Body

The simple but effective form of sun protection you need to try

Your clothes can be your best means of sun protection - and you can still look chic.

So you've got your SPF down pat, now what about clothing? It seems simple, but your clothes can be your best means of sun protection.
The more you cover up, the better chance of protection you have, but that effort is wasted if you don't play close attention to fabrics.
We all love our airy, light sundresses and kimonos in summer, but they may pose a problem if you're not careful.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the first step to safer skin is choosing the right fabrics to wear.
You need to watch out for open-weave fabrics with bigger holes as they provide less protection than tighter knit fabrics, which by contrast are great for blocking out UV rays. Fibres such as polyester, Lycra, nylon and acrylic are your best bet.
You'll also need to consider the colour of your clothes – darker shades tend to absorb more UV light than whites and pastels do. However, bright colours, such as a vibrant yellow, will do a good job as well.
If you're not sure whether your clothes are suitable for a day lounging around in the sun, look out for UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) labels on garments.
Clothing with this label has been tested in a laboratory and will confidently shield you from UV rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a UPF rating of 50 allows 1/50th of the sun's UV radiation to reach your skin, and would provide excellent sun protection.
As an example, a regular thin white cotton T-shirt has a UPF of only about five. The Skin Cancer Foundation says you should aim for UPFs of at least 40-50 for all-day protection.
And remember, sensible sun clothing may sound boring, but it doesn't have to be as there's an array of amazing choices out there. It's just a case of looking out for them.