I love summer – it’s my favorite time of year. Relaxing at the beach, swimming with my family in the pool, hosting BBQs, and everything about the carefree summer vibe. It feels like the world just slows down a little bit and our focus is to savor the long, warm days, to soak in life and to make memories.

Of course, as a dermatologist, I have to balance my love of summer with my knowledge of skin health and wellness – my life’s work. I am not sharing this information to scare you. I just want to open your eyes with empowering information.

Statistics show that one person dies of melanoma every hour and that more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. Fifty million people are treated annually for skin cancer. From a cosmetic perspective, sun exposure is also the #1 cause of premature aging in the skin (i.e. wrinkles, sagging, brown spots).

As I tell my patients, rather than letting the statistics scare you, let them motivate you to be proactive about your healthy skin. We have so many options available to protect our skin from sun damage — the solution goes well beyond sunscreen. I want to share this information and help to empower people – like you and your loved ones- to enjoy every minute of summer while also staying sun safe and above all else, healthy!!

This brings us to my brand new capsule collection with MOTT50!

Dr. Bowe XMOTT50 Swimwear

UPF swimsuits and clothing are at the top of my list of summer essentials for myself, my daughter, my husband, and my patients. UPF (which stands for “ultraviolet protection factor” and indicates how much of the sun’s UV rays are absorbed by the fabric before it reaches your skin) is to fabric what SPF is to your skin.

If you wear a standard white t-shirt in the pool (like I did as a kid), when wet, it has a UPF value of about 3 – so almost no sun protection. In contrast, UPF clothing can offer protection up to UPF 50 (and often even higher when tested)! That’s a huge difference in terms of sun protection.

I look for brands that have been tested and certified. That’s why I partnered with Mott50 to bring you this capsule collection – I love their sleek styles and I love the quality of their fabric. You want to look for fabrics that block both UVA and UVB rays. The ability of a fabric to block UV rays is based on factors like the fiber structure, density of weave, and dye components. And, you want to be sure that your fabric is UPF 50+ (see below). This capsule collection is all of those things – and you can feel beautiful (and smart) wearing it!

Here’s a quick Q & A about this fun collection:

Q: Do I need to apply sunscreen underneath my UPF clothing or swimsuit?
A: I usually do not apply sunscreen underneath my UPF clothing and swimsuit. The areas of my skin that are covered by UPF fabric are already protected, as long as my UPF fabric is in great shape! I use sunscreen on my face, neck and legs – anywhere that isn’t covered already by my UPF swimsuit or clothing. This is one of the reasons why I love wearing UPF swimsuits and why I love them for my daughter. We don’t have to keep reapplying sunscreen to the majority of her skin, so she has more time to play and it’s also really comforting to me when she’s at summer camp at the pool and I’m not there to help her reapply.

Q: What’s the highest ranking a UPF swimsuit can have?
A: The highest rank a clothing item can receive is UPF 50+. Even if the garment has more protection, which they sometimes do, the label can only read 50+ (the highest UPF rating available). This rating means that it blocks 98 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

Q: What’s the best way to take care of my UPF swimsuit?
A: The way you take care of your UPF clothing will help it protect your skin over time. Your UPF clothing and swimsuits should be machine washed and line dried. Over time, I typically do replace my UPF clothing because the coating can become compromised by repeated washing and the fabric can stretch and therefore become less protective.

We are kicking off this collection with three beautiful coordinated pieces, all in our signature Spiked Melon shade:

  • Mila One-Piece: This sleek one-piece is stylish yet surprisingly comfortable to wear. Made with soft, quick-drying UPF 50 fabric, it’s an easy option for water activities like swimming and paddle boarding.
  • Mini Mila: The perfect, chic mommy and me option. Protect your little one with UPF 50 fabric for all of your outdoor adventures.
  • Sonja: This flattering swim dress is the perfect multi-functional piece, whether you’re wearing it as a dress or cinching up the sides to wear it as a top. Made with soft, quick-drying and breathable swim fabric, the lightweight top offers UPF 50 protection from sun damage and features a sleek, sport cut and half zip closure.

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