A Word or Two About Swimwear Care
And, if it is a choice between protecting your skin and your swimsuit – there is no contest. Protect your skin first and foremost.
However, you need to keep in mind that sunscreens can permanently stain your swimwear, especially preparations that are oil based. In a perfect world, you want to give your sunscreen an opportunity to dry and be absorbed by your skin BEFORE you don your favorite suit. Or at the very least be careful when applying it in areas close to your suit.
You also want to avoid sitting on rough surfaces (concrete around pools, wooden benches, etc.) since they can act as an abrasive snagging or breaking the spandex fibers in your suit, leaving you with unsightly nubs. Place a towel down before you take a seat to protect your suit from abrasion.
Last but not least, you want to thoroughly rinse your suit of all chlorine and/or salts as soon as possible after having taken a dip in the pool or ocean. Chlorine and salt are corrosive, and no good will come of letting them stay on your swimwear for a pro-longed period of time. (A thorough rinse means taking your swimsuit off and letting the water penetrate the fibers.)