Many people bring a beach umbrella to protect themselves from the sun when going to the beach. Personally, I spend all my time under the umbrella because I’ve had skin cancer removed from my forehead. But it’s worth asking whether the umbrella really provides enough protection. Today, Protecting Yourself from the Sun: Is a Beach Umbrella Enough?
I need to confess that I made a mistake when my daughter was a baby. I thought that having her sit in the shade at the pool would protect her from the sun, but unfortunately, I was wrong. As this post will explain, shade alone is not enough to prevent sunburn. Sadly, my daughter did end up getting a sunburn that day, and I felt like a terrible mother. However, I learned a valuable lesson from that experience, and I made sure to take extra precautions to protect her from the sun in the future.
This site uses affiliate links, which means a commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. All content and images on this site are protected and may not be reused without written permission from the author.
Should You Apply Sunscreen Even Under a Beach Umbrella?
If you’re at the pool or the beach, it’s important to remember that you should always apply sunscreen, even if you’re sitting under a beach umbrella. While the umbrella can reduce the amount of UV rays you’re exposed to, it’s still important to protect your skin. Additionally, the shade provided by the umbrella can make it feel cooler, which might give you a false sense of security.
Many beach umbrellas have a UPF rating that provides some protection from UV rays. However, harmful UV rays can reflect off surfaces like sand, water, and concrete, meaning you may still be exposed to them even while under the umbrella.
Sun Protection at the Beach
When it comes to sun protection, we don’t have to choose between a beach umbrella or sunscreen. It’s actually recommended that we use both for the best protection. However, there’s another option we can add to our toolkit: sun-protective clothing.
Sun Protection Tips:
- Sunscreen – Remember to apply sunscreen even when you’re sitting under your beach umbrella. It’s important to reapply it throughout the day, especially after swimming. Dermatologists suggest using a minimum of SPF 30 for best protection. We wrote a blog post that you might want to read, “The 10 Most Missed Sunscreen Spots.”
- Sun-Protective Clothing – Wearing sun-protective clothing is ideal for any outdoor activity, including the beach and pool. These clothes have a UPF rating, which stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. Experts suggest choosing a minimum UPF 50+ rated clothing for maximum protection. It is crucial to take proper care of sun-protective clothing to ensure it provides the best protection. You can learn more about this by checking out our latest post titled “3 Summer Items You Might Want to Replace“.
- Sunglasses – Yes, it is even important to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. UVA and UVA rays from the sun can damage the skin, cornea, lens, and other parts of the eye. Wearing sunglasses helps to prevent damage from these rays.
How to Choose the Best Beach Umbrella
Not all beach umbrellas are made equally, and they usually have a UPF rating. It’s recommended to choose a UPF rating of 50+ for excellent protection, as this rating blocks around 98% of the UV radiation. However, it’s important to note that you can still get sunburned from reflective rays even when sitting under an umbrella.
The color of your beach umbrella can affect your sun protection. Experts recommend choosing a darker color, as it absorbs UV rays and heat rather than reflecting them. Since UV rays are already reflected off the sand and water, using a reflective color umbrella can increase the risk of sunburn.
When you visit the beach, do you typically sit under a beach umbrella? If so, do you also apply sunscreen? I personally use an umbrella for shade, but in the past, I’ve made the mistake of thinking that I didn’t need sunscreen because of the shade. However, my perspective has changed in recent years due to my experience with skin cancer.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.