Skip to content
Seeking Summer & Sun Protection ft. Dr. Whitney Bowe

Seeking Summer & Sun Protection ft. Dr. Whitney Bowe

Our skin is both our largest organ and our biggest barrier against the outside world. And while everyone needs at least a little sun exposure, too much of a good thing is, well, not always good. When we’re exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, our bodies make vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient – particularly for bone health. But when we are overexposed or unprotected, the sun’s UV rays can cause serious damage to the skin and may even lead to certain cancers.

At Cabana Life, we follow three simple steps to keep ourselves safe in the sun – seeking shade, applying sunscreen, and, of course, wearing sun-protective clothing. We recently sat down with Dr. Whitney Bowe, NYC-based, board-certified celebrity dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin, to talk about why sun protection is so important and how to stay safe outside this summer.

What’s UPF?

If you know Cabana Life, then you know that we're all about ultraviolet protection factor – UPF for short. UPF, much like the sun protection factor (SPF) in sunscreen, tells you how well a fabric will protect you from harmful UV rays. When we spoke, Dr. Bowe was quick to mention that not all fabrics block UV rays effectively – and that's where we come in!

She explained that, while a white t-shirt is better than wearing nothing at all, UPF clothing is the best choice for reliable sun protection. This is because it behaves like sunscreen by protecting the covered skin from sun exposure – and it doesn’t need to be reapplied. Dr. Bowe recommends her patients opt for sun-protective clothing with a UPF of 50+. And lucky for you, all of Cabana Life’s stylish pieces come with this level of protection!

Forever Young

The sun's rays are the number one most avoidable cause of both premature aging (e.g. wrinkles, brown spots, and sagging skin) and skin cancer. Protecting yourself against premature signs of aging is one thing, Dr. Bowe explained, but it’s even more important to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

We all know that seeking shade and applying sunscreen are great places to start on your sun protection journey. However, for those who wish to spend time outdoors without constantly reapplying, wearing UPF clothing is the most effective (and did we mention stylish?) route.

Patients Tell All

"In my office, I always hear: 'But I wore sunscreen the whole time! I don't know how I got so dark,’" Dr. Bowe revealed. The truth is, sunscreen alone is not enough to fully protect your skin from sun damage. Applying and reapplying SPF is a great first-shield from the sun's harmful rays, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. If you’re really serious about protecting your skin from sun damage, you’ve got to think outside of the box – or in this case, sunscreen bottle. These are just a few of Dr. Bowe’s secrets for keeping skin youthful and free of sun damage:

  • Protect from the Inside Out – You read that right…sun protection can come from within. Certain dietary supplements (like Dr. Bowe’s favorite, Heliocare) can boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen and provide you with further protection against UV rays.
  • Strategic Shade – While you may want to bask in the sun all day long, it’s important to take some time throughout the day to sit in the shade. Try to plan your breaks around when the sun is at its peak (i.e., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). It’s also important to note that not all shade is created equal – if you feel any warmth on your skin, you’re still at risk of getting burned!
  • Throw on a Hat – Your face needs an extra layer of protection, as it’s the only part of your body that’s constantly in the sun. The same goes for your scalp, which is often overlooked during sunscreen application. Luckily, protecting these areas is as simple as throwing on a wide-brimmed hat (preferably one made with UPF 50+ fabric).

And of course, Dr. Bowe’s number one tip for easy and effective sun protection is to sport UPF clothing. To learn more about Dr. Bowe and the latest tips on sun protection, visit Be sure to shop Cabana Life’s sun-protective clothing options so you can enjoy the summer in style!