Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sun Blocking Swimwear

Surf Stylin’ Coverups

Greenfemme’s visiting Honolulu, where I was born and raised, and as there’s a south swell cranking, I’m in a rush to hit the waves. If you like to snorkel, swim and surf, I recommend wearing sun-blocking swim tops and bottoms that rate Ultraviolet Protection Factors (UPF) from the Skin Cancer Foundation. Where your skin is covered by these tightly woven fabrics, you can leave off sunscreen lotions, giving yourself—and the living polyps in coral reefs—a break from some potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals (see “Top 10 Sun Protection Tips” on the home page at And they also help keep you warm.

Body Glove’s 50-UPF (that’s the top rating) 540 shirt in nifty white, silver and black, $34.95; or an O’Neill long-sleeve in navy, charcoal and black, $49.95, at

Solarweave chlorine-resistant Lycra shirts in stunning fuchsia (the better for lifeguards to see you with!), $79.50; unisex swimshorts, $38, or tights, $49, and baby longjohns, $49, all 50-UPF, at

Note: Make sure sun protective clothing doesn’t fit too snugly, as if it’s stretched taut, that distends the tight weave and reduces the UPF!

Last-minute Tip: In a pinch, I find that a regular surfer poly or nylon “rash guard” works fine at preventing sunburn.

Go for it! Next, Sunblocks: The Scoop on the Goop.


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