Many people use sunscreen when they are going to spend time outside. Sunscreen keeps your skin safe from the sun’s rays. However, clothes also can provide significant protection. Some clothing is effective in reducing sunlight exposure using UPF.
What Is UPF in Clothing?
UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, signifies how much ultraviolet radiation can pass through the fabric. There are different wavelengths of UV light, with UVA and UVB being the most harmful for your skin. UPF blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It is recommended that you get clothing that has at least a UPF of 30 for sufficient protection. The tags will often give a UPF rating. Some stores will list the rating in the product description of clothing.
The Difference Between UPF And SPF
Both UPF and SPF work to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. However, UPF is related to how well clothing blocks UV radiation. SPF measures how long it takes for light to burn your skin. UPF blocks out both UVA and UVB light, but SPF only protects you against UVB.
Factors That Determine The UPF Rating
All clothing can block UV radiation, but each one offers different levels of protection. Some materials will prevent more light from coming through than others. Some factors will contribute to a fabric’s UPF. These include:
- Fabric. Polyester, wool, and silk provide a better defense. Cotton, rayon, and hemp are not as effective.
- Colors. Darker colors are better at absorbing UV light than lighter colors. However, the type of dye can influence the level of protection.
- Treatment. Some clothing may have added chemicals that can absorb UV rays.
- Weight. Heavier fabrics will prevent more light from reaching the skin.
- Stretch. Stretchy fabrics tend to have less protection.
- Weave. Tighter woven clothes provide more protection. If you see light shining through the fabric, then it is too loose.
- Wetness. Dry fabric is more effective than wet fabric.
Regardless of what type of clothing you wear, it is recommended that you still apply sunscreen. Since some fabrics are less effective than others, broad-spectrum sunscreen offers an additional layer of protection.
Where Can You Buy UPF Clothes?
Sporting goods stores regularly sell UPF clothes, and you can purchase them online as well. One of the best brands available is L.L.Bean. Their products come with a UPF rating of 50+. Athleta offers sportswear that also has a high rating. Lilly Pulitzer provides warm-weather clothing with a UPF of 50+
If you are interested in more UV radiation protection strategies, contact me today.Previous Post Next Post