Swimsuit shopping season is officially here, it’s one of our favorite times of the year! Along with checking out new styles, prints, and trends, one of the most important factors you should be considering is how much sun protection a swimsuit provides. Finding swimsuit fabrics with significant sun protection can protect your skin, preventing harmful damage and premature aging. 

Sun protection is an incredibly important factor to consider—but many of us don’t know what to look for or where to start. So, in today’s post, we’re breaking down all you need to know about sun protection and how to find swimsuits with maximum sun protection. Check it out below!

Why sun protection swimwear?

Let’s start with the most important question: why is sun protection swimwear important? Sun exposure for a limited amount of time, and with adequate sun protection, can be a good way to get Vitamin D. But, prolonged periods of sun exposure without sunscreen or protective fabrics, can damage the skin—sunburns, skin aging (skin spots, wrinkles, leathery skin)—and it can cause damage to the eyes and immune system.

Most concerning, prolonged and unprotected sun exposure can cause skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the U.S. In fact, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA):

  • Skin cancer is on the rise in the U.S. The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 99,780 new cases of skin melanomas and 7,650 related deaths in 2022. 
  • About 4.3 million people are treated for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, two of the most common types of skin cancer, in the U.S. every year.

Many of us understand the importance of wearing sunscreen when out in the sun (check out our blog post on our favorite sunscreens here), but adding coverage through sun-protective clothing and swimsuits can significantly boost your protection. 

In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation says sun-protective clothing is “one of the most effective forms of sun protection against sun damage and sun cancer.” 

Understanding sun-protective clothing terms

Now that you know why sun-protective clothing is so important, let’s dive into what types of clothes, swimsuits, and fabrics qualify. To do this, we’ll start with some clarifying terminology:

  • What does UPF mean? Ultraviolet Protection Factor, or UPF, is the rating of a fabric’s ability to combat Ultraviolet (UV) rays. The highest score is 50, which means that only 1/50 of radiation produced by the sun can pass through the material. In essence, it’s capable of blocking up to 98% of UV rays!

  • What qualifies as sun-safe clothing or fabrics? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a fabric must have a UPF of 30 to qualify for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. A UPF of 30 to 49 offers very good protection, while UPF 50+ rates as excellent. 
  • What is UV, UVA and UVB? UV stands for Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It is a type of energy produced by the sun, and some artificial sources. The UV index measures the intensity of UV radiation from the sun at a certain location. It’s a number from 0 to 11, with 0 being no sunlight (used only at night) and 11 indicating the most extreme conditions.

    UVA and UVB rays are two types of UV radiation. UVA stands for Ultraviolet A, and it has a longer wavelength and is usually associated with skin aging. UVB stands for Ultraviolet B and has a shorter wavelength, and is typically associated with skin burning.

    Look for sun protection clothing and swimwear that protects against both UVA and UVB rays

  • What’s the difference between SPF and UPF? UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate fabric and reach your skin. Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, is a gauge of how much time a person can be exposed to the sun before getting burned.

Now that you can distinguish the common terminology, what should I look for? In summary: look for swimsuits and sun protective clothing that has UPF 50+. This level of protection will give you the most coverage to prevent UV rays (both UVA and UVB) and always, always, always wear sunscreen. 

Woman in swimsuit, straw hat, and shawl at the beach

Swimwear styles for maximum protection

Next, which swimwear styles help provide this high level of protection? It’s really easy to tell—look for swimsuit styles that offer maximum coverage. Things like high-neck lines, long sleeves, lower-cut legs, midsection coverage, and full backside coverage all provide more protection against the sun. As a general rule of thumb, we suggest the following swimsuit styles for maximum sun protection:

  • One-piece swimsuits: With midsection coverage, one-piece swimsuits are the best at providing the most sun protection. 
    • Even better? Find a Long-Sleeve One-Piece, like our best-selling style at HAPARI, to get even more sun protection on your arms and a surfer-inspired vibe. 

      Woman in long-sleeve one-piece HAPARI swimsuit
  • Tankini swimsuits: With more midsection coverage than a typical two-piece swimsuit, a tankini swimsuit is a great option for more sun protection. Tankinis also give you the flexibility to mix and match tops and bottoms to create a look, and sun protection level, that fits you. 
  • Cover-ups: Adding stylish pieces to your swimwear like cover-ups can help keep you protected from the sun before and after getting in the water. From shawls to wraps to cute maxi dresses—there are so many styles of cover-ups to protect you from the sun.
    • Check out our new line of Loungewear that serves as both comfy, stylish transitional pieces and sun-protecting cover-ups!

      Woman in HAPARI tankini swimsuit and pink shawl on the beach

  • Rash guards: There’s a reason surfers swear by rashguards—not only do they protect your skin from harsh elements like abrasions from the sand, but they also provide excellent sun protection.
  • Longer swim bottoms: Don’t forget that swimwear also includes swim bottoms! You can mix and match different swim bottom styles for more coverage and more sun protection. 

HAPARI Swimsuits have UPF 50+ protection

What’s even better than a limited number of styles with maximum sun protection? Knowing that when you shop at HAPARI, all of our swimsuits are created with UPF 50+ fabric. Yep, everything from one-pieces to tankinis to bikinis have the highest sun protection rating—blocking 98% of harmful UV rays. 

Shop now—and Buy One, Get One Free!

Now that you know why sun-protective swimsuits are so important, shop all of our HAPARI collections to find a style that works for you. And, for a limited time score BOGO when you use code B1G1 at checkout. Better hurry, though, this deal won’t last long!

Ready for more lifestyle articles, product features, and healthy living tips? Check out the other articles in our HAPARI blog. We feature special product spotlights, healthy eating and fitness advice, and exclusive insider deals on our swimwear.
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