Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, which is largely due to the too-close-to-home hole in the ozone layer. The sun is also the number-one cause of accelerated skin ageing, meaning it’s important to protect your skin year-round. But with summer comes long beach days and heightened sun exposure. Besides sunscreen, sun-smart swimwear is an important part of your beach day

More swimwear brands are jumping on the sun-smart train by reinventing the rashie. The modern update is both practical and stylish and – when paired with denim shorts or linen pants – can be worn straight from beach to bar. Here are our favourites.

Long-sleeve loungers
For ultimate protection (which doubles as everyday wear) there’s Hakea’s turtleneck rash guard. It’s available in black, mustard, dark taupe, olive and clay. In a similar style, with a little more length, there’s Vege Threads eco rashie. It’s made from 78 per cent recycled nylon and 22 per cent Xtra Life Lycra.

This retro-inspired, candy cane-stripe crop from local label Duskii is both flattering and protective. Its San Jose rashie is a little more subtle with a classic black and white design.

Salt Gypsy’s best-selling rash guard is designed to protect the thinnest part of our skin, the décolletage and neck. While Peony’s first ever sun shirt is equal parts sun smart and chic. As with every other Peony Swimwear piece it’s made entirely from recycled and sustainable fabrics.

Sisters Kirsty and Naomi, who are descendants of the Gugu Badhun and Kutjal people in Northern Queensland, are behind Australian swimwear label Kamara. It was born after Naomi was diagnosed with melanoma and set out to spread awareness of sun damage. Their Siren swim top is made from UPF 50+ fabric with a high neck and long-sleeve panelled design.

Stand out on the sand with Free People’s Palomar crop. It pairs perfectly with these high-waist bikini bottoms. Camp Cove Swim’s bright number is perfect for surfing or paired with your favourite pair of shorts. Master minimalism-chic with Aussie label Matteau’s cropped crew neck tee. It has bust darts for extra shape and support. Hand-wash this one to make it last longer.

Mecca Cosmetica’s commitment to caring for your skin goes beyond serums and sunscreens. This limited-edition rash vest will shield your torso and arms from harmful UV rays.

Short-sleeve swimmers
If you’re after a little extra movement in the arms, the mid-length sleeve on this size-inclusive rashie range is a winner. It features an adjustable full zipper in the front and UPF 50+ fabric to embrace summer with maximum protection. Salt Gypsy’s tank rash guard is designed for surf sessions outside of peak UV-times. With a rounded square neckline and internal bust support, it can be tucked into your favourite pair of high-waist surf bottoms. And the vibrant print on this Hakea top is hand-painted by Melbourne artist Zev Tropp. The colours may vary slightly from piece to piece.

One-piece wonders
Stay sun-safe and stylish with Matteau’s deep-V neckline maillot or brighten up your summer wardrobe with this polka-dot number. It cinches in at the waist and the zip holds and locks at any height for extra comfort.