Sun protective clothing is now considered as vital for your skin. Sun Protective clothing protects you from all the harmful effects that sunlight could have on your skin.
Everyone loves going outside on a sunny day to enjoy the excellent weather and bask in the sunlight. The feeling of warmth as the sunlight falls over us makes us comfortable and delighted. That emotion can never be replaced. But every good thing has its cons, and the same applies to sun rays as it can be harmful to your skin.
UV Rays or Ultraviolet Rays which are present in sunlight are quite harmful to your skin. Hence, Sun protective clothing should be a priority for everyone under the sun.
UV Rays can cause tanning, skin burns, skin rashes, and could increase the risk of skin cancer. There are two types of UV Rays, which are UVB Rays and UBA Rays. UVB Ryas affects the outside layer of the skin and causes skin burns and skin rashes, while UVA Rays affects the deep layers of the skin and causes skin cancer, wrinkles, and pre-ageing.
So there are few things can you do to protect your skin from harmful UV Radiation. If you keep these three main things in mind, you will be able to choose the ideal sun protective clothing for yourself.
1. Ultraviolet Protection Factor UPF
While many people know about Sun Protective Factor (SPF), only a handful of people know about the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). While buying sun protective clothing, you need to look out for the UPF of clothing.
UPF shows how much a particular fabric allows the Ultraviolet Rays to penetrate it and reach the skin. Hence if your Sun protective clothing has a high rating, it will block more UV rays.
The Difference Between SPF and UPF: Which is Better?
SPF and UPF are criteria that are used to determine the amount of sunburn protection the clothing provides.
SPF is the measure used to estimate the effectiveness of sunscreen products, while UPF is used to calculate the effectiveness of Sun protective clothing.
The SPF works as a gauge to assess how much time it takes for a person to experience sunburn when they go out in the sun. Then SPF of a particular rate, like 15, will prolong the protection by 15 times the amount it takes for that person to burn.
While both give UV protection, people prefer to buy an SPF sunscreen rather than go search for UPF protective clothing. And UPF clothing might be more expensive in comparison to an SPF sunscreen.
But you need to re-apply the sunscreen all the time to protect your skin. You don’t have to go through that hassle when you wear a good UPF rated garment.
Also, SPF only protects you from UVB rays but not from UVA rays. But UPF fabric protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Therefore UPF rated clothes can keep you safe from skin cancer.
Hence UPF Sun protective clothing is a better choice for your skin.
Who Should Wear UPF Protective Clothing?
While anyone can be affected by UV rays present in sunlight, some people can be more prone to these harmful rays.
Sun-sensitive people that is, those who get sunburned easily, should wear UPF Sun protective clothing to protect themselves from harmful rays.
Kids should wear UPF clothing as they have sensitive skin which is thinner than adult skin. The clothing will protect the kids from skin irritation and acts like a rash guard too
People living near the equatorial region or in a higher elevation should also wear sun-protective clothing as the concentration of sunlight and UV rays are higher in these areas.
2. How UPF Ratings Work
The rating of UPF fabric works the same as SPF. UPF rating starts from 15 being good enough to 50 and 50+, which is an excellent choice for Sun protective clothing.
A UPF 50 fabric will block 98 percentage of Ultraviolet Rays and only allowing a rough estimate of 2 percent of UV radiation. The same goes for a UPF 25 rate clothing which blocks an estimated measure of 4 percent of UV rays.
So what should you as a customer look out for in a standard Sun protective clothing? Keep reading to find out.
Basic Features of UPF Protective Clothing.
Clothes with extended coverage are great UPF choices. This includes clothes like long sleeve shirts, cuffs that can cover your hands, shirts with a flip-up collar, and hats with broad brims. T-shirts with long sleeves can also be included.
Don’t buy clothes that might be tight-fitting to your body. Not only it will make you uncomfortable during a hot day; it will also not be effective against the UV rays.
Always choose loose clothing that has space for ventilation and is not stretching over your body. Buy outfits that dry up quickly as wetness of clothing can degrade its UPF rating.
So in a nutshell, for ideal Sun protective clothing, you need a loose-fitting garment that gives good skin coverage and after washing dries up quickly.
Characteristics That Enhance UPF Rating.
Construction of the fabric plays a vital role in upgrading the UPF rating of Sun protective clothing. Thicker fabrics are observed to reduce the amount of UV ray transmission.
Thicker fabrics like wool, polyester, nylon, silk work best against UV radiation and protect your skin from harmful rays. At the same time, thin fabrics like cotton, lace, and others don’t block the rays that much.
The colour of the fabric is also quite important to UPF rating, as it has been observed that darker coloured clothes block UV rays reaching the skin. Light-coloured clothes are not that effective.
Dyed and even chemically treated outfits also help prevent the maximum of UV rays from reaching your skin. But chemicals and dyes like these fade out after few washes, so this is often not recommended.
Factors that Affect UPF Rating
The wetness of the cloth might affect and lower the UPF rating of Sun protective clothing. This happens to quite a few fabrics. Hence it is preferred to buy garments that can dry quickly and easily.
Worn and old clothes, which have been stretched and pulled while wearing, have lesser UPF ratings as it has been degraded due to repeated use. So it’s better to wear new clothes when going outside.
Above are things you should keep in mind while buying very good quality and satisfactory Sun protective clothing.
3. How to Maintain UPF Protective Clothing?
While you may have brought suitable UPF protective outfits for yourself, you need to maintain it so that their UPF rating does not degrade.
There are some Sun protective clothing that have only a specific number of washes available before the UPF fades away from the garment. So always read the tags which give more details about your garment.
Here are some tips to protect your clothes and to ensure the UPF rating of your clothes:
Whenever you wash the clothes, always rinse in cold water. Coldwater also helps in the longevity of the cloth by not shrinking it.
Hand washing your UPF Sun protective clothing is preferred but if you want to clean it in a washing machine, choose the gentle wash option. Any other wash option might wear out the fabric and might degrade the UPF.
Mild Detergents that contain cloth brightener are perfect for washing clothes with a high UPF rating. It maintains the UPF rating and keeps the cloth sun safe.
After every use, wash your clothes. Dirt can wear out the fabric and even decrease the quality of the fabric and UPF rating too. Also, wash your sun protective clothing after it comes into contact with chlorine. Chlorine can ruin your clothes and degrade them.
Also, while washing never uses bleach as harsh chemicals like this might ruin your UPF clothes. They are delicate and need to be taken care of gently.
After washing never wring your UPF protected clothes, instead use a towel or a sponge to soak up the extra water if necessary. You can leave it in the sun just like that. You should dry the protective clothes right under the sun.
By doing this, you won’t be stretching the fabric, thus maintaining the UPF rating of the cloth. Also, avoid keeping the garment on rough surfaces as it may damage the fabric.
Never dry clean or iron your sun protective clothing as they might get damaged due to the high temperature and will wear out quite quickly.
If something falls over your UPF protective clothes, don’t let it air for a long time. Wash it as quickly as possible and never fold or pack these garments when they are wet.
Dry them properly before packing. If not done the UPF will fade away.
Sun Protective Clothing
Sun protective clothing protects your skin from the UV rays and helps your skin stay healthy and safe.
You can buy protective clothing from online stores or any garment shop near you. You can always ask the customer service of the shop for details on the UPF rating.
So stay safe from UV rays by using Sun protective clothing and enjoy the sunshine to the fullest.