Staying safe in the sun can be much easier if you’re dressed appropriately. No, you don’t have to wear long-sleeved robes that cover every inch of skin. You can be stylish, smart and safe thanks to sun protection clothing that keeps you safe from UVA and UVB rays that can damage your skin and up your risk of skin cancer.
However, before you head to the store and start picking up everything labeled ‘sun protective’, here’s a look at what sun protection clothing is all about and how to choose the best one for your skin type and sun exposure:
The UPF rating is what sets sun protective clothing apart from regular clothes. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and is an indicator of how much of the sun’s UV rays are absorbed. For instance, a fabric with a UPF rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through and reduce your exposure to radiation significantly (source: Skin Cancer Foundation).
UPF is not the same as SPF. SPF or sun protection factor is an indicator of the time it takes for sun-exposed skin to start reddening.
Dark Colors are Cool
As a rule, dark colored fabrics are better at protecting you from the sun’s radiation. So, when you’re headed out to the beach, skip the whites and pastels and pick the navy, greens and other darker shades that would block out the sun more effectively.
Fabric that Foils the Sun
The weave, dye and fiber type ALL have an impact on the sun protective capability of clothing. For instance, some dyes deflect more UV radiation while others absorb more. The UPF rating of a garment is a good indication of what dyes have been used. Special sun protection clothes use high-tech dyes that prevent penetration of both UVA and UVB rays.
Ratings That Matter
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sun protective clothes must have a minimum UPF of 30 to receive their Seal of Recommendation. However, clothes with a UPF of 15-50+ are labeled as sun protective.
Things to Keep in Mind
Sun protective clothes, like your regular clothes, can lose their effectiveness if stretched too tight, worn out, washed repeatedly or dampened or wet.
Popular Sun Protective Clothing Companies
Ready to go shopping now? Here are some popular clothing companies that specialize in sun protective clothes for the whole family. Head over and take a look:
And if you have sun protective eye gear for the kids on your list, do read our post to help you pick the best sunglasses for children.
Have you bought sun protective clothing? What do YOU look for?
Disclaimer: The article is not intended to replace medical advice and is strictly for informational purposes. Please check with a medical practitioner in case of any doubt. Also, none of the companies listed are affiliated with ezShade. Please do sufficient research before making any purchase.