Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you adopt that philosophy, it’s a given that year-round sun protection is a necessity for long-term beautiful skin. But slathering every inch of your body with SPF can be a time-consuming, greasy mess. In addition, it’s an expensive habit that is not convenient, and even the best sunscreens do not offer 100% protection all day long–especially when exposed to perspiration and water.
In honor of May being Melanoma Awareness Month, I am so excited to share with you my favorite sun-protection tip: Solumbra clothing.
The Solumbra clothing line offers 100% UV protection in a lightweight fabrication that protects your skin all day long, without the worry of repeated applications of sunscreen. For those of you who are smart enough to protect your skin–and your children’s skin–it’s a must.
Invented by Sun Precautions President Shaun Hughes after his personal bout with malignant melanoma, Solumbra is where medical science and technology meet fashion, equalling perfect pieces for outdoor workouts, time beside the pool or on the beach, and even everyday life.
“Solumbra fabrics were patented almost 20 years ago for their novel use of fabric construction, dyeing and finishing that offer superior UV photoprotection,” Shaun said. “The fabrics do not rely on a coating or treatment that can wear off, rub off, or wash out,” he added. “The sun protection is built into the fibers and the weaving construction.”
Additionally, Solumbra fabrics go through simulated full-days of UV exposure and a rigorous 500 durability cycle test of launderings. (The industry standard, as a quick aside, is only 40 durability cycles.)
Recommended by doctors and used by professional athletes, Solumbra has the highest sun protection and durability measurements on the market according to Time Magazine.
Shaun said, “Our products protect real people, not laboratory sensors, so we need to demonstrate that Solumbra provides 100+ SPF protection.” Other companies, Shaun told me, usually only claim 50+ SPF, at maximum.
“We conduct both human (in vivo) and laboratory instrument (in vitro) testing,” Shaun explained. “Most companies only do in vitro testing. I think human testing is critical to determine photo protection and to carry out on-going quality control testing.”
In easy wearable styles and feather-light fabrics, Solumbra is the perfect answer to sweltering summer months when the sun’s damaging rays are at their peak. A typical long-sleeved Solumbra shirt weighs only 70% of the weight of a short-sleeved cotton shirt. And when you consider that a typical t-shirt only offers an SPF of a mere 7, Solumbra is clearly the intelligent choice.
If you’re sun-sensitive, or if protecting your skin is a priority, you simply must request a Sun Precautions catalog and order at least a few key pieces. Here are some of my favorite items.
This bright, embroidered tunic is an adorable way to protect your child’s skin from the sun. It comes in four colors and can double as a summer prom dress or beach cover up. Too cute!
Your answer to sun protection for the littlest ones, this scuba-inspired swimsuit for toddlers fits like a glove and offers full-body coverage–in Solumbra’s unique, four-way stretch fabric–without impeding movement. It’s the sensible option for sensitive baby skin. No chemicals in this smart swimsuit!
This shirt has it all. An athletic top with side stretch panels for a contoured fit, it can take you easily from yoga class to the farmer’s market without missing a beat. A hidden zippered pocket is ideal for stashing essentials, and a full-zip front closure means quick on-and-off. Underarm and back yoke ventilation ensure that you’ll keep your cool, and a longer back hem comes in handy when you stretch so you can maintain modesty at the same time. Perfection!
It may be hard to believe, but the unisex shirt below is perfect for the most vigorous workouts in the most intense heat. With a unique ventilation system, it actually cools you down while you work up a sweat. Said marathon runner Bill Andrews, “I competed in the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley where the daytime temperature never dipped under 120 degrees. Running in Solumbra,” he said, “was an eye-opening experience. I expected it to protect me from sunburn–which it did–but I never expected it to cool me. The underarm vents circulated air around my body so that I was actually cooler running than standing still. As a result, I didn’t want to stop running, and kept going until I reached the finish line. Solumbra’s a winner, hands down.”
“Our products are both comfortable and sun protective,” Shaun said. “That’s why serious ultra marathoners choose to buy our clothing and wear it during the grueling Badwater Ultramarathon,” he added.
The women’s version of the unisex Ultra Athlete Shirt, this top is for those who are serious about their sport and their skin.
“When I wear Solumbra it’s like I’m running in the shade,” according to runner Connie Dockendorf.
Said Shaun, “The fabrics are engineered to be both sun protective while wicking moisture–a vital characteristic on hot summer days. We minimize the amount of UV that can sneak through between the threads and we elevate the fabric away from the skin to promote moisture wicking…We put a wicking finish on our Solumbra fabric to help keep you more comfortable.”
Connie stated, “During the Badwater Ultramarathon I ran in the suit, and at night one of my crew members washed it in a cooler. By sunrise my suit was completely dry, and I put it back on to run in the searing heat.”
The quick dry-time makes Solumbra excellent for travel. In fact, Solumbra clothing was deemed one of the world’s most important travel innovations by Travel & Leisure Magazine. This shirt is a pivotal piece in my summer wardrobe, and a staple in my suitcase!
The flattering tunic below makes a great beach cover up or the perfect hippiechick top over leggings or capri pants. With notched bell sleeves and feminine embroidery, it’s a great example of style meeting substance. Super lightweight with a flirtatious asymmetrical hemline, it’s also an ideal piece for travel because, like all Solumbra pieces, it weighs nothing and packs like a dream.
Because sun damage is cumulative, every bit of protection makes a huge difference in the aging process. I keep this broad-brimmed hat folded up in my bag. When it comes to sun protection, preparedness is key, and this hat has come in handy more times than I can remember. Super light and crushable, it’s the best beauty investment I’ve ever made.
I also keep a pair of Solumbra fingerless driving gloves in my car to save the back of my hands from thinning skin, wrinkles and age spots.
You will become absolutely spoiled by the convenience, durability, and range of styles and sizes of Solumbra clothing. They’re ideal for, literally, all of life’s marathons!