Are you sick of wearing sunscreen but want to find a way to still protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun?
According to the CDC, when possible it is best to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants to protect the skin from UV rays. Some clothing is even certified under international standards as offering UV protection, this is called UPF – Ultraviolet Protection Factor.
UPF clothing is different from regular clothes because of the lab testing it has undergone to show that it can shield the skin from UV rays by a factor of 15 or greater. For everyday, most clothing even without a UPF label can provide sun protection. What you should look for are clothes that are made from more tightly woven fabric as this will let less UV rays through and provide the best protection. A white cotton t-shirt has a UPF of around 10, whereas a darker coloured shirt would have a higher UPF than white and lighter colours. Also if the fabric is wet or stretched out, it will block fewer UV rays. A UPF of 15-24 usually means “good”, a 25-39 means “very good” and a 40 or higher means “excellent”, according to international ratings and standards. No garment can be labeled as sun protective if it has a UPF of less than 15.
According to the Environmental Working Group, the UPF is based on the reduction of UVB rays as tested in a lab, and these are the rays that cause sunburns. However the UPF doesn’t indicate the effectiveness of UVA protection. Though this is usually not a large problem as clothing is naturally well balanced to provide protection for both UVA and UVB rays. This is different from sunscreens!
Will you be wearing UPF clothing this summer? Let us know on our IG page @wearearbre!