The Effectiveness of Sun Protective Swimwear

Although they share the same rating with sunscreen rating, sun protective swimwear offers better sun protection for three reasons. One, for sunscreen to be effective, you must apply it evenly and thoroughly - something which most people don’t do. In contrast, this is never an issue with clothing. After you dress, the clothing automatically protects you and keeps you protected.

Two, unlike sun-protective clothing, sunscreen washes off when you come into contact with water or when you sweat. And when it does, you still consider yourself protected, leaving you vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun. The swim-wear, on the other hand, protects you until you decide to undress.

Three, according to the Skin Care Foundation, sun protection clothing physically blocks the sun’s rays from reaching your skin. This makes such clothing the best protection you have against the sun’s harmful UV effects.

How Fashionable is Sun Protective Swimwear?

Despite its advantages, sun protective swimwear and clothing have remained unpopular because people deem them unfashionable. But are they? For the longest time, they were, but not anymore. Today, they not only look stylish but also protect you from the sun.

What’s even better, they come in all colors and sizes, suitable for different tastes for both adults and children. That said, remember the more skin a swimsuit covers, the more it protects. And compared to a normal UV-protective swimsuit, tankini swimsuits protect against UV rays better. As a matter of fact, regular tankinis are overall better against UV rays than bikinis. Why? They cover more skin.


Before you know everything you need to know about UV-protective swimwear, you must first know about the effects of the sun, namely skin cancer. This disease affects one in two Americans, so to prevent it, we use sunscreen. Unfortunately, most don’t use sunscreen wisely. They don’t apply it enough times or in the right areas.

As a result, they’re turning to sun protective swimwear instead - an effective alternative that doesn’t wash off. But is it fashionable? Although a few years back it wasn’t, modern sun protective swimwear is both stylish and practical, so try it this summer.

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