Your thick leggings and oversized hoodie might have shielded you from the sun in wintertime, but come summer, it’s all about lounging outside, playing water sports, and napping in a hammock. Before you make plans to dip in that refreshing aqua-marine pool, our first order of business is to talk about when the summer sun is a bummer — if you don’t prepare. 

Yeah, today we’re chatting about the trendiest and most practical trend in swimwear. The days of going to the beach to work on your tan are long gone (mostly). It’s the year 2023, and we are too smart for that nonsense. Now, it’s all about keeping ourselves safe, keeping our bodies protected, and maintaining that supple skin until we are old and gray. Or, trying to anyway. 

We have some great info and tips on SPF swimwear and clothing, and hopefully can answer all of your questions so that you can hit the beach in style, with confidence, and in full-out skin safety mode.

If you’re a frequent beachgoer and/or if you have kids, you have probably grumbled about needing to apply sunscreen every time you turn around. God forbid you need to reapply sunscreen to your kiddos. Everyone knows this is the worst form of torture known to man, if we’re being honest, for all parties involved.

It’s advised to reapply sunscreen every two hours or so, particularly if you’re swimming, toweling off, or perspiring. So … yup, that’s all the things you do at the beach. And while this won’t entirely solve the problem, SPF swimwear can at least make things a little easier. We should note that it’s advised to use SPF swimwear in conjunction with sunscreen. 

What Is SPF or UPF Clothing?

Honestly, the acronym “SPF” (Sun Protection Factor) lives rent-free in all of our minds. However, the letters UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) should too! They are used interchangeably a lot, but often SPF is used to refer to sunscreen, and UPF is used to refer to clothing. It’s worth knowing that they basically mean the same thing. 

Where SPF/UPF clothing deviates from regular old clothing is in the fabric. Generally, a plain, typical cotton shirt would give you a protection factor of somewhere around 5. That’s not awesome since UV rays can penetrate through the tiny holes of regular clothing and even travel directly through some light-colored clothing. Not cool, man! 

SPF swimwear is designed with special fabrics that have built-in sun protection. They are woven tightly and block a significant amount of those pesky UV rays, giving you an extra layer of defense against sunburns and harmful radiation. For example, the Zuma One Piece has a UPF 50+ rating and is so stylish that people might ask you if you play for the USA beach volleyball team.

Now, let’s talk about the fashion game because being sun safe doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. SPF swimwear comes in a ton of varieties, patterns, and colors, making sure you stay on point at the pool or the beach. 

How Long Does SPF Swimwear Typically Last?

Alright, beach babes, let’s dive into the lifespan of SPF swimwear. Just like any other swimwear, the longevity of your SPF gear depends on a few factors. Typically, it can last you a good amount of time with a little love and care.

Treat it right, and it’ll stick by your side through countless beach days and pool parties. However, keep in mind that prolonged exposure to chlorine, saltwater, and the scorching sun will take a toll on any type of swimwear.

So, while SPF swimwear won’t last forever, it’s not like sunscreen that starts to lose protection over time. With proper swimsuit washing and care techniques, you’ll continue to rock those UV-blocking threads like the sun-savvy goddess that you are. 

Besides SPF Protection, What Should You Look for in a Bathing Suit? 

First things first, ladies, let’s embrace our bodies in all their glorious shapes and sizes. Remember, there’s no such thing as a “beach-ready” body: If you have a bod and you’re at the beach, then you’re ready. Ain’t nobody got time for body shaming or feeling anything less than fab in their swim gear.

Other than SPF protection, here are a few tips on what you might want to look for in your next sun protection swimsuit. Spoiler alert: It’s all about making you feel confident and happy.

How You Feel in the Suit

Look for a bathing suit that makes YOU feel like a fierce, confident, formidable queen. Whether you rock a two-piece like our Amor, a one-piece swimsuit like our Malibu, or something in between, it’s all about finding the right fit that flatters your unique curves. 

Keep Fast Fashion at Bay

We won’t name any names here, but you may have been tempted to buy a suit from a less-than-ethical online source. Feels like it goes without saying, but if you’re paying $11 for a bathing suit, it’s probably not made ethically, nor is it high quality. It probably won’t last half a summer, let alone for years to come. Instead, opt for top-quality, sustainable choices you can feel good about — an in. 

Fabric and Color

You want to choose high-quality materials that make you feel like you’re wrapped in a soft, luxurious hug. Look for suits with stretch that moves with your body and provides ultimate comfort. And don’t be afraid to try out bold, bright colors and patterns if that’s what you’re into — Own that beach!

What Else Do You Need To Stay Safe in the Sun?

UV protection isn’t only about sun-protective swimwear. Like with evening wear, accessories matter. But functionality doesn’t mean boring — why would it start with the word “fun” if it was? 

Cover up with a cute cover-up. No, we’re not saying you have to add a full-coverage wetsuit to your wishlist (though it’s recommended for surfing in cold waters). 

We’re talking about these must-have new products: 

  • A long-sleeve button-down thrown over your swim top to protect your shoulders
  • A sun hat and sunglasses (with UVA and UVB protection, fam)
  • A quick-drying rashguard (aka short sleeve swim T-shirt). Long-sleeve rash guards are also smart — UV rays are a problem even on cloudy days
  • Swim shorts or board shorts when you really don’t want those bikini lines. 
  • Sunscreen OFC

UV Swimwear Wrap Up

We are so glad that you’re thinking about taking care of your skin. It’s always wise to protect yourself with some high-quality SPF swimwear, and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen for extra protection. Choose a suit you feel great in and that lets you do all the beach activities your heart desires. 

Now, go out there and find that perfect SPF swimsuit, lovelies! Be fierce, be fabulous, and make a splash with confidence. 


What Sun Protective Clothing Works Best? | Healthline

Sunscreen: 12 myths and facts | Medical News Today

Can you get sunburn on a cloudy day? | Medical News Today

How Do I Protect Myself from Ultraviolet (UV) Rays? | American Cancer Society

What Not to Do When You Get a Sunburn | The Healthy