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The Best Colour to Wear in the Sun

By , On , In Sun Protection
When on vacation you should be mindful of protecting yourself from the sun.

When we engage in outdoor activities, it may seem counterintuitive to wear black. The colour makes us hotter than we already feel and, really, who wants to sweat more? This is especially true in the scorching summer months, but black really is the best colour to wear in the sun if you want to protect your skin. It’s an easy sacrifice to make for your skin’s health.

Just as important as ensuring we cover up when we spend time exposed to UV Rays is the colours with which we cover up. It’s true! Incredibly, the colours we choose for our UPF clothing aren’t just style choices, but extra preventative measures to attain maximum protection.

What Other Colours I Can Wear in the Sun?

Woman on a sandbar at a lake wearing black UV protective clothing, the best colour to wear in the sun.
Woman wearing UPF 50 clothing while staying active outdoors in Kelowna, BC.

According to a recent article by the Health Department at the University of Utah in the United States have shown that the best colours to wear to help prevent skin related cancers like melanoma are darker shades. Additionally, helpful are bright, vivid colours like red or neon green. These dark or bright colours absorb light and UV rays far better than light or pastel colours.

What this means is that UV rays are less likely to reach your skin, which drastically reduces your risk of disease and helps set your mind at ease out in the sun.

Why does this happen? Well, as light hits a black (or bright-coloured shirt), the light is converted into energy and, in this case, heat. So, while the dark colours will absorb the light and make you a little sweatier, it will also prevent the UV rays and light from causing permanent damage. To combat the heat a little on a hot day, UPF clothing also comes in a variety of fabrics.

Another typical rule of thumb could be that if you can see through the fabric (which is common in lighter coloured garments), light and UV rays can reach your skin, so avoid those colours when hitting the slopes, the beach, or the driving range.