For most people, the only event that constitutes slathering themselves in sunscreen is a day lounging by the pool or the beach. Even skincare enthusiasts tend to forget about the rest of their bodies when applying their daily facial sunscreen. However, cancer can occur anywhere on the body’s largest organ. According to Erum Ilyas, a board-certified dermatologist who sees about 150 patients a week for skin cancer screenings, daily sun exposure—not a bad burn at the beach—is the culprit behind most cases. With the eradication of skin cancer as her ultimate goal, Ilyas began looking into sun protective clothing.
“I recognized that there were consistent patterns of sun damage that reflected behavior patterns of standard sun protection practices,” says Ilyas. “It’s difficult to actually get people to wear sunscreen at all times and I felt like a sun protective clothing line could be a great way for people looking to improve their sun safety without using a chemical product.”
She found that most lines used chemical finishes on their pieces and would eventually wash out, rendering the clothing ineffective at blocking harmful UV rays. As a longer-lasting and more sustainable alternative, Ilyas developed a textile so tightly woven that UV rays would not be able to get through to skin underneath. She then launched a line of women’s clothing with UPF 50+ built-in protection with no added chemicals or treatments: AmberNoon.
A flagship store in Wayne, PA and two more women’s lines, followed, along with men’s and children’s wear as well. Ilyas is especially passionate about the children’s line, as severe sunburns before age 18 can significantly increase the risk of developing skin cancer as an adult. AmberNoon also has a diffusion line coming to QVC this May and hopes to expand into resort and spa retail areas.
“Ultimately, what makes me most excited about the future of AmberNoon is the ability to educate people outside of those I might see as patients about the options for effective sun-protection and how vital it is to care for our skin,” says Ilyas. “I want sun protection for everyone to be as simple as getting dressed."
Learn more about AmberNoon from Ilyas herself in the video below.