Sunscreen Alternatives: Use This Natural Sun Protection Instead

Sunscreen Alternatives: Use This Natural Sun Protection Instead

“Is sunscreen the new margarine?” asked Outside Magazine in January. Then National Geographic asked, “What sunscreens are best for you -- and the planet?”

If you’ve taken a tropical vacation recently, you might have been asked to use biodegradable sunscreen. And you may have heard that Hawaii banned the sale of sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate last year in an effort to protect coral reefs.

Last month, new data from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration show that chemicals in sunscreen are actually entering our bloodstreams, and that this might be happening at unsafe levels.

So where does that leave us? In our own search for natural sun protection, we saw UPF clothing as the perfect sunscreen alternative. Here’s why:

Buying natural sun protection clothes is a one-time purchase.

As National Geographic says, “Wearing hats, shirts, and other apparel incorporating UV protection can reduce the amount of sunscreen you need by up to 90 percent, and these items will likely last longer than a bottle of sunscreen.” 

Our UPF sun protective clothing is durable and long-lasting, so you can avoid throwing out plastic bottle after plastic bottle with sunscreen.

UPF clothes are perfect for high altitude adventures.

The sun is more intense at higher elevations, which means you’ll spend more time re-applying sunscreen and less time hiking and taking in the views. With UPF clothes, you’re good to go for the day.

You don’t have to sit out the hottest hours of the day.

The peak sunlight hours of 9 or 10 am to 2 or 3 pm can be prime times for hiking to a beautiful summit, rafting down a river, or standing outside for a cookout or a kids’ softball game. Instead of slathering on sunscreen and hoping you can stave off the sunburn, pair UPF clothing with a big sun hat and stay outside even when the day heats up.

Sunscreen isn’t good for your body, but sunburn is even worse.

“I think it’s confusing,” said Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “While it’s more than the FDA recommends for their toxicology, we really don’t know what it means in terms of human health. I would not want people to stop using sunscreen based on this one study.” The jury is still out on what’s best, but clothes with natural sun protection offer the perfect solution. No harmful chemicals and no sunburn.

You’re prepared for whatever comes your way.

Sunburn often comes when you’re least expecting it. Maybe your hike went longer than planned or the sun popped out briefly on a cloudy day. You might not have a tube of sunscreen with you, but if you incorporate UPF clothes into your daily routine, you’ll be covered for whatever happens.

We’re big believers in Merino wool clothing for natural sun protection. With a UPF rating of 25+, all the items in the Ridge Merino sun protection collection protect you from the harmful rays of the sun while also wicking away moisture, regulating your body temperature, and resisting odors.


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