Wearing sun protective clothing and accessories are essential to maintaining healthy skin.
Here are a few tips to choose sun-safe clothing.
Hold it up to the light
If you hold a piece of fabric or hat up to the light and you can see holes or light, then it will allow UV rays through. The best fabrics are those that are closely knit and block the light completely. For example, a long sleeve denim shirt will block more light than a loosely woven knit top.
Choose dark or bright colors, preferably loose fitting
Dark and bright colors absorb more UV rays and will offer better protection from the sun than light colors.
When a fabric is stretched, the fibers pull away from each other which will reduce the protection that it gives. Choose clothes that are loose-fitting to prevent this from happening.
Look for treated fabrics or unbleached natural fibers
Some fabrics may have been treated with a chemical that absorbs UV rays, so you might find this indicated on the label. It’s a good idea to look for UV resistant labels on swimwear in particular.
Also, natural fibers sometimes contain special proteins that absorb UV rays. For example, a close-knit, unbleached cotton top will offer better protection than a white cotton t-shirt.
Choose an item that covers as much skin as possible
The more skin you cover, the better protection. But, not everyone wants to walk around looking like an Egyptian mummy, so also look at how much sun an item blocks. For example, if you are choosing a sunhat, opt for one that has a wide brim that can also protect your neck and shoulders.
UPF vs SPF - Which Is Better?
Both UPF and SPF are very important to consider when looking at sun protection. The best solution and strategy is to use both. UPF blocks the rays from getting to your skin and SPF protects your skin if any rays happen to sneak through or are even reflected off surfaces.
This is the advice from the Skin Cancer Foundation:
Our Sol a Mer hats have been specifically designed to block UV radiation effectively. We use a double layer of the highest UPF materials. All four of our styles have UPF 50+ protection and block 98% of UV rays. Plus, they can easily be packed into a handbag with a pair of UV sunglasses. Pair it with your favorite SPF, and you’ll be protected for the day!