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Is a beach umbrella better than sunscreen?

Is a beach umbrella better than sunscreen?

With summer well and truly here, lots of people are hitting the beach. Whether you live close by, are spending every waking moment at your holiday home, or embarking on day trips to your closest beach, there’s no doubt that Aussies love summer. 

However, as much as we love the beach, we know that there are measures we must take to protect ourselves from the hot summer sun.

There’s quite a bit of chatter around the best way to do this: should we be stocking up on our favourite Sunbutter sunscreen? Or should we all invest in a premium beach umbrella?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to tell you.

Do umbrellas protect from the sun?

We’ve all heard the classic Aussie slogan of Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide: 

  • Slip on a shirt
  • Slop on some 50+ SPF sunscreen
  • Slap on a hat
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on sunglasses

The Cancer Council launched the campaign in 1981 and even now, 40 years later, it’s still having a massively positive impact on our behaviour! Seek and Slide were added to the campaign in 2007.

The great news is that this campaign has shared a message that truly resonates with Aussies: melanoma rates have dropped in the past 18 years, while cases specifically related to young adults have fallen 5% every year from the 90s to 2010! (Source)

However, the question people wonder is whether there are certain elements of Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide that are more important than others.

For example, is slopping on some sunscreen more helpful than seeking shade?

Well in short, no - while each element is designed to increase your protection from the sun, and on its own, each is effective, it’s when they are combined where they really have the best and biggest effect. 

We all know that sunscreen is made to protect our skin from those harmful UV rays, but what about beach umbrellas?

Is the beach umbrella Australia’s best bet in our ongoing battle against blistering, red, sunburn? Or can those nasty UV rays still get to us?

Can UV rays penetrate an umbrella?

white beach umbrella

The first thing you need to look at when you are purchasing a beach umbrella is the UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. 

Not all beach umbrellas are made the same way. You need a beach umbrella that is actually designed to block out UV rays. 

Our range of premium beach umbrellas are UPF 50+ and 98% block out, including.

And it doesn’t even matter what colour the shade is, provided it’s made to a high standard. So that means a white beach umbrella could indeed offer as much protection as a black one. 

Shop our beach umbrellas here, including the ever-popular Business and Pleasure beach umbrella collection.

Do you need sunscreen under an umbrella?

While our range of UPF beach umbrellas will block the UV rays that come from above you, there’s still a possibility of getting burnt. 

We all know that UV rays come from the sun that is shining overhead. What a lot of people don’t know is that those rays can reflect off other materials or elements - and when you’re at the beach, that means the water.

So, while most of the UV rays won’t be able to penetrate the umbrella, they might be able to bounce back up at you from the ground.

That’s why you must always wear sunscreen, even if you’ve perched yourself under a quality beach umbrella.

Are UV umbrellas worth it?

While a recent study found that only using sunscreen is better than only using an umbrella, that doesn’t mean that umbrellas aren’t worth it. 

In fact, our philosophy is pretty simple: increase your chances of protecting yourself from UV rays with every single element in the Cancer Council’s campaign. And that means investing in both good quality sunscreen and a durable UV beach umbrella, amongst other methods of protection.

Other questions you should ask yourself when searching for the perfect french umbrella include:

  • Is the umbrella big enough for its purpose?
  • How sturdy is it? What is it made of?
  • Does it look fantastic? Is it stylish?

Find the answers to these questions here.

Which type of sunscreen is the best?

sunbutter sunscreen

The best type of sunscreen is going to depend on your needs. 

For example, if you are going to be swimming or working out, then you need a sunscreen that is water resistant. 

Or if you’re looking for a hydrating sunscreen then you probably want to buy the best sunscreen for dry skin in summer

A lot of our customers are looking for a sun tanning oil that also has a good SPF rating. So, the best sunscreen for you is really going to depend on what you need. Some of our favourite brands include Sunbutter sunscreen and Cocooil (we particularly love their Coconut oil sun tanning oil as an everyday moisturiser with bonus SPF).

Get all the beach accessories you need to stay protected by the ocean 

coconut oil sun tanning

While sunscreen and a Klaoos beach umbrella are two of the most important defences against UV rays, they’re most certainly not the only ones.

We love the beach, but we also know the damage that UV rays can cause - that’s why we believe it’s so important to provide beach goers with not only the best high-end beach gear, games, and accessories, but also products that help protect them from the sun.

So whether you’re looking to slop on some sunscreen or seek shade under a beach umbrella, we’ve got what you need for a safe and enjoyable experience by the sea.