Active Clothing

UPF Clothing Can Actually Be Cute, and the Proof Is in These 9 Pieces

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Photo: Getty Images/ pixelfit
The other week, I was explaining to a date that I write about beauty for the internet. At one point during the conversation he asked me for my biggest skincare tip. My response: "Wear sunscreen. Every single day. Even if it's cloudy." This is paraphrasing the advice I've gotten from every dermatologist I've ever interviewed for a story. And though that date and I never went out again, I like to think he's out there in the world slathering on SPF 50 every morning, thinking about the beautiful woman who gave him this life-changing advice.

Even as someone who is heavily committed to sun protection and has had a healthy fear of the sun drilled into her from a young age, I never really considered donning UPF clothing. In part because, well, so much of it is woefully ugly. But! UPF clothing has gotten a makeover in recent years, and now there are options that are cute. And not like, cute for UPF clothing, but actually cute. Wow, we really can have it all.

"UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which is the rating given to the clothing to indicate how effectively the fabric is blocking the UV rays," explains Dr. Ellen Marmur, Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Dermatology at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Especially with the latest concerns about sunscreen chemicals (which are unproven to be toxic), wearing UPF clothing is an easy and super safe extra step in sun care," Marmur says. Plus, growing concerns about the environmental effects of chemical sunscreen make UPF clothing all the more appealing.

"You should always be wearing some sort of SPF, and UPF [clothing] has a numerical rating which indicates how protective the fabric is to the UV rays. These types of clothing are perfect for outdoor running or even walking your dog for that extra layer of protection," Marmur says. And while she tells me that regular clothes do offer a bit of sun protection, wearing UPF clothing is going to offer a lot more. Below, shop UPF #lewks that you won't be embarrassed to leave the house in.

Just because you're decked out in UPF clothing doesn't mean you can forego sunscreen—here are 6 sprays that derms love, plus 10 with zinc that also calm inflammation. 

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