Better UPF Color Choices help provide your first line of defense against UV rays
In my part of sunny central Texas, the warm, sunny days tempt us to step outside and enjoy the great outdoors all year long. This makes covering your skin is important.
Yes, soaking up the sun has its perks. We also must remember that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be harmful to our skin. Especially as many sunny days as we have a year.
Fortunately, one often-overlooked aspect of sun protection lies right in our closet. This makes me aware of how important our wardrobe choices are for skin protection.
Will you remember to use what you learned about using color to increase your skin protection from the sun? How color can be a better line of defense against UV rays.
However, the basic rule is to put something on your skin between you and the sun.
Yes, some things are better than others, but always something on your arms, and shoulders, and a wide-brimmed hat for your head, with your sunglasses. This is the start of any protection. Apply sunscreen where you are not covered.
There is a real and present danger for those of us who live in a sunny climate where the sun shines all year long.
Yes, we may have cooler weather, and even some days that qualify as cold when water pipes freezing is a problem. But that doesn’t last long.
We have more days that are wonderful to be out and about, and that we need protection from the sun. This has made it more important to learn about color science. We need to use every layer of skin protection we can.
Our skin protection can be increased with just a bit of color knowledge.
Uv Radiation, Do You Understand It
Understanding UV radiation before sorting information about the role of colors in sun protection will make the color choices for clothing automatic.
Then there is the nature of UV radiation. Are you really aware of the dangers of permanent damage to your skin from UV radiation?
There are two main types: UVA and UVB. These rays can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and even skin cancer if we don’t take proper precautions.
There is a UVC, but at this point, the rays are weaker and absorbed by the atmosphere around us. So there is little to no damage from this third kind of UV rays. The UVA and UVB are what we must protect ourselves from.
Using sunscreen on your face every day, even when you are staying in is important. Keeping your face moisturized, as well as drinking enough fluids helps protect your skin, with water as the better choice.
What I am finding difficult? Remembering every day is a day to protect my skin. Not just fun in the sun days, but every blessed day!
Sun protection doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive — it needs to be consistent… –
A Shirt, any Shirt is Better Than No Shirt
The role of clothing in sun protection clothing acts as a physical barrier between your skin and UV rays.
This barrier will reduce your exposure significantly.
The ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is a measure of a fabric’s ability to block UV radiation. Keep in mind that not all clothing provides the same level of protection.
Choosing the right colors can make a significant difference in how effective your clothing is at shielding you from UV rays.
Darker colors tend to offer better protection than lighter ones. For example, a deep blue shirt will typically have a higher UPF than a pale yellow one.
When you are shopping for sun-protective clothing, look for items with UPF labels. The tags will give you a protection rate as well as laundering directions. Both are important in your UPF clothing plan.
UPF Clothing In Your Closet
There are other factors to consider, beyond color, when choosing clothing that isn’t UPF-rated. Looking at fabric type and weave are also essential for determining how much skin protection the garment will give.
Dense weaves and tightly woven fabrics provide better UV protection. Think denim when thinking about skin protection from your regular clothing.
And these fabrics are very serviceable in the cooler times of the year. However for direct sun during the warmer months, UPF-rated garments may be more comfortable.
Don’t forget to complement your outfit with wide-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
Lastly, always apply sunscreen to exposed areas of your skin.
Generally, it isn’t necessary to wear sunscreen under clothing that is UPF-rated or densely woven.
If you wonder if your normal shirt has been washed too many times to really protect your skin from the sun, an application of sunscreen is just a good choice.
UPF Ratings and What They Mean
The UPF rating is listed in numbers, with 50 being the most amount of protection available, and 15 being the lower UPF you will see.
Skincancer.org does not recognize anything any less than 30, as many normal items of clothing in our closets will give a 15, 20, or 25 rate of protection.
Skincancer.org states that anything less than a UPF of 30 does not offer any extra protection. So there is no benefit to the lower rates for protection.
With the UPF rating of 50 only 2% of the UV rays will pass through the garment to your skin.UPF rating of 30 means only 3% can get through to your skin.
Will you tan with only 2% or 3% of the UV rays getting to your skin? Yes, eventually you will tan a little. Your skin will definitely change a bit in color. It will take a while, but will happen.
So your dark purple shirt from your closet can work well to absorb more UV radiation. However, if it is worn a good bit, the integrity of the fabric is affected, and even if it is purple, the sun can get through.
Fabric in good condition is more important than color choice. We love the color choices, and liking your clothing is important. However, the fabric is the real protector of our skin.
So, if you’re in search of sun-protective clothing and prefer dark purple, seek fabrics with a high UPF rating to ensure the best possible protection.
Remember, UPF ratings apply solely to the fabric and don’t consider other factors like fit or color.
Color Protection Explained
There are some basics of color, and how they work in protecting your skin from the sun.
Dark colors soak up the sun’s energy in the UV rays. This makes the garment warmer to wear because the warm energy is held next to your skin. If your shirt can let air in to cool your skin, you will be more comfortable.
Dark colors are better to wear in the cooler seasons of the year.
Lighter colors reflect the UV rays, and this makes it cooler for your skin.
So if the fabric is tightly woven and the sun can’t get through, you will be cooler in the warmer times of the year.
One issue is when wearing white or light colors in the sun, they will reflect. Your face will need to be protected with sunscreen and regular applications throughout the day.
Most of us don’t realize how important wearing a sun-blocking hat is for keeping the skin on your face from looking older than it should. Your sunglasses are actually the most important sun blocking item in your protection wardrobe.
Then your sun blocking hat, with a shirt/coverup next. Your sunscreen should cover all exposed skin.
Practical Tips For A UPf Wardrobe
Are you ready for a UV-resistant wardrobe for every day? What about building a sun-safe wardrobe that doesn’t mean sacrificing style?
Look for clothing brands that specialize in UV protection, offering a wide range of colors and designs.
Manufacturers are doing a good job of offering well-styled clothing that is also well-made to offer you a variety of ways to stay cool and protected in the sun. Soft knits to draw the sweat away from your body keep you comfortable while protecting your skin from the sun.
Special styling from extra long cuffs with finger holes to ensure the tops of your hands are protected from the sun. Many shirts have vents styled into the shirt to allow the air to get to your body and dry the sweat.
Other features like double panels to keep the sun off your skin-
Mix colorful and stylish pieces into your collection while ensuring they will meet your sun protection needs.
Remember, being sun-safe can be fashionable and fun!
Sami’s Take on “Better UPF Color Choices Every Day”
If you live in a sunny climate like I do, you are looking forward to the fall and more moderate temperatures.
Remember that your wardrobe choices can significantly impact your skin’s safety.
Understanding the power of color in UV protection gives you some working tools for guarding against harmful rays.
By choosing the right colors, fabrics, and accessories, you can enjoy the sun while keeping your skin healthy and radiant.