Do You Wear Sunscreen Under UPF Clothing?

Light Representing UPF Fabrics

While there is no need to wear sunscreen under your UPF 50 long sleeve sun shirt, you may want to consider it for other articles of clothing. UV radiation can penetrate clothing, but it all depends exactly how much. This might seem like a ridiculous idea, but it’s actually something more people should be considering. Below are some situations when you should and shouldn’t consider applying sunscreen underneath your clothing:

If Your Shirt Has a UPF Rating Listed:

Should you wear sunscreen underneath? No need.

A long sleeve sun shirt with a UPF 50 rating means you are receiving the equivalent protection of a sunscreen with an SPF 50 rating. So in this situation – no, it’s not necessary to also wear sunscreen underneath your clothing. Oftentimes people choose to buy a sun shirt because it allows them to go about their day without having to apply sunscreen. It always keeps you covered, never needs reapplication, and is also a very comfortable option. If you already have proper UPF gear, no need to lather up with sunscreen as well (except for any exposed areas like the hands and face).

No UPF Rating Listed, But You Think Your Shirt Is Sun Protective:

Armor UPF Protection

Should you wear sunscreen underneath? It depends.

Without proper lab testing, it’s very difficult to determine exactly how much protection you are getting. If you can hold a fabric up to a light and absolutely no light can get through, it’s likely that it is providing superb protection. However, this is not always the case. Even UPF 50 long sleeve sun shirts allow visible light through, but it still provides excellent UPF protection.

Below are some of the other factors to consider when determining if you are receiving enough UV protection. If you are looking for more information on this topic, our post about which fabric block UV rays helps provide more specifics.

  • Fiber Material: Certain fibers like nylon, polyester, and bamboo often have a higher UPF value than cotton
  • Fiber Construction: A tight weave with less space between threads results in better protection.
  • Fit: Loose-fitting apparel is preferable to tight. The tighter the apparel, the more likely it is to stretch and allow UV rays through.
  • Style: The more coverage the better. A hooded long sleeve sun shirt not only protects your torso, but your neck and arms. 

A Typical Cotton Shirt

Average Cotton Shirt, No UPF

Should you wear sunscreen underneath? Yes.

If you are wearing a generic cotton shirt and are going to be out in the sun, you should apply sunscreen underneath. The reason UPF shirts exist at all is because the standard cotton shirt simply does not provide proper protection. You might only be receiving a UPF protection of 1-5, which is well below the dermatologist minimum recommendation of 30. In this situation, you should certainly wear sunscreen underneath your shirt. UV exposure is linked to skin cancer, and there’s no need to risk it for a subtle inconvenience.

At Rayward Apparel, all of our products are rated at UPF 50+. All of our products and individual color variations have been tested and certified, providing our customers the peace of mind knowing they have proper protection. While protective, our products are also designed with functionality in mind. Our SUN BOUND collection of athletic shirts are built to perform as well as they protect. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your comfort to keep your skin safe.

What Is the Best Sunscreen?

Sunscreen Lotion with SPF

To safely protect your skin from the sun, you need the complementary defenses of SPF clothing and sunscreen. For body parts coverable with UV protective apparel, we recommend SPF clothing for men/women. For more on the advantages of SPF clothing for men/women, click here. However, UV clothing won’t cover all of your skin, and those areas need protection too! Without further ado, continue below to learn about the best sunscreens.

Broad-spectrum or Bust

Simply put, you should not use any sunscreen that isn’t offering broad-spectrum protection. Without a broad-spectrum protection, your sunscreen is only blocking half of the sun’s damaging UV rays. A broad spectrum designation indicates protection against both UVA and UVB rays. An important distinction because UVA rays are linked to skin cancer, and UVB rays cause sunburn. Too much of either has negative health consequences, so protect yourself from both. Interestingly, all UPF-rated clothing is broad-spectrum, so you have a little less to worry about with UPF apparel.

SPF 30 or Higher Sunscreen

Dermatologists recommend using a minimum of SPF 30, and who are we to disagree? The advantage of SPF 30 sunscreen versus lower SPFs is that you are blocking more of the sun’s UV rays. Keep in mind, however, that a higher SPF does not mean you can suddenly spend hours in the sun. No matter your SPF, you still need to reapply every 1-2 hours. Relating SPF to UV clothing, consider that what SPF is to sunscreen, UPF is to fabric. Although different methods determine the exact ratings, the principle is the same. We recommend pairing your sunscreen with UPF 50+ apparel so that your clothing blocks over 98% of UV rays, which can still be accomplished with lightweight SPF clothing for men/women.

Lotion or Spray Sunscreen?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends lotion sunscreen for a couple reasons. Firstly, it’s easier to make sure you apply the right amount when using a lotion. Secondly, you don’t have to worry about accidentally breathing in the overspray. Speaking of overspray, there is usually less waste with lotions as everything you squeeze out gets applied. Fans of sprays will point out the ease of application, especially if you’re covered in sand (or already sunburned… hey, mistakes happen!). We like the reassurance of a lotion, so that’s our go-to. Of course, we’ll admit that this one has a little more to do with personal preference, but now you know where we stand!

Sunscreen Lotion Squeeze Bottle

Water Resistance

Any sunscreen you plan to use around the water should have some degree of water resistance. The FDA regulates sunscreen claims of water resistance, allowing a water-resistant rating of either 40 or 80 minutes. All else equal, we recommend the 80-minute water resistance. This way you can spend more time swimming or surfing! Just remember, sunscreen is never waterproof, so always reapply after soaking or sweating.

Reef-safe Ingredients

Increasingly in the news are sunscreen ingredients and their impact on coral reefs and marine life. While much remains unknown about the full extent of any reported harmful effects of sunscreen, the best sunscreen is one that leaves nothing to chance. With that in mind, and based on data available at the time of our publication, we recommend “reef-friendly” sunscreens that avoid oxybenzone and octinoxate, both of which are generally recognized as damaging to coral reefs. In fact, you’ll likely notice an increasing number of beaches and destinations banning sunscreens containing these ingredients, so best to play it safe with effective natural sunscreens or mineral sunscreens.

Coral Reefs Impacted by Sunscreen Ingredients

Chemical vs Physical (Mineral) Sunscreens

The last decision you have to make about your sunscreen is choosing between a chemical or physical sunscreen (sometimes referred to as mineral or natural sunscreens). Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients that are absorbed into your skin, while physical sunscreen ingredients sit on the surface of your skin. With a physical sunscreen, you are effectively creating a barrier of minerals to prevent UV rays from reaching your skin. Due to more research being available about physical/mineral sunscreen ingredients, we prefer these to their chemical counterpart.

There are many sunscreens that meet all of our performance criteria, so your decision usually comes down to budget, application type and ingredients. Of course, some sunscreens are bad and others should be avoided, but once you find a sunscreen that’s easy to apply and meets our safety requirements, just remember to use it! For help choosing the best sunscreen, check out our summary of the 10 Best Sunscreens of 2020! Keep in mind, however, that your best sun protection comes with a combination of sunscreen and UPF apparel. To find the right sun clothes to complement your sunscreen, shop our lightweight SPF clothing for men/women today!

A New Way to Think About Sun Protection

Caribbean Beach for Sun Protection Hats

For many people, protection against UV damage starts and stops with sunscreen. This of course is both good and bad. It’s good if broad spectrum sunscreen is being used to prevent UV damage. It’s bad, however, if your sun protection plan relies exclusively (or even disproportionately) on sunscreens. If sunscreen isn’t enough by itself, what else should you rely on for your sun protection? The answer is simple and just requires a new way of thinking about sun protection. Keep reading to find out why UPF apparel, including men’s and women’s sun hats, should form the foundation of your sun protection.

Get Your Priorities Straight (and Wear a Sun Hat)

This isn’t a radical new approach to sun protection, but rather a realignment of how you prioritize the components of your sun protection. The most effective sun protection includes sunscreen, but uses it in support of more practical, cost-effective measures, such as UPF sun hats and UPF clothing. 

Here are some of the reasons your sun protection should start with UPF-rated UV clothing:

  • Sunscreen is expensive so UPF clothing and sun hats save you money in the long run.
  • UPF shirts and sun hats are always broad spectrum.
  • It’s easier to put on UV hats and sun shirts.
  • Sun apparel and hats are instantly UV-protective without the need to wait 30 minutes.
  • You don’t have to reapply UPF apparel and hats.
  • Unlike most sunscreens, UV clothing and sun hats don’t feel greasy or sticky.
  • UPF shirts and hats don’t have any odor.
  • UPF hats protect your hair better than sunscreen.
  • Sun-protective hats and shirts don’t contain reef-damaging ingredients.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. For all of the reasons mentioned above, Rayward Apparel creates lightweight UPF 50+ clothing. This is also why we’re launching our first men’s and women’s sun hats with UV protection. If you don’t already have UPF-rated sun clothing, or if you’re in need of something more comfortable, check out our store today!

Put On Your Imagination Caps (or Sun Hats)

For an illustration of how our UPF apparel could affect your sunscreen use, play out the following scenario. Imagine you’re protected with your sun hat and sun shirt. Now try to consider which areas of your skin could still be exposed. While doing this, keep in mind that UV radiation doesn’t just come from above. In fact, UV rays also reflect off certain surfaces, including water, sand, snow, ice and cement. Ok, how’s your sun protection?

If you’re wearing a long sleeve hooded UPF shirt, you’re probably only exposing your hands, neck and head. If you took our advice and are also wearing one of our women’s or men’s sun hats, then you are also helping protect your scalp, forehead and ears, and to a lesser extent your face and neck. Think about how much less sunscreen (and money) you’ll use to protect the rest of your body! Plus, you’ll save time for more fun with less time wasted rubbing on lotion.

Man That Needs a Sun Hat

Using this new way of thinking about sun protection, your planning starts with UPF sun clothing, including men’s and women’s sun hats. Now your sunscreen takes the role it always should have played: supporting UV-blocking fabrics which are more effective and less costly in the long run.

Rayward Apparel’s new men’s and women’s sun hats are available now, and make a great foundation for your new sun protection plans!

Bonus: Armed with your new mindset on sun protection, here’s something else to think about! Did you know that you can use the UV Index to find out which days present the highest risk for UV damage? Check out this short video to learn more about the UV Index:

Best Sun Shirts For The Beach

Sunny, Sandy Beach Aerial View

A day at the beach should be fun, relaxing and safe. It should not, however, be shortened by lack of sun protection or ruined by fears of sunburn. Whether you’re spending the day at your local beach, or miles from home and on vacation, you need to wear the best sun shirts for the beach: lightweight hoodies. 

Hopefully your beach is the sunny escape you need, but even perfect beaches are full of invisible, damaging UV rays. These harmful UV rays pour down from above, reflect up from sand, and even penetrate through and bounce off water. With little relief from the sun, even underneath an umbrella, your best protection is a high-performance sun shirt. We recommend Rayward Apparel’s lightweight hoodies with UPF 50+ protection.

To find out why our UPF 50+ lightweight hoodies are the best sun shirts for the beach, continue below. From the breathable fabric to the dependable UV protection, our Sun Bound long sleeve hooded shirt is your best bet for the beach!

Lightweight & Breathable Beachwear Hoodies

A hot, sunny day at the shore requires a breathable shirt that feels lightweight and cool. Our Sun Bound collection of UPF 50+ shirts blends natural cottons and viscose from bamboo for a lightweight fabric. As a result, it’s as perfectly suited for beach volleyball as it is for post-game drinks at the club house!

Beach Volleyball Court with Sand

Durable in the Sand, Soft on Your Skin

For active beachgoers, your best shirt is one that stands up to your abuse, day after day, wash after wash. By blending cotton, viscose from bamboo and lycra, we’ve created an ultra soft, yet extremely durable fabric. Plus, it stretches while resisting pilling. Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound lightweight hoodies, for instance, benefit from the best traits of each fabric type. Therefore, you benefit from shirts perfectly suited for whatever your beach day brings—from frisbee to fishing, paddleboarding to reading. Whatsmore, the long sleeve hooded Sun Bound collection is great because of its simple care instructions and machine-washable construction!

Our Beach Sun Shirts & Hoodies Dry Quick

Beaches = water, so the best sun shirts for the beach need to be fast drying. The quick-dry lightweight shirts of Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound collection do just that! Even with our long sleeve shirt or our lightweight hoodie—which offer the largest area of protection and are the best suited for a long day in the sun—you aren’t walking around with a heavy, wet shirt stuck to your skin all day. 

Sun Shirts Save You Money on Sunscreen

A full day at the beach is going to call for several applications of sunscreen, which consume your time, require help and cost a lot of money. It’s not uncommon to go through an entire bottle of sunscreen lotion during just a single day at the beach—and that’s before you start passing it around for all your friends and family that forgot their own sun protection. The full, reliable protection offered by our lightweight hoodies ensures proper UV protection without the need to cover your entire body with sunscreen. Of course, all exposed areas, such as your face and hands, still need the UV protection of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, but your bottle will last a lot longer when you aren’t using an entire tub on your torso and arms!

UPF 50+ UV Protection

The biggest factor in choosing the best sun protection shirt for the beach is in the UPF rating. Nothing can ruin the perfect day at the beach quite like a nasty sunburn, and you’re especially vulnerable in or on the water, so choose the highest possible UV protection rating with a lightweight shirt rated at UPF 50+. A UPF 50+ protection rating tells you that an article of clothing blocks 98% of the sun’s damaging UV rays, the equivalent of constantly wearing SPF 50 sunscreen, but without the greasiness, odor, cost and time-consuming applications (and reapplication, and reapplication, and reapplication…).

Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound long sleeve lightweight hoodies check every box for effective, sun-protective beachwear, and we trust they will become your go-to beach shirt for years to come!

Why You Need A Sun Protection Neck Gaiter

Silhouette of Woman Needing Sun Protection Gaiter

Sun protection neck gaiters are one of our favorite outdoor accessories. So much so, in fact, that we’re reluctant to label them as “accessories” for fear the term diminishes their importance. Do you need a sun protection gaiter? Yes. Why do you need one? Glad you asked!

UPF Neck Gaiters Save Your Hide… Literally

Sun protection neck gaiters block UV rays from hitting the vulnerable parts of your face and neck. Without this protection, UVA and UVB rays will cause sunburn, early aging, sun spots and can ultimately lead to skin cancer. However, with a sun protection gaiter touting a UPF 50+ rating, over 98% of harmful UV rays will never reach the parts of your skin protected by its fabric.

UPF neck gaiters are great for necks because necks are an otherwise difficult, or at least inconvenient, area to protect. They are vulnerable, often exposed, and you can’t see them to ensure they’re protected! The same can be said for your ears and face. Fortunately, Rayward Apparel’s Del Mar neck gaiters can be pulled up over your mouth, nose and ears without exposing your neck. This is especially important on or near the water, such as when fishing.

Although applying sunscreen isn’t especially challenging, if you’re concerned that you aren’t doing it as properly or as often (every 2 hours minimum) as you should, then it’s best to try a new means of UV protection, such as a UPF neck gaiter. Your skin will thank you, and you’ll quickly realize that our UPF neck gaiters offer way more than UV protection.

Our Neck Gaiters Do More Than Block UV Rays

Sun protection neck gaiters, while designed first and foremost for UV protection, do much more.* For example, the soft fabric can be dipped in cool water and returned to your head or neck for a quick, refreshing cool down. The lightweight and breathable fabric is also moisture-wicking, so sweat will evaporate quickly to keep you dry and cool. Additionally, although the fabric is lightweight, it will still help you retain some of your body’s warmth on chilly days. This is because the air between the fabric and your skin will remain warmer than the air outside. Plus, there are additional benefits based on how you wear your gaiter, including as hairbands, wristbands and hat liners!

If you don’t yet have a sun protection gaiter, you’ll be excited to learn that Rayward Apparel’s Del Mar UPF 50+ neck gaiters are available NOW! They are everything you need from a UPF neck gaiter, and nothing you don’t! And remember, join our email list to be among the first to know about new UPF 50+ products from Rayward Apparel.

Rayward Apparel's Sun Protection Neck Gaiters

Need a refresher on how UV rays affect your skin? Check out the video below:

* One thing Rayward Apparel’s sun protection neck gaiters are not designed for is preventing the spread of disease. Our UPF neck gaiters have not been tested for their effectiveness at preventing the spread of disease, such as COVID19. Therefore, they should not be used as an alternative to any appropriately-rated face masks.

Is UPF Clothing Better Than Sunscreen?

Running in UPF Clothing

If you are looking for the best coverage and cost savings, UPF clothing is the way to go. However, even when wearing UV protection clothing, it’s important you still have a quality sunscreen on hand. This is because even with the best clothing, it’s difficult to keep areas like your face and hands protected. Regardless of what you use for the rest of your body, make sure you have sunscreen handy for any exposed areas.

Better And More Effective Coverage

With sun protective gear, there’s no question about the amount of coverage you are getting. There’s much less guesswork, and it’s impossible to miss a spot. For long days in the sun, UPF clothing is a no-brainer, you can ensure you are fully covered without ever having to re-apply. Keep in mind, if you are wearing a t-shirt without a UPF rating UV rays can still penetrate the shirt and it’s recommended you apply sunscreen underneath the shirt as well on any exposed areas.

UPF Clothing Coverage Advantages:

  • Wherever the clothing covers, you have proper protection. You can’t miss a spot, and you don’t need someone else to help you get your back
  • Longer lasting. Sunscreens have a maximum effective use of 2 hours before reapplication is needed, and that number is much shorter when wet. UV protection clothing provides coverage for the life of the fabric and you won’t need to continually re-apply throughout the day

Sunscreen Coverage Advantages

  • Can get areas of your body clothing does not cover – face, neck, and hands are some of the usual suspects
  • If unprepared, can easily be bought in any convenience store (make sure to buy a broad-spectrum and waterproof version)
  • In extreme heat, sunscreen might keep you a bit cooler. However, many sun protection clothing options are extremely breathable and lightweight – just make sure you choose a shirt color that will suit your needs.

**Keep in mind, if you are wearing a t-shirt without a UPF rating, it’s recommended you apply sunscreen underneath the shirt as well as on any exposed areas.

Cost Savings

Cost Savings UV CLothing

The cheapest sunscreens you can buy online generally sell for about $1 per ounce, and can go all the way up to $5+ per ounce. Considering most adults need at least 1 ounce of sunscreen for full coverage, the costs can add up quickly. This is especially true if you are reapplying multiple times throughout the day. Quality UV protection clothing may run you about $50 at the time of purchase, but will keep you covered for years to come, saving you on sunscreen costs each and every time you wear it. 

Top recommendations to maximize cost savings:

  • Wear a UPF shirt that maximizes your coverage. A hooded long sleeve shirt will not only cover your torso, but your neck and arms as well.
  • Wear a sun protective bucket hat. This will keep your head and ears protected as well without needing sunscreen in those areas.
  • Do you research and find the most cost effective sunscreen for your needs. Make sure it’s broad spectrum to keep you properly protected from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • For more ideas, dive in a little deeper on ways to limit your sunscreen use.

Always Stay Protected

Regardless of whether you choose to wear UV protection clothing or sunscreen, just make sure you stay covered. Any sun protection is better than none. It’s a well known fact that protecting yourself from UV rays will decrease the likelihood of skin cancer. And if you don’t believe us, check out the video to the left and maybe our Australian friend Sid the Seagull can convince you otherwise. Slip, slop, slap, seek and slide!

What Can I Wear Instead Of Sunscreen?

Sunglasses and Alternatives to Sunscreen

Bamboo clothing and other sun protective apparel are becoming popular alternatives to sunscreen, but what else is there? UV exposure is harmful to your skin so it’s important you stay protected, but sunscreen is not your only option. There are a lot of reasons you might want to avoid sunscreen. Maybe it’s an allergic reaction, general discomfort, or you just want to avoid covering your body in chemicals. Regardless of your reason, there are a lot of ways to stay protected throughout your day without applying chemicals to your skin.

Sun Protective Bamboo Clothing

The number one option would be to simply wear clothing designed for sun protection. Keeping your skin physically covered with bamboo clothing will act as a natural barrier. However, not all clothing actually protects you from UV rays. To know if it’s designed that way, simply look for its UPF rating. The below chart gives a quick breakdown of how ASTM defined the various UPF ratings:

UPF RatingProtection Category% UV Radiation Blocked
UPF 15 – 24Good93.3 – 95.9
UPF 25 – 39Very Good96.0 – 97.4
UPF 40 – 50+Excellent97.5 – 98+

Our SUN BOUND line of bamboo clothing is all UPF 50 and designed with breathability and comfort in mind. To get maximum protection, you should cover as much of your skin as possible. This means when given the choice between a short sleeve shirt and long sleeve shirt, go with the long sleeve. This same logic applies to your lower body as well. In addition to keeping your torso and arms covered with UPF clothing, make sure to do the same for your legs. 

Bucket Hats and Sun Hats

Your face can be a difficult part of the body to stay protected without sunscreen, but there are options. Our top recommendation would be a UPF 50+ sun hat. A sun hat (sometimes referred to as a bucket hat) is a little different than a baseball hat. It not only keeps your head and (some) of your face covered, but has a wide brim that extends over the ears and also provides neck protection. Sun protective bamboo clothing can certainly keep your body covered, but the face, scalp, ears, and neck are four of the most common places people develop skin cancer

Neck Gaiters and UPF Face Masks

If it’s specifically your face and/or neck that need UV protection, consider a UPF neck gaiter. Lightweight, portable and breathable, neck gaiters are a great sun safety accessory to complement your UPF apparel. They can be worn up over your face, just underneath your chin, or a handful of other ways. As far as when to wear sun protection neck gaiters, as with the UV protective clothing mentioned above, it’s whenever you’ll be outside for as little as 10-15 minutes.

Sunglasses With UV Protection

Unless you are soaking your eyes in sunscreen (not recommended!) sunglasses aren’t necessarily an alternative, but still worth mentioning. It’s just as important to keep your eyes protected as it is your skin. Your eyes are just as susceptible to UV damage as your skin. By wearing the proper sunglasses you can easily eliminate this risk. Check your sunglasses to make sure they are designed for UV protection. Many different brands are now producing sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.

Seek Shade

Sun hat and bamboo clothing with umbrella

The safest option is always to seek shade whenever you can. This might be a nearby building, tree, or you might want to bring a large umbrella. Even if you are fully protected with UPF rated bamboo clothing, pants, a sun protective bucket hat, and UV filtering sunglasses, staying in the shade as often as possible will always minimize your exposure.

How To Protect Your Skin From The Sun

Camping Hammock on Sunny Lake

We all learn in grade school that our largest organ is our skin. We’re covered in it from head to toe, and we need to protect all of it from UV damage. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays harms your skin, so follow our tips to protect your skin from the sun. Skin protection starts with a plan and continues with the combination of broad-spectrum sunscreen and UPF 50+ shirts and apparel.

Protect Your Skin with Proper Planning

Better planning = better protection. It’s not flashy or exciting, but it works. Planning for your skin’s sun safety starts with an awareness of the most dangerous time of day for sun exposure: 10 AM – 4 PM. During these hours, you’ll need to be extra diligent with your skin protection. Fortunately, however, you don’t need to avoid the sun. Use the available shade, keep hydrated, set reminders and take note of how long you are in the sun. And always remember to reapply sunscreen every 1-2 hours.

Protect Your Skin with Broad-spectrum Sunscreen

The next critical piece in protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is using broad-spectrum sunscreen. Don’t use any sunscreen that isn’t labeled as “broad-spectrum” as only broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Each of these types of UV rays is harmful, and your skin needs to be protected from both. UVA rays are linked to many types of skin cancer, and UVB rays are most likely to cause sunburn. We recommend a water resistant lotion with at least SPF 30. Approximately 30 minutes before going out in the sun, apply a quality sunscreen generously to any exposed areas. Lastly, and this is key: remember to reapply every 1-2 hours, or sooner if you are sweating or spending time in the water.

Apply Broad-spectrum Sunscreen

Protect Your Skin with UPF 50+ Shirts

Your skin’s next defense against sun damage is UPF apparel. This is clothing made with special fabric blends, like viscose from bamboo, that absorbs UV radiation and shields your skin. We recommend clothing rated UPF 50+ as this offers the best protection, blocking over 98% of UV rays. For added skin protection, trust lightweight UPF 50+ shirts with long sleeves, or even our hooded variation.

Furthermore, another great thing about protecting your skin with UPF 50+ sun shirts is that you’ll save time and money. You’ll save time because UPF apparel doesn’t have to be reapplied, so you don’t need to worry about your shirt’s UPF protection wearing off throughout the day. Also, you’ll save money by not needing to spend so much on sunscreen (which isn’t cheap) since UPF 50+ shirts are more effective than broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Despite your best efforts, if you do accidentally get sunburn, here’s a helpful video about how to properly treat your skin:

With the right plan, and a healthy combination of broad-spectrum sunscreen and UPF 50+ shirts, you can safely head out into the sun knowing your skin is protected. For additional advice specific to protecting your face, check out our companion post. Avoid the negative consequences of damaging UV exposure, like sun spots, sunburn and skin cancer, and start protecting your skin now with Rayward Apparel’s UPF 50+ sun clothing.

When to Wear a Sun Hat

Sun Protection Hat for Women

Sun hats are a critical component of sun protection. When combined with UPF apparel and proper sunscreen application, you can virtually eliminate your exposure to UV damage. The key, however, is knowing when and how to protect yourself. Fortunately, when it comes to sun protection hats, the answer is simple: wear a sun hat as often as you can.

Not the answer you were looking for? Hear us out, and we’ll explain why you really should wear a sun protection hat all the time. Of course, we’re realistic and understand that you can’t always wear a hat. That being said, let’s identify when a sun protection hat is MOST important.

Most Important Day to Wear a Sun Hat

Before venturing out in the sun, be sure to check the Ultraviolet (UV) Index for the day. The UV Index measures the strength of the sun’s UV radiation on any particular day. UV Index values range from 0-12, with the higher number indicating a higher risk of UV damage. On days with a UV Index of 3-7, you have a “moderate to high” risk of UV damage and should wear a hat while also limiting your sun exposure, especially during midday hours. A UV Index of 8 or greater indicates a “very high to extreme” UV risk with the potential for skin damage in less than 15 minutes! In the U.S., many days fall within this highest risk range, and not only during the summer. Any time the UV Index is 8 or higher, sunscreen, UPF apparel and sun protection hats for women and men are essential.

To track the UV Index, we suggest bookmarking this site for easy access. You can also use the tool below to quickly lookup the UV index for a particular location. Try it now:

Most Important Time to Wear Your Sun Hat

The sun’s UV radiation varies throughout the day, with midday being the most intense. Depending on your location (and daylight savings), this midday “solar noon” window occurs between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you’re going to be outside for even 10 minutes during this window, it’s time to put hats on heads, in addition to broad spectrum sunscreen. During this midday period, the sun is at its strongest, and sun protection hats for men and women are non-negotiable. Choose one that’s lightweight and breathable and you’ll actually feel cooler, even when the day is hottest.

Sun Protection Hat for Golf

Most Important Activities for a Sun Protection Hat

The activities that most require sun protection hats for women and men are the activities that might require you to be outside on a day with a higher UV Index, or in the sun during the intense midday solar noon. Of course, this includes a huge range of activities, including sporting events, gardening, yardwork, fishing, running, concerts, festivals, barbecues, pool parties and so forth, but you get the idea.

It’s because this range of activities is so broad that Rayward Apparel is launching our first UPF sun protection hats for men and women. Made of UPF 50+ rated fabrics, our sun protection hats will keep you cool, comfortable and protected. Keep in mind that all sun protection hats must still be paired with broad spectrum sunscreen to ensure protection against indirect UV rays. Indirect sun damage can happen when the sun’s radiation bounces off of reflective surfaces, such as water, sand, cement, ice and snow.

Before you go, be sure to shop Rayward Apparel’s new UPF sun protection hats for men and women.

Bonus: To learn more about the UV Index, check out this informative video:

Do I Need A Long Sleeve Sun Shirt?

Long Sleeve UPF Shirt on Woman

The best defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays is a combination of sunscreen and UPF 50+ apparel. The question we get a lot, therefore, is if you’re using sunscreen, do you need a long sleeve sun shirt? Our answer: YES! Continue reading below to find out why we still recommend a long sleeve SPF shirt as your best best for UV protection.

Issues with Sunscreen Application

One of the biggest reasons people get sunburn is because of inadequate or inconsistent sunscreen application. When applying sunscreen, it’s very easy to miss a spot, especially without someone else’s help. Plus, even the best sunscreens need to be reapplied every couple hours. When busy or on the go, it’s easy to lose track of time and let your sunscreen’s protection lapse. This, as you likely know, can be a costly mistake leading to sunburn, or worse. As your dermatologist would agree, with UPF apparel, you know you’re covered. For more sun protection tips, click here.

Also, many sunscreens leave a greasy feeling on your skin, and some even stain your clothes! Worse yet, some contain ingredients that harm coral reefs and marine life. Why put your skin (or environment’s) safety to chance? Trust the always consistent and properly “applied” protection offered by a long sleeve SPF shirt (also referred to as UPF shirts because of their Ultraviolet Protection Factor ratings. You can also learn more about SPF and UPF here).

Additionally, some of the confusion about sunscreen application stems from a misunderstanding of what actually causes sunburn. Check out this video for an entertaining look at what actually causes sunburn:

Cost Savings with a Long Sleeve SPF Shirt

Another benefit of wearing a long sleeve SPF shirt versus a short sleeve shirt and sunscreen is that you’ll save money. This is because you’ll inherently need less sunscreen (which is surprisingly expensive) when more of your skin is covered by UPF apparel that accomplishes what otherwise would have been by sunscreen. Furthermore, the UPF 50+ rating of our Sun Bound shirts is achieved through a special fabric blend featuring viscose from bamboo. As a result of not relying on chemical applications, our UV blocking fabric holds up better, wash after wash.

Long Sleeve UPF Shirt from Rayward Apparel

Breathable, Quick-drying and Cool… Even with Long Sleeves

Many people associate long sleeves with warm clothing for cold weather. You may be surprised to learn that long sleeves can actually help you stay cool, even in hot weather. When you sweat or get wet, our fabric pulls this moisture away from your skin where it can dry quickly. This in turn maintains a space for air to flow between your skin and our shirt, which keeps you cooler. As a result, your shirt dries faster, you stay cool, and your skin stays protected with our UPF 50+ rating.

In Conclusion, You Need a Long Sleeve Sun Shirt

For the best long sleeve SPF shirt, look no further than Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound collection. These UPF 50+ long sleeve shirts block over 98% of UV rays, which is the equivalent of wearing SPF 50 sunscreen. Plus, our long sleeve sun shirts are moisture-wicking, breathable, ultra soft, and look great from the beach to the bar. Shop Rayward Apparel’s long sleeve SPF shirts today, available for men and women, both with and without a hood!

NOTE: Do you ALWAYS need to wear our long sleeve shirt? In the hottest of conditions, or when you don’t mind taking the time to properly apply reef-safe sunscreen, then you are also safe with our short sleeve UPF shirt. The goal here is to highlight the advantages of our long sleeve UPF shirts—which do inherently offer more protection than our short sleeve variation—although we know there is a time and place for each version of our Sun Bound shirt. And we absolutely believe that you need a long sleeve UPF shirt in your closet, always at the ready!

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