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Article: Your Ultimate Guide to Sun Protective Clothing

Your Ultimate Guide to Sun Protective Clothing

Stocked up on SPF, oversized hats, and sunglasses? Great! But are you keeping up with your body protection? 

When you're out enjoying your day-to-day life, it's easy to forget that the sun's rays can be both our best friend and our worst enemy. While sunshine can boost our mood and provide essential vitamin D, it also comes with the risk of skin damage, premature aging, and even skin cancer. No thank you!

That's where sun protective clothing comes into play – it's like a superhero shield for your skin. Read on to learn more about UV clothing so you can make smart choices when it comes to sun protection.

UPF: What it is and why it matters

UPF stands for "Ultraviolet Protection Factor" and is used for rating fabrics. Think of it as the sun protection equivalent of SPF (Sun Protection Factor) for sunscreen, but for clothing. While sunscreen shields your skin, UPF-rated clothing acts as a protective barrier between your skin and those powerful UV rays and blocks both UVA (aging) & UVB (burning) rays. The UPF rating indicates how much of the sun’s UVA & UVB rays are absorbed by the fabric before it reaches your skin. 

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends wearing UPF clothing with a minimum of UPF 30+ to protect from all UV rays. A UPF of 30 to 49 offers very good protection, while UPF 50+ rates as excellent. As the top tier of sun protection, UPF 50+ clothing blocks out 98% of UV radiation, allowing only 2% to reach your skin. It's like having a fortress against the sun, making it ideal for maximum protection.

The benefits of wearing sun protective clothing

  • Anti-Aging: Signs of aging and skin cancers are caused by sun damage. UPF 50+ sun protective clothing can be worn for both anti-aging and health purposes. It’s the perfect addition to your sunwear and wellness wardrobe.
  • Consistent Protection: Unlike sunscreen, which can wear off and requires reapplication, sun protective clothing provides constant and reliable protection throughout the day. 
  • No Mess: Say goodbye to sticky sunscreen. With UPF clothing, you don't have to worry about applying or reapplying sunscreen, providing a mess-free solution for sun protection.
  • Full Coverage: It covers more skin than sunscreen alone, protecting areas that are easy to miss, like the shoulders, back, chest and neck.
  • Comfortable and Breathable: High-quality sun protective clothing is designed to be comfortable and breathable, even in warm weather. Fabrics are lightweight and moisture-wicking, ensuring you stay cool and dry. Our materials are carefully chosen for their sun protective qualities, such as weight, composition and natural UV resistance, with no chemical additives.
  • Ideal for Sensitive Skin: If you have sensitive or allergy-prone skin, sun protective clothing can be a gentle and irritation-free alternative to sunscreen.
  • Suitable for All Ages: Sun protective clothing is suitable for people of all ages, including infants and children. It's an excellent way to instill sun safety habits from a young age.

Not all clothing is created equal

It's essential to recognize that not all clothing can shield you effectively from the sun's harmful UV radiation. Many common fabrics fall short when it comes to providing the necessary protection. 

Take the classic white cotton tee, for instance. While it might seem like a reasonable choice for a sunny day, it only offers a UPF of 5 to 7. For those who want to step up their sun protection game and have the confidence of being fully shielded, the best choice is by wearing sun protective clothing with a UPF 50+ rating. 

Additionally, not all UV clothing is created equal, so it's important to understand that quality is key. Some clothing is treated with UV-blocking chemicals during or after manufacturing to enhance or achieve its UPF rating. The effectiveness of these treatments can decrease over time with wear and washing.

For the highest level of sun protection and confidence, look for clothing that is both UPF-rated and certified, and follow care instructions to maintain its effectiveness.

Sun protective clothing flowchart