Triathlete trainer Kate Nowlan got the idea of functional SPF fit wear while running with clients and observing other exercisers.
“We were noticing that clothes might look great when they’re stagnant, but once you start to move in them the performance pieces weren’t always there, and living in southern California, the sun protection was not always there,” said Nowlan.
Her “Graced by Grit” line of functional clothing offers a sun protection factor of 50 that won’t wash out.
“All of our fabrics are quick dry, they’re anti-microbial, they do have sun protective qualities,” said Nowlan.
Beyond rash guards, the gear is for sports like tennis, Pilates, skiing, cycling and even gardening.
The concept was partially inspired by the realization that some women work out then head out to do other things, failing to add sunscreen during the day.
“I love surfing swimming, outdoor activities so I just started to develop in my mind this suit,” said Sarah Buxton.
Two years ago, Sarah Buxton was diagnosed then treated for melanoma with doctors orders to stay out of the sun. Her solution was this head-to-toe TutuBlue swimsuit with designs wild enough to entice outdoor exercisers to zip one up.
“It blocks out 90 percent of the sun’s harmful UV and UVA rays. It’s in the weave. It’s been tested. It’s also got cooling technology,” said Buxton.
And like Graced by Grit wear, they dry in a flash, something dermatologist Ileana Zapatero feels has merit.
“I’m a proponent its a great addition to our athletic wear. You’re basically covered the whole time. You don’t have to worry about it, you don’t have to reapply,” said Zapatero.
Zapatero says face sunscreen and a hat is a must, but the sun hits your whole body.
“The first problem with sunscreen: They don’t put enough on. Second problem is they never reapply,” said Zapatero.
Even if you’re not wearing clothes with SPF, regular clothes do offer some sun protection. Dark, tight-fitting clothes offer more then a white T-shirt that generally has an SPF of about seven.