Bikini Whisperer: SPF Swimsuit You Should Try
Our in-house expert, the Bikini Whisperer, is here to guide readers through their trickiest swimwear questions. Got a question of your own? Drop us a line!
Hi Bikini Whisperer,
I was diagnosed with skin cancer last year and couldn't enjoy the season like I normally do. So this time around — now that I'm cancer-free — it's game on! I'm not letting this disease hold me back from having fun in the sun, but I do need to extra careful with UV ray exposure. I've heard sun-protective materials exist, is this true? Can you recommend a few swimsuits that are flattering for someone in their 30s? I don't want full coverage at the beach but do need to be responsible. What are my best options?
First, you rock, champ! Your positive outlook and fearless attitude are worth celebrating big this summer — especially in the sun. Fortunately, swimwear fabrics do incorporate sun protection is one way or another. UPF is a rating system used in swimwear to determine the type of protection category in the fabric, similar to SPF (sun protection factor), which pertains to a sunscreen's effectiveness against damaging UVB rays. The swimsuits featured below rate high in UPF — and are stylish for your age. Don't shy away from coverage though, long sleeve rash guards or swim leggings are just as trendy and come in handy, especially if you're active in the water.
A good rule to remember: the tighter the fabric, the more it reduces UV transmission — a massive win for swimwear, most bikini materials used are tight and do indeed block rays.
Generally darker hues absorb rays overall and polyester fibers are great for disrupting UV light as does nylon — a win-win fabric combo commonly found in swimwear.
Keep in mind, when the fabric is wet, it causes a reduction in the material's ability to protect against the sun, so dry off fast.