How to Treat Sunburn

Woman with Sunburn on Beach

Without proper UV protection, your skin is highly susceptible to sunburn. Depending on the UV conditions and your skin type, it could take as little as 15 minutes of unprotected exposure to get sunburn. Of course, the best way to avoid a painful sunburn is with a combination of UPF apparel and sunscreen. However, with insufficient sun safety preparation or even a momentary lapse in sun protection, accidents can happen. If you do sustain a sunburn, follow these quick tips to treat sunburn:

One of the most important factors in tending to sunburn is to begin treating the damage as soon as possible. Therefore, early identification is critical, so pay attention to how long you’ve been in the sun, and consider that you may not see or feel a sunburn right away. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have sustained a sunburn, consider the following treatment steps.

Get Out of the Sun First, Then Treat Sunburn

The first step is to get out of the sun as quickly as possible. If you haven’t already done so, seek shade or shelter, preferably indoors. Make sure you are not only safe from direct sunlight, but also reflected UV rays that bounce off of water, sand, cement and other surfaces. It’s hard to tell how bad a sunburn is right away, so don’t take any chances by letting it get worse. Once safely indoors, you can begin to treat sunburn and follow steps for pain relief.


Drink plenty of water. Sunburned skin pulls fluids away from the rest of your body towards the skin’s surface, so dehydration is a big concern. Combat this by drinking extra water and re-hydrating. If you develop lightheadedness, chills or a fever, seek medical attention.

Drinking Water to Treat Sunburn

Anti-inflammatory for Pain and Swelling

To reduce pain and swelling, consider taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or aspirin. These are most effective if taken within a few hours of sustaining the sunburn. However, as with any medication, consult your doctor before use, and make sure you are aware of any potential side effects.

Cool Showers or Baths

Over the next several days, take cool showers or baths to treat sunburn. After each, be careful to lightly pat yourself dry so as to avoid irritating your skin. You may also find some relief in not drying off completely, but instead leaving your skin damp.

Water-based Moisturizer

To treat sunburn, apply water-based skin moisturizer, preferably one with aloe vera, to your still-damp skin. This offers the dual benefit of soothing burned skin and preventing dryness. In cases with significant discomfort or especially damaged skin, you might consider applying a non-prescription hydrocortisone cream.

When to Seek Medical Attention to Treat Sunburn

If your sunburned skin begins to blister, this indicates a second-degree sunburn. Do NOT pop the blisters. Instead, allow them to heal, as this is your skin’s natural response to heal and defend against infection. Please speak with a doctor if you experience significant blistering or extreme discomfort.

While taking the treatment steps above will reduce your discomfort and prevent further damage, nothing will heal a sunburn overnight. Therefore, while your skin recovers, be extra careful to protect your skin from additional UV exposure. Always wear UPF 50+ apparel to cover as much of your skin as possible, since this is the most effective form of sun protection. For all remaining exposed areas of skin, liberally apply broad-spectrum sunscreen (minimum SPF 30), remembering to re-apply every two hours.

Whether minor or severe, every sunburn has lasting effects well beyond reddened skin. What’s more, sun damage is cumulative and sustaining sunburn increases your risk of getting skin cancer. Don’t let one sunburn keep you from going outdoors. At the same time, however, don’t take it lightly. Sun protection and sunburn prevention starts before you leave the house, so plan accordingly with UPF 50+ sun protection clothing from Rayward Apparel.

For additional information, check out this short video from the American Academy of Dermatology:

Sources: Skin Cancer Foundation; American Academy of Dermatology

Save Money With Sun Protection Apparel (vs Sunscreen)

Saving Money with UPF Apparel

Did you know that sun protection clothing is actually more affordable than sunscreen? In fact, throughout the lifespan of your UPF apparel, you’ll enjoy significant savings by wearing sun protective clothing. Continue below to learn how to save money on your sun protection by wearing UV-protective clothing and accessories.

Your best sun protection is achieved through a combination of both UPF sun-protective clothing and broad-spectrum sunscreen. However, the more you utilize sun protection apparel, and therefore the less you rely on sunscreen, the more you save on a per application basis.

One Shot Is a Lot

For proper sunscreen application, the average adult will need about one ounce of sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation gets even more specific in their guidance, recommending two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. If you need an easier (and more fun) way to remember this, consider it roughly the equivalent to a shot glass for the exposed areas of the face and body. The unfortunate reality is that most people don’t apply enough, which leads to inadequate skin protection and an increased risk of sunburn and UV damage.

Applying an Ounce of Sunscreen

Apply and Reapply and Reapply and Reapply…

Now, consider that sunscreen must be reapplied every two hours, and even more frequently if you are sweating or swimming. The reapplication time and frequency is the same regardless of SPF. In other words, whether you use SPF 25 or SPF 50, you still need to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, again using approximately one ounce each time.

Save Yourself from the Cost of Sunscreen

The best-rated sunscreens usually cost more than $1 per ounce, and often two to three times that amount. Therefore, even with a conservative estimated cost of $1.50 per ounce, you’ll spend $3 on sunscreen for every 4 hours of sun exposure. If you play that out over a few days, it’s easy to go through an entire bottle of sunscreen in less than a week. In fact, if you’re sweating or spending time in the water, you might use twice as much, twice as fast.

UPF Apparel Equals Savings for Piggy Bank

UPF Apparel to Your Wallet’s Rescue

Now, some good news! Thanks to UV-protective sun clothing, such as Rayward Apparel’s UPF 50+ shirts and accessories, you no longer need to depend solely on sunscreen for your skin protection. Instead, use UPF apparel to complement your sunscreen. In doing so, you’ll use much less sunscreen (and spend less time applying and reapplying). A high-quality UPF shirt, for example, might only need to be worn for a cumulative 40-60 hours in the sun to save money compared to the cost of sunscreen.

UV Protection—and Then Some!

It should come as no surprise that UPF apparel requires a greater upfront cost compared to sunscreen. However, keep in mind that you’re getting both skin protection and clothing. Another way to compare the cost of these two options, sun clothing vs sunscreen, is to consider the following: if you don’t wear a UPF shirt, what shirt would you wear instead? That non-UPF shirt has a cost too, but you’ll no longer need it if you have stylish, well-made sun protection apparel.

Greater Skin Protection = Lower Skin Care Costs

Lastly, sun protection apparel not only allows you to save money by reducing your sunscreen use, but also by reducing your general skin care expenses. Simply by protecting and therefore taking better care of your skin, you won’t need to spend as much on products designed to repair sun-damaged skin. Don’t be surprised if you save a small fortune just by reducing your daily skin care costs.

To make the smart choice for your skin, and your wallet, shop Rayward Apprel’s UPF 50+ clothing and accessories. Remember, the skin you have now is the only skin you’ll get, so take good care of it!

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation

How To Wear A Neck Gaiter

Sunrise Hiking with Neck Gaiters

Neck gaiters, as the name suggests, are typically worn around your neck. However, did you know that there are over a dozen ways to wear a neck gaiter? Rayward Apparel’s UPF 50+ neck gaiter features a closed tube design that allows for many different styles and functions. Ready to learn how to wear a neck gaiter as multi-functional headwear? Continue below as we outline some of our favorite ways to wear a gaiter!

12 Ways to Wear a Neck Gaiter

#1 – Neck Gaiter / Neckerchief

First and foremost, you can wear your neck gaiter as, you guessed it, a neck gaiter! This simply requires pulling it over your head and leaving it loose around your neck. This will offer UV protection for your neck, while also keeping you comfortable in a wide range of temperatures.

#2 – Face Mask / Half Mask

Another popular style is as a full or half face mask. Learning how to wear a neck gaiter as a face mask is as simple as pulling it over your head and then allowing the soft, stretchy fabric to rest around either your nose, ears and/or mouth, depending on how much protection you need.* This is one of our favorites for fishing, especially when paired with a bucket hat.

#3 – Hood

A hood is one of the easiest styles to make with your gaiter. To make a hood with your gaiter, first pull the entire garment over your head and down around your neck. Next, pull the top of the back of the tube up and over your head towards your forehead. Lastly, take the top edge of the tube underneath your chin and either leave it where it is, or pull it out slightly towards your mouth to create a little extra protection for your face.

#4 – Balaclava

Creating a balaclava with your neck gaiter is probably easier than you think! First, pull the gaiter over your head and around your neck. Next, pull the back of the tube over your head to create a tube, leaving your face temporarily still exposed. Lastly, take some of the fabric a few inches beneath your chin and carefully fold enough of it up to cover your nose, while still leaving as much as possible to protect your neck and chin. If you did it right, you’ll have two layers of fabric over your mouth and nose to keep you warm.

#5 – Headband

For a quick and easy headband, simply fold your neck gaiter over itself a few times and slide it up over your ears and across your forehead. You can also pull the headband down to create a blindfold (and we’re not here to judge whatever you’d be doing with a blindfold)!

#6 – Beanie / Cap / Hat Liner

For a lightweight beanie cap or hat liner, simply take your gaiter and turn it inside out. Next, place one end around your head, and twist the middle of the tube a couple times. Lastly, take the part above where you twisted the tube and pull it back down over your head. Done correctly, you’ll have formed a two-layer beanie!

#7 – Do-rag / Sahariane

To wear your neck gaiter as a do-rag or loose bandana, just pull a third of the tube over the top of your head, while letting the other end hang loosely at the back. For maximum protection, consider covering your ears too for the additional UV protection of this vulnerable area. A slight modification of the do-rag turns your neck gaiter into a sahariane. Start by turning the gaiter inside out. Next, lay it over your head like a flat mohawk from your forehead to the back of your neck. Place one hand inside of the tube and hold the bottom layer of fabric against your forehead. With your other hand, pull the top layer of fabric back over your head to form a cap. If you did it right, you’ll have a little cape in the back to protect your neck!

#8 – Bandana / Pirate

Arrrrrr you ready to learn how to wear a neck gaiter as a pirate bandana? The first step is to turn the gaiter inside out. Step two involves putting both arms through the tube from opposite directions, and grabbing opposite sides of the tube with each hand. Next, pull your hands together to form a knot about a third of the way along the tube. Lastly, shape the larger opening for your head, put it on, and adjust the knotted small end for the back of your bandana. 

#9 – Foulard

Ready to learn how to wear a neck gaiter as a foulard? I hope so, because this one is super simple, but very useful. To wear your gaiter as a foulard, the process is similar to creating a do-rag, except this time you want to contain your hair within the tube. Start by pulling the entire gaiter around your neck. Next, pull the entire tube up towards your forehead. Now, pull just the top opening towards the back of your head, keeping your hair within the tube of what is now a foulard!

#10 – Hairband / Head Scarf

Similar to the headband are the hairband or head scarf styles, which just require adjusting the placement of the gaiter’s fabric. For a quick hairband, simply slide the overlapped band of fabric towards the back of your head so it no longer rests along your forehead. To create a head scarf, just open up your hairband slightly and pull the lower portion of the fabric in an angle over your ears.

#11 – Hair Tie / Ponytail

For a lightweight hair tie and something to keep your hair out of your face, take your neck gaiter and wrap it a few times around your ponytail. If you go outside, you are always prepared to transform your hair tie into a UPF 50+ sun protection gaiter!

#12 – Wristband

Whether as a fashion statement or because you just need a temporary place to store your gaiter, you can always twist it a few times around your wrist for an instant wristband! We find this useful when stepping inside, out of the sun, and somewhere that you no longer need face or neck protection.

For a neck gaiter to work all the different ways described above, you need one with a stretchy, versatile design. Rayward Apparel’s Lightweight UV Neck Gaiter is a perfect example of a simple, yet versatile gaiter. While our UPF 50+ neck gaiters can be worn in any of the styles described above, we suggest wearing them however best shields as much of your unprotected skin as possible. This is because overexposure to UV rays is directly linked to certain types of skin cancers, and our UPF neck gaiters are first and foremost designed to protect you from the sun. If you want to learn more about when to wear a UPF neck gaiter, check out our related post.

Visit our online store to get your Rayward Apparel neck gaiter today!

Rayward Apparel's Del Mar UPF 50 Neck Gaiters

If you still have questions about how to wear a gaiter, let us know in the comments below. Plus, we’d love to hear how you wear your neck gaiter!

* Rayward Apparel’s neck gaiters are not designed for preventing the spread of disease. They 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.

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.

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.

What Is The Best Sun Protection?

Sunset Reflecting Over Water

Effective sun protection is essential when enjoying the outdoors, but what is the most effective way to protect yourself from the sun? The best sun protection meets four important criteria: it’s affordable, consistent, effective and safe. Continue reading to learn about the best sun protection to protect against damaging UV rays: sun protection clothing.

Affordable Sun Protection

To be the best, sun protection must be affordable. Sunscreen and UV protection should not be cost-prohibitive, but gimmicky products and inefficient applications can make sun protection more expensive. At first glance, sunscreen might seem more affordable than UPF apparel. However, when you consider cost per application, the price of sun protection can really skyrocket. Fortunately, Rayward Apparel’s UPF clothing is an incredible value given sun protection clothing’s longevity. Plus, it’s available for multiple uses instead of a single application. Lastly, even when you need sunscreen, you’ll need less thanks to being covered by sun protective apparel.

Consistent UV Protection

Put simply, inconsistent sun protection is poor sun protection. If you forget to apply sunscreen, then you’ve just become extremely vulnerable to sun damage. The same goes for when you run out while at the beach. Or if a quick pick-up game of volleyball turns into post-game drinks at the fish shack, how long will your initial protection last? To ensure consistency with your sun protection, trust sun protection clothing’s always-protective measures. While wearing sun protective UPF apparel, you’re covered no matter what the day brings. Plus, you don’t need to remember to reapply throughout the day.

Surfboard in the Sand on Sunny Beach

Effective Sun Protection

The best sun protection is effective, broad-spectrum protection. Broad spectrum protection is necessary to block both UVA and UVB rays. Both UVA and UVB rays can negatively impact your health after even brief exposure. Therefore, avoid lotions that only protect against some UV rays. Instead, choose broad spectrum sunscreens. Likewise, ditch your standard cotton shirt for UV protective blends, like Rayward Apparel’s viscose from bamboo, to ensure non-stop broad spectrum UV protection. If you’re not sure about your clothing’s UV protection, check the label for its UPF rating. Be skeptical of anything without a UPF rating and look for UPF 50+ for the best sun protection.

Safe Sun Protection

To be the best, your sun protection needs to be safe—for both you and your environment. Many sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that damage coral reefs and marine life. Even worse, some sunscreen ingredients are absorbed into your skin with harmful or unknown health consequences. Therefore, Rayward Apparel recommends sun protection clothing as your best sun protection because our apparel doesn’t damage you or your environment. Plus, Rayward Apparel’s UV protective clothing is effective both wet and dry. This makes it a safe alternative to coral-bleaching sunscreens with confusing ingredient labels.

By choosing Rayward Apparel’s sun-safe UPF clothing, you’re guaranteed sun protection that meets all of the criteria outlined above. Plus, you’ll have the comfort and performance benefits of our ultra soft, lightweight sun apparel.

For the best sun protection, choose sun protective clothing. And for the best sun protection clothing, choose Rayward Apparel.

Why Bucket Hats Are Back for Good

UV Bucket Hat for Hiking

If you’ve spent any time observing hat trends at the beach, the great outdoors, music festivals, sporting events or even just on the street, you’ve probably seen our beloved bucket hat making a comeback. This is great news for several reasons, not the least of which being that a UV bucket hat offers excellent sun protection. If you’re ready to join the bucket bandwagon, but are concerned about bucket hats falling out of fashion, we’re here to share a few reasons why we don’t see that happening anytime soon. So let’s face it, and embrace it: bucket hats are back for good!

A New Breed of Bucket Hat Fans

When you imagine a UV bucket hat, if you’re still picturing something big, yellow and made exclusively for fishermen, then it’s time to look again! From NFL stars and world-famous celebrities, to rising musicians and music festival veterans, everyone is getting in on the bucket hat revolution. So whether you consider yourself a weekend warrior, outdoor enthusiast or extreme adventure junky, or if you prefer to shrug off labels and just do “you,” then you’ll appreciate the benefits of UV bucket hats.

Style and Substance Working Together with UV Bucket Hats

There’s something extremely satisfying about seeing form, fit and function all coming together. With our Sun Ops UPF bucket hats, we took lightweight, sun-blocking fabrics and designed a UV bucket hat that adjusts to fit you via drawcord pulls. Gone are the seldom-used but always bulky zipper storage compartments, and good riddance to the over-hyped eyelets which do little to actually vent heat when the fabric itself is breathable. Of course, the real beauty in the melding of style and substance is in knowing that our Sun Ops UV bucket hat blocks over 98% of the sun’s UV rays.

An Emphasis on Health and Wellness Means Bucket Hats Are Here to Stay

Never before has personal health and well-being been so prominent. Like most things, this brings with it both good and bad. First, the bad. The vast amount of research and information on healthy living sometimes makes it seem more difficult to know what’s actually healthy. Everyone is a self-appointed expert, and every minute brings new advice about what constitutes healthy living. Worse yet, we’ll hear that what was healthy last year is no longer as good as we thought! Case in point, look at sunscreen and the confusion surrounding what is and isn’t good for you and/or coral reefs. 

While there is a lot of noise in the world of health and wellness, we believe the need is real and the intention is right. The good news, then? Sometimes being healthy is actually simple. Take our UV bucket hat, for instance. It’s part of an obvious solution to a major problem that is skin cancer. Where baseball hats and porous straw hats allow UV rays to reach your scalp, ears, face and neck, a UPF-rated bucket hat actually shields you from the sun. Given the choice between A) suffering UV damage, B) staying inside or C) wearing a UV bucket hat, the answer is clear. It’s time you prioritize your own health and wellness by protecting your head with a UV bucket hat that fits your lifestyle.

Remember, Bucket Hats are One Part of Sun Safety

It’s still essential that you follow sun safety guidelines and pair your UV bucket hat with broad spectrum sunscreen lotion for your face and neck. As UV protective as bucket hats are, they can still leave your lower face and neck exposed, so don’t take any chances. Of course, mistakes happen. If you find yourself suffering from an accidental sunburn, here are a few ways to relieve the pain and discomfort of too much UV exposure:

If you’re like us and reveling in the resurgence of bucket hats, then we hope you’ll also join us in celebrating Rayward Apparel’s Sun Ops UPF bucket hat.

What Time Should You Avoid The Sun?

Palm Tree and Sunny Beach

A big part of sun safety and UV protection is planning. This includes planning based on the weather, the UV Index, your activity and the time of day. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, planning with the right protection, such as UPF clothing with UV protection. With good planning, however, you don’t ever have to avoid the sun. You do, however, need to be careful about when you’re most exposed. Continue below for guidance on when to limit your sun exposure, and how to defend yourself with UPF clothing.

The Weather and UV Exposure

The first thing to consider when planning to be sun safe is the weather. Keep in mind, of course, that looks can be deceiving, and weather can quickly change. For example, even cloudy days pose a risk for UV damage as UV rays penetrate through clouds. Also, cold weather, and even a snow day, can still create a high risk of sun damage. UV rays are persistent throughout all four seasons, so sun safety can’t take a holiday in the winter. Whatsmore, if you’ve ever been hiking, fishing or spent the day at the beach, you probably know that the weather one minute could be completely different in an hour. So the best weather planning is to plan for any weather with UPF clothing that works well in any condition, such as a long sleeve sun shirt.

Weather, Rainbow and Rain Forecast

The Ultraviolet Index and Sun Safety

The National Weather Service (NSS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) together created an Ultraviolet Index. This UV index is used to measure the day’s forecasted levels of ultraviolet rays. This index goes from 0-11+ and should be checked prior to any prolonged outdoor activity, especially if you can’t avoid exposing your skin. 0-2 means low risks, but sun protection is still recommended. A UV Index rating of 3-7 indicates moderate to high risk, which demands carefully avoiding prolonged sun exposure, using sunscreen and covering up with UPF clothing as much as possible. Anything from 8+ represents a very high to extreme risk, and you should absolutely wear UPF 50+ sun protective clothing. Plus, all areas not covered by UPF clothing should be generously covered in broad spectrum sunscreen.

Activity-based Sun Safety

The next critical factor in planning ahead to ensure sun safety is in considering your expected activity. For instance, beach volleyball demands that you’re out in the sun, and you may not be able to wear a wide-brimmed sun protective hat. As a result, you need to plan ahead and use the shade when possible, and apply plenty of sunscreen to your face, head and neck. Also, make sure you apply your sunscreen 30 minutes in advance of being out in the sun. 

Time of Day and Sun Safety

One of the biggest factors in planning for sun exposure depends on the time of day. In most parts of the world, the sun is highest–and therefore the strongest–between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. A great tip for determining your sun risk is to look at your shadow. If your shadow is taller than you, then your risk is lower (but sun safety is still critical). On the other hand, if your shadow is shorter than you, then your risk is highest as the sun is more directly overhead. In these cases, you’re closer to midday and should seek shade or stay indoors. Unless, of course, you planned ahead with UPF clothing, like our Sun Bound collection, which is rated to block over 98% of UV rays.

Planning with UPF Clothing

Lastly, plan ahead with UPF 50+ sun protective clothing, like Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound collection, and you don’t ever need to avoid the sun. Instead, you just need to be sun smart and prepared for anything. Rayward Apparel, we know the world revolves around the sun, but your life shouldn’t. Enjoy More Adventure, Less Exposure—no matter the weather, UV index, or time day—when you safely protect yourself with our lightweight UPF apparel.

Sun Protection Still Matters, Even During Self-quarantine

Sunset from Inside with UPF Apparel

As we practice social distancing and self-quarantining in order to “flatten the curve”—hopefully easing the burden of COVID-19 on our health system—there’s a temptation to allow other aspects of our health and well-being to take a backseat. Of course, some of this is necessary, as we must work together to curb the spread of the COVID-19. Concurrently, we can’t forget about sun safety and shouldn’t neglect other parts of our health, including our skin.

Continue reading for Rayward Apparel’s self-quarantine sun protection and skin care tips:

Your Windows Probably Don’t Block UV Rays

Whether you’re working from home, soaking in the sun from your home office window, or wistfully looking out from your porch while dreaming of a return to normalcy and the adventures you’re going to take, odds are you are still being exposed to the sun’s UV rays. Most household windows don’t filter UV rays. This means you still need protection on the area’s most exposed, which are likely your face, neck, back and arms. Of course, we recommend UPF 50+ apparel for its combination of comfort and performance. Additionally, complement this with SPF lotions to protect the areas not covered by our sun protective clothing. Even indoors, UV protection matters!

Dry Air = Dry Skin

Spending additional time indoors likely means that you’re spending more time surrounded by air conditioning. Whether cooling or heating, this usually equates to drier air, and therefore drier skin. Gentle exfoliation will help, and consider using an in-home humidifier. Or, if weather permits, open some windows to prevent drying-out and damaging your skin. Give your skin a break from cosmetics that aren’t health-related and let your skin breathe. Your colleagues on your video call will understand!

More Distance, Less Help with Sun Safety

It’s critical that we all practice social distancing, but the downside of keeping our distance from friends and family could unintentionally result in less accountability. How many times has a family member reminded you to apply sunscreen? Or when you forgot sun protection, they offered some? And who is going to get those hard to reach spots of your back? Even if you’re fortunate enough to still find ways to participate in outdoor activities like kayaking or running, doing so alone (or at a greater distance from others) may mean less help in maintaining proper sun safety. The best defense is the broad-spectrum protection offered by UPF 50+ apparel, complemented by sunscreen applied 30 minutes prior to exposure, and re-applied every two hours. Plus, if you need help remembering, use your mobile phone, Alexa or other smart devices to set reminders!

Kayaking with UPF Apparel

The Best Sun Safety is Constant Sun Protection

The worst sun damage often occurs when we aren’t prepared. Remember the day the fish wouldn’t stop biting? How about the pick-up game of volleyball followed by beachside drinks? Or, perhaps more relevant these days, the home gardening project that took twice as long as you expected? Even with our best intentions, without proper planning, we’re prone to surprise UV damage caused by our desire to be in the sun. The solution? Start each day with a routine that includes preventative sun protection, such as putting on (or packing) your UPF apparel, applying broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion, and setting reminders to keep it up throughout the day.

When normal routines are broken, as almost everyone’s are right now, it’s easy to replace healthy routines—like going outside, exercising and eating well—with less beneficial habits. Of course, with the stresses of the times, we’re not expecting skin care to be your #1 priority. Still, with a bit of attention and planning, you can maintain healthy sun safety habits, indoors or outside, and have one less thing to worry about.

From our team to yours, stay safe. We’re all in this together, and we’re just as eager as you to get back outside. For now, develop your sun safety routine, call your friends and family, and plan future adventures!

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