There's nothing like spending time in the great outdoors. Whether going on a short walk, out on the boat, to the beach, on a hike or doing something else outside, protecting your skin from damage and sunburn should be high on your priority list.
Even on a cloudy day, UV rays can harm your skin and lead to damage and potentially skin cancer (source). While the best thing you can do is to avoid being outside for prolonged periods between 10 am and 4 pm, that's not always possible in all circumstances.
If you’ll be outside during this time or when the UV index is high, wearing sunscreen and clothing that protects you from the sun is vital. But you may ask, what's the best color to wear in the sun for sun protection? Black. Keep reading to find out why.
Can Clothes Protect You From the Sun?
Absolutely. Clothes can help protect your skin from the sun's rays. That being said, not all clothes are created equal regarding sun protection. Specific colors will protect you more than others, but unless the clothing is created with specific sun protection technology, it won't 100% protect your skin from the rays.
The main things you'll want to look for when shopping for clothing to help with sun protection are items that:
- Provide full coverage
- Are dark in color
- Have a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating
- They are made with high-density material
The Best Colors To Wear for Sun Protection
You can wear several colors for sun protection, but the best one is black or any bright color.
Black and Other Dark Colors
Most people believe wearing black or other dark colors in the sun is bad. While it can make you feel hotter than in different colors, it's the best option for your clothing when you want to protect your skin.
Black and dark colors absorb more UV rays than other colors, which will ensure they don't hit your skin as much.
Essentially, the darker the color, the more sun protection it will offer. Besides black, other dark colors that can provide a level of sun protection include navy, maroon, and dark gray.
Bright or Neon Colors
If you're not interested in wearing black in the sun because you don't like it or don't want to be too hot, bright and neon colors are the way to go.
Like black, bright and neon colors absorb more rays than pastel and lighter colors.
Even though most neon and bright colors will be protective, yellow is the worst neon color to wear in the sun.
Despite being a color that keeps you cool in the sun, it provides the least amount of sun protection compared to other neon colors and black.
Other Things to Consider for Sun Protection
When it comes to protecting your skin from the sun, you don't just want to think about the shirt and pants you wear and their colors.
Hats are a great way to shield your face from the sun's rays and your scalp. Most people forget to apply sunscreen to their scalps, so wearing a hat can be a lifesaver, literally.
Sun hats are some of the best items you can wear when hiking or out in the sun on any occasion to protect yourself. The best sun hats will be great for all-day wear and long-lasting for the rest of your camping trips for several years.
Besides a hat, be sure to choose socks and shoes that are also black or in bright colors to protect your feet as best as possible.
While the color of your shoes isn't as important, if your socks are covering your ankles, you don't want to wear a color that attracts the sun's rays and additional heat.
Best Color to Wear in the Sun Final Thoughts
Protecting your skin from the sun is one of the best things you can do for your skin and your overall health.
Wearing darker or brighter clothing will absorb UV rays more than others and protect your skin better than white or pastel shades.
As you pack for a camping trip, a regular vacation, or are simply looking for a great hat to wear to protect you from the sun, be sure to check out our best packable sun hats.
There's a lot to learn about protecting your skin, especially with clothing. Here are a few frequently asked questions that other outdoorsy folks are asking about sun protection.
Does black attract the sun?
While most people grew up thinking that the color black attracts the sun's rays, that's not necessarily true.
It has everything to do with the color's properties and composition that determine how it interacts with sunlight.
Since black absorbs more sunlight, people believe it attracts it. Despite absorbing more light, it does a better job at protecting your skin due to the absorption.
Does white protect you from UV rays?
Wearing any clothing can protect your skin from UV rays, but some colors do better than others.
Since white doesn't absorb as much sunlight as darker or brighter colors, UV rays can still penetrate the clothing and reach your skin.
It's still better to wear white than nothing, though, when it comes to protecting your skin from the sun.
Can the sun's UV rays go through clothes?
Yes, sunlight can penetrate clothing and cause skin damage and sunburn. Choosing to wear clothing with a high sun protection rating, sunscreen, or dark or bright clothes are the best ways to protect your skin from the sun.