Despite being a significant source of life on earth, the sun comes with some cons, too. While it may keep people from freezing to death and provide nutrition to plants, it emits UV rays that are harmful to the human body.
Sun protection is nothing new; it has been around for decades. Still, people are not aware of its significance and how to adequately use these protective tools. While sunscreens are an indispensable weapon in your UV-defying arsenal, in some cases, they may not be enough.
That’s where UV shirts and sun-protective clothing come to your rescue. They are designed to keep the wearer cool, protect their skin from damage and photoaging, and prevent skin cancer or other diseases.
Understanding Sun Protective Clothing
Unless you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, you are not being protected from UVA rays. That’s because SPF only measures the extent to which a sunscreen protects you from the UVB rays.
Any clothing will help protect you from UV rays to some extent. However, with UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor clothing, one can protect themselves from UVA and UVB rays.
UPF clothing such as UV shirts are dyed with chemical UV absorbers, typically used in chemical sunscreens. These absorbers help block both UVA and UVB rays.
When you want to ensure that your UPF clothing is useful, ensure that you check the UPF rating standardized by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a UPF 30 rating is required to ensure that you are adequately protected. The higher the rating, the lower is the percentage of rays that will reach your skin.
Should You Use Sun Protective Clothing?
Dermatologists always encourage people to protect themselves from the sun as far as possible. From staying inside during the day’s peak hours to wearing sunscreen, it is essential to be diligent about sun protection. So, what do they have to say about sun protective clothing?
Most agree that using sun-protective clothing, along with hats and sunscreens, is the ideal way to stay protected from harmful rays. Dermatologists agree that using sun protective clothing can ensure that you stay healthy.
Hence, it is important for those who love to be out in the sun to wear UPF clothing. Several brands have come up with their line of UPF clothing as it is getting more popular. With more people becoming aware of harmful UV rays, you have a wide variety of options to choose from in this clothing variety.
How Should You Choose UPF Clothing?
With several options comes the difficulty of deciding which one is the best choice for you. Apart from purchasing higher UPF-rated clothing, several other factors play an essential role in determining the extent to which the clothing will protect your skin from the harsh UV rays. These factors include:
Does the Fabric Stretch?
Clothing that stretches will not be able to protect you from the sun adequately. The stretchable fabric is more easily penetrated by the sun’s rays, especially in the areas where the material is thinner.
Choose the Right Color
Wearing darker colored UPF clothing ensures that the dyes absorb the sun rays better. Thus, it keeps them from reaching your skin. Compared to lighter clothing, darker shades are much better in protecting your skin from the sun.
Look at the Weave and Material
The material and construction of the clothing will greatly affect its sun protection ability. Thicker material, such as denim, will keep the sun rays from reaching your skin, and densely woven clothing provides more sun protection as well. While lighter clothing may be more breathable, it cannot provide you with adequate sun protection.
Check the Fitting
Ensure that your clothing is loose-fitting and does not hug your body. Tight-fitting clothing is more likely to stretch, which reduces sun protection ability. Loose-fitting clothing is comfortable and helps protect your skin well.
What About the Coverage?
Of course, coverage matters the most when it comes to sun-protective clothing. People should opt for long-sleeved shirts and long skirts or pants to protect themselves from the sun as far as possible.
Understanding the importance of sun protective clothing is vital to maintain your health. People should use sun-protective tools such as sunscreen and protective clothing in conjunction to ensure maximum protection from the sun.
Keep the UPF rating in mind when you are purchasing UPF clothing, and ensure that it fits well. When wearing UPF clothing, ensure that it is loose-fitting, densely woven fabric dyed in dark colors. Research your sun protective clothing well before you make any purchase to ensure that you are not disappointed.