Sustainable Sun Protection 101: How Your Beachwear Can Help Prevent Sunburn

Sustainable Sun Protection 101: How Your Beachwear Can Help Prevent Sunburn

As spring gives way to summer and warm afternoons turn into bright, sunny days, it’s normal to find yourself with a bit of cabin fever in anticipation of days on the beach or by the pool with friends. From that new bottle of sunscreen smell to feeling the sand in your toes and the sun on your face, the first beach day of the summer is a sensory experience in itself. It’s a celebration of the outdoors, a goodbye to spring and a bright summer greeting all at once!

One thing you probably don’t anticipate when thinking about summer days, however, is sunburn. From pink cheeks and shoulders to more serious cases that involve painful blisters and peeling, sunburn is the quickest way to ruin the mood, cut your beach day short and even prevent you from future sun exposure while you heal. That’s why it’s so important to wear quality sunscreen on your face and body and continue to reapply as long as you stay outside. 

In addition to sunscreen, you can also use certain protective beach clothing as an extra layer of SPF! Using sunscreen and protective beachwear can help you avoid sunburn and the lasting negative effects that come along with it. Here’s a comprehensive guide to making the most of your summer days and preventing sunburn, easily and sustainably! 

Spray It, Wear It, Share It: A Quick Guide to Sunscreen

Your earliest memories of wearing sunscreen might involve a parent smearing thick, white paste all over your face and limbs in an effort to keep your skin protected at the beach, pool, park or some other outdoor place. Though you may have tried, that sunscreen probably left a slightly annoying white cast on your skin and didn’t smell so great. 

Thankfully, sunscreen looks, feels and smells a bit different nowadays. Many tried and true brands (as well as some fun newcomers) have risen to the occasion and created powerful formulas and products that offer the protection you need without the greasy mess.

Not only is it critical to protect yourself, but it’s also important to be conscious of our oceans and sea life. When shopping for sunscreen, always look for sustainable sunscreen options that are free of chemicals that could harm our coral reefs.   

avoid sunburn with protective clothing

It’s a good idea to think of sunscreen as a part of your daily routine, as well as the first (and arguably most important) layer of each of your summer beach outfits. To give a quick overview, let’s start with the basics:

What Is Sunscreen?

Sunscreen is a substance that protects skin from the sun’s UV rays, which can be harmful to skin cells, causing irreversible damage and even skin cancer. Sunscreen is most commonly applied to the skin as a cream, spray or mist.

How Does Sunscreen Work?

After you apply sunscreen and let it dry, it absorbs, scatters or reflects UV rays that come your way, keeping them from reaching your skin cells. Since the UV rays are absorbed or directed away from your skin cells, you’re more likely to avoid sunburn or other damage. Remember to maximize your protection and reapply your sunscreen every two hours!

Create the Perfect Beach Outfit with Our Men’s Shirts

What Is SPF?

Also known as “Sun Protection Factor,” SPF measures the level of protection given by a sunscreen against radiation that causes damage and sunburn. Though the specifics can get a little complicated, it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30, though between 40 and 50 is ideal, especially when it comes to the face and other sensitive areas. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to look for a water-resistant formula with broad spectrum protection, which helps to protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Why Is It Important to Protect Skin Against the Sun’s Rays? 

It might seem like a silly question, but it’s super important to know why the application of sunscreen and use of protective clothing is necessary, helpful and preventative. Without sunscreen and protective clothing, the sun’s radiation is able to penetrate the skin and damage the skin cells. 

protect your skin from sun exposure

For example, if you go for a long walk on the beach on a hot, sunny day without any sunscreen or protection, you will experience the damaging effects of UV radiation. In the immediate sense, this damage might be seen as sunburn, fatigue, skin that is warm to the touch and even peeling. On a long-term scale, however, it could lead to more. Too much sun exposure without protection causes permanent damage to the skin cells that can lead to wrinkles, skin sagging, uneven skin tone and various types of skin cancer. 

The good news is that if you protect your skin, use sunscreen and wear clothing that acts as an additional layer of SPF, there’s no stopping you from enjoying each and every beach day! 

The Ins and Outs of Protective Beachwear

Once you’ve nailed down a solid sunscreen routine, it’s time to turn up the style factor with some outfits to wear in the summer sun! If your beachwear collection consists of a single, ill-fitting pair of swim trunks and a couple of old tank tops, let’s just start by saying you deserve more than that. A day spent enjoying the sun and fresh air should be accompanied by an equally enjoyable outfit, right? 

In addition to serving some serious style, your beachwear looks can also help protect you from the sun. Like traditional sunscreen, there are certain materials that block or redirect UV rays, acting as an additional layer of sun protection along with your bottled SPF. When shopping for protective beachwear, be sure to look at the tag or online details to determine the level of protection offered by each piece. Some clothing brands include a UFP (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, but it’s easy to gauge the level of sun protection by other elements as well. 

Overall, clothing that features tightly woven fabric allows less sunlight and UV rays to pass through than looser versions, so consider skipping crochet or mesh pieces as these offer little to no protection from the sun. Though darker clothing colors tend to offer more protection and UV reflecting ability, you can still get great protection from bright, summery shades as well. Look for materials like linen, cotton, polyester, nylon and various synthetic blends. 

Just like shopping for sustainable sunscreen, you’ll also want to be conscious of wearing sustainble clothing items. At Le Club, we strive to produce fully recyclable beachwear from recycled and natural resources that will help protect our planet and cut down on waste. To help with outfit building and inspiration, here are a few items to add to your protective beachwear collection!

man buttoning linen shirt

1. Swim Trunks

Though it might be obvious by the occasional swim trunk tan line, your favorite men’s swim trunks can help prevent sunburn while keeping you comfortable in and out of the water. At Le Club Original, our swim trunks always multitask. You can count on every pair to feel great, dry quickly and offer protection from the sun’s rays, thanks to our sustainable polyester material! Plus, you’ll never have to sacrifice style for sustainability or sun protection. We’re proud to offer comfy, sustainably made swimwear in a wide range of classic colors and eclectic patterns so you can find your perfect pair. 

2. Hats

If you’ve ever experienced sunburn on your scalp, then you know how important it is to protect your head while you’re out in the sun! The scalp area is particularly sensitive to the sun, and hair doesn’t work as a reliable protection method. Sunscreen can be applied to more exposed areas of the scalp, like where you part your hair, but most of the time it tends to create a mess. Instead, apply sunscreen on your face, neck and ears up to your hairline and finish off your sun-safe look with a cool beach hat. 

In terms of hat material, the normal rules apply. Go for options like a classic dad cap made from breathable cotton or even a tightly woven straw hat. A bill or wide-brim style provides extra sun blocking power for the face and neck! 

pair carrying beach equipment

Soak Up the Sun in Our Men’s Beachwear

3. Shirts and Rashguards

When you’re out on the beach or anywhere in the sun, UV rays can get to you from different directions. If you’re standing up or walking, there’s a good chance the sunlight and radiation will get to your shoulders, chest, back, face and the top of your head first, which is why you might notice sunburn in those areas first or most often. If you like to go shirtless on the beach, that leaves a lot of room for potential sunburn and damage! Sunscreen with a high SPF is a great place to start, but you should also consider adding a few beach shirts for men to your summer wardrobe as an extra layer of protection. 

Le Club beach shirts come in different colors, prints and styles, so there’s always an option to match your swim trunks. A pair of printed swim trunks and a solid color linen button-up shirt can take you from brunch to the beach and beyond while helping to protect you from the sun. For a more relaxed or sporty look, go for a stretchy rash guard that moves with your body and features an athletic shape. It’s a great wet to dry option for surfing, swimming or just lounging on the beach. 

protective items to add beachwear collection

4. Sunglasses

Like any good outfit, a protective beachwear look always involves accessories! Even if you’re rocking a beach-approved hat to shield your head from the sun and prevent sunburn, a pair of sunglasses is always a good idea. Sunglasses help darken your line of vision on sunny beach days and make it easier to see without having to take in too much light at once. 

UV-blocking sunglasses styles are the most helpful when it comes to protecting your eyes from the sun. Unlike regular dark or polarized lenses, UV blocking lenses are like sunscreen for your eyeballs. This helps prevent sunburn on the sensitive skin around the eyes and prevents UV light from damaging your eyes and eyesight. 

5. Shady Beach Accessories

No beach bag is complete without a few essentials, including water, sunscreen, a beach towel and your favorite beach accessories. Your accessories can provide you with a cool, shady oasis where you can escape from direct sunlight and prevent sunburn! Grab a friend and throw up a mini beach tent in the sand where you and your friends can play games, cool off and even indulge in a shady beach nap throughout the day. If you’re a solo beachgoer, a personal umbrella is the way to go. Secure an umbrella base in the sand or opt for convenience with an umbrella attachment that secures directly onto your beach chair! 

pair of men in swim trunks linen shirts

Beach Break

Remember, your summer doesn’t have to be interrupted by sunburn! Le Club has you covered (literally) with our swim trunks, rash guards, men’s shirts, boys collection and more. Refer to this guide when choosing sunscreen and protective beachwear, and you’ll have it made in the shade for all beach days to come. Don’t forget to hydrate, reapply your sunscreen, wear a protective outfit and enjoy the sunshine! 


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