What is the Best Color for Sun Protection?

woman wearing sun hat

When spending time in the sun it is vital to make sure we take extra care to protect our skin from the sun. Did you know that the color of your clothes can make a difference?

As well as protection from sunscreen, clothing is also a great defense against harmful sun rays.

The best color for sun protection are darker colors because they absorb more sunlight, meaning they are more effective in protecting your skin. While this means they are not the coolest in the sun they do offer the best UV protection.

Below we will cover the best colors for sun protection and why it’s important for sun protection all in more detail.

Which Color is Best for Sun Protection?

When choosing your summer wardrobe, you have probably thought about colors that will stay cool in the sun and opted for lighter shades. However, have you thought about what color protects you from the sun?

Generally, dark colors absorb UV rays much more than light colors. So, if you are wearing dark clothing, the material will absorb the rays and pass fewer on to your skin. However, bright colors have also been found to be effective in sun protection.

According to a research study scientists in Spain discovered that red and dark blue are the most effective colors for blocking UV rays.

They say that ‘color is one of the most influential variables on the protection against ultraviolet radiation provided by a fabric’, and so choosing red or dark blue clothing can have a huge impact on how protected you are from the sun.

The study also concluded that yellow is the least effective color in blocking UV rays.

So, when you are looking for new pieces to add to your summer wardrobe, remember that red and blue are the best colors to wear in the sun for protection.

Why Should We Care About Sun Protection?

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Tanned skin is the result of sun damage to skin cells, and over time, this can lead to skin cell degeneration, and, at worst, skin cancer.

Yale Medicine Dermatology Department tells us that when ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate unprotected skin, it causes DNA changes at a cellular level. They say that sun damage is not only dangerous, but can also lead to early signs of aging, like wrinkles, pigmentation changes like age spots, and a loss of skin elasticity.

So, if you want to take care of your health and your appearance, protecting your skin when spending time in the sun is essential. This is often why lots of people are now opting for self-tanning methods to get a tan as it’s safer for the skin in the long run compared with sun tanning and tanning beds.

Below we will offer a few more essential pieces of advice for protecting your skin while in the sun.

Other Sun Protection Tips

Wear Sunscreen

Even if your skin is mostly covered by clothing, you should still apply sunscreen if you are planning on spending time outdoors. This will protect your skin against any UV rays that do penetrate through your clothing.

If you are out in the sun hiking or playing sport, it is also likely that you will move your clothing around during the day. I, for example, always roll my sleeves up when I get too warm hiking, leaving my arms exposed to the sun. Having sunscreen on underneath will keep your skin protected.

There are many sunscreens available that are designed for sport, meaning they will withstand sweating and won’t be too sticky to wear under clothes. Always opt for a high-factor sunscreen for the best protection from UV rays – between SPF30 and SPF50.

We Recommend: Sun Bum Original SPF 50

Wear a Hat

The skin on our faces is particularly sensitive to burning, and also an area that most people don’t choose to cover with clothing. A hat will provide shade on your face to protect it from UV rays whilst you’re out and about.

Baseball caps are a popular choice because they fit closely to the head and stay in place, so don’t cause hassle or distraction.

If you are just spending time outdoors, however, a wide brimmed hat will provide full protection of your face and neck, and can look super glamorous!

Wear Sunglasses

Our eyes are particularly sensitive to UV rays and need protecting. Exposing your eyes to the sun can lead to numerous conditions such as corneal burn, cataracts and related vision loss, macular degeneration, and skin cancer around the eye.

It is vital, therefore, to not only wear sunglasses, but to ensure those sunglasses are of a high quality that will provide adequate protection. Make sure they have 99%-100% UV protection, which is only guaranteed by a label, not by them being dark or mirrored.

Related Questions

What Color is Coolest in the Sun?

Lighter colors such as white and pastels will remain coolest to the touch in sunlight. This is because light colors reflect sunlight, rather than absorb it.

What Colors Attract the Sun?

Dark colors absorb sunlight, whilst light colors reflect it. Wearing dark colors in the sun, therefore, will be more effective in protecting your skin (because they absorb the UV rays) but might get hot and uncomfortable.

Light colors will stay cooler in sunlight but won’t protect your skin as effectively.

Are there Certain Materials that Block UV Rays?

Generally, fabrics with a tight weave block more UV rays. This is because there are fewer gaps in the fabric between the threads, so less sunlight will penetrate through.

Satin is a very tight weave fabric, although can be uncomfortable in hot weather. Denim is a great choice – it is a tight weave fabric and so will be effective in blocking UV rays, and you can find lightweight summer denim pieces that won’t get too hot.

Scroll to Top