Can color help protect you from UV rays? Will the color make any difference, or is that just malarkey? What is all this color stuff?
How can color help protect you from UV rays when you are just on a walk in the neighborhood park? Should I change shirts? Or is that being a bit paranoid about protecting my skin from the sun? Yes Color can help protect you from UV rays.
I’m talking about the everyday stuff. I think that everyone likes getting something special to wear for a vacation, but I am talking about your everyday life. The stay home weekends. There are many opportunities to get too much sun then too.
You’re going on walks and hikes. Spending time at the pool or beach. Just getting out and going to the park. The risk for sunburn is high at those times too.
You don’t have to be on week-long river trip, or spending time in the mountains, or at the amusement park to need protection from the sun for your skin.
When you are out, and the sun is shinning, you’re risking skin damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Even on those cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful rays can get to your skin. And during my last visit, my Dermatoligist was quick to assure me that UV damage may lead to skin cancer.
Researchers with Skin Cancer.org recommend avoiding the sun as much as possible. They express special danger between the hours of 10 A M and 4 P M.
This is when the sun’s rays are strongest. The next best thing is to cover your skin with clothing, if you have to be out.
Why You Must Protect Yourself From The Sun’s UV Rays
Research is telling us that most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most of this exposure comes from the sun beaming down on your skin too long and too often.
However, some skin damage gets started on your skin from exposure to UV rays from man-made sources. Indoor tanning beds and sun lamps can set you skin up for skin cancer as well. When you get too much exposure to UV rays directly from the sun, or man made, your risk increases for skin cancer.
The 2 types of UV rays that affect your skin include UVA rays and UVB rays.
UVB rays have more energy and are a more potent cause of at least some skin cancers. Ultra Violet B rays cause sunburn and ultmately skin cancer. UVB- B for burn.
UVA rays cause skin damage and skin cancer, but is mostly known for causing your skin to look old to early in your life. UBA rays, A for causing you to age and look older than you are.
There are no safe rays. More information about Radiation from the sun’s rays.
What Can Block UV Rays
So we now know that color can protect our skin from the UV rays, but how? The Skin Cancer Foundation tells us that clothing is the “what” that can block the sun from our skin.
But what type of clothing is best? What difference does color even make?
Many outdoor clothing retailers offer a wide varitey of ultraviolet protection factor (UPF)-rated clothing or sun bocking clothing.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, those items are effective.
However, any clothing with these traits will offer protection. So what is in your closet that might work? This is where color is important. In the speciality clothing the manfacturer has made the cloth sun proof, reguardless of what color it is.
There may be higher protection with darker colors, but in UPF clothing, you get some protection, in lighter colors.. Skin Cancer .com, suggests that the protection factor sould be at least 30 to have protection worth mentioning.
What Kind Of Fabric Block UV Rays
Which one of your shirts in your closet will make a sun blocking shirt? The more dense or thick the fabric is, the better it protects. The fabric must be woven very tightly to qualify as sun blocking clothing.
Think, denim. A great example tightly woven cloth. There are lots of other fabrics that are tightly woven. The tighter the threads are woven together, the better they keep out the sun. Synthentics are almost like sheets of plastic, they also keep out the UV rays. There are no holes that the sun can get through.
Adding deeper color, blue or black, red or orange, or green or brown and your protection from the sun is already better. Your darker colors soak the up the UV rays, keeping the from going though to your skin.
How Do Darker Or Bright Colors Block Colors
Those UV Rays are presistent, so how do darker or bright colors block colors?
Darker colors absorb more UV rays.
Lighter colors like whites and pastels reflect rays.
This means the UV rays are less likely to reach your skin. But bright colors such as red can also absorb UV rays. The more vivid the color, the greater the protection—a bright yellow shirt is more protective than a pale one.
So, back in your closet again, a thicker fabric with darker colors will offer more protection from the sun unless there is a special finish. A thinner shirt in a darker color may be better than a thinner shirt in a lighter color.
Hold the shirt up to the sun, or alight source. Can you see little pinprick hole? If you see light, the sun will find you through the shirt.
So in this situation, the fabric is probably more important than the color.
This shirt from you closet, is it hot to wear? Will you be miserable in that shirt all day? If the shirt isn’t cmfortable, you won’t keep it on. If you are not wearing it, it can not protect you.
Choosing the right combination of fabric weave, color and comfort is important. In your closet, is there a perfect shirt for warm weather shirt? This is what makes the UPF rated shirts a better choice. It may be time for you to shop. You need a shirt that you can wear and stay protected from the sun in.
UV Blocking Fabric That Is Already In Your Closet
Are there synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon already in your closet? These fabrics can block those UV rays better that bleached cottons or rayon.
As you are deciding what shirt to wear to be out in the sun this weekend, look at labels and fabric content. Is the shirt fabric super thin? If you can see through the fabric, it probably won’t give you much protection.
Work your way through your shirts in your closet. Pick out the ones that seem to be thick enough and dark enough to protect your skin. Absorbing the UV rays and keeping them from your skin means your shirt will be warmer. I know, we seem to be trading daylight for dark here.
A lighter color will reflect the sun’s UV rays, keeping them off of you. However, if the fabric isn’t tightly enough woven, some of the rays will get through to yourskin. The reflected rays may end up on your face. A white shirt will protect the trunk of your body, but reflect to your face, making you look older with the UVA rays.
Adding a sun blocking hat and sunglasses with some sunscreen will give you a better chance of staying safe from the UV rays. Protecting your skin is a multi step action. Wearing your hat will help with reflection rays that bounce around. Remembering sunscreen that is wide-spectrum with at least a SPF of 30 will build your defense.
A simple way to avoid the more dangerous UV rays from the sun? Make sure to stay in during the hotter time of the day! 10 A M to 4 P M. Get out earlier than 10, or after 4. It is easier to protect your skin from those UV rays if you avoid the more dangerious hours.
What Fabrics Can UV Rays Pass Through
Losely woven fabrics will allow the sun’s UVrays to pass through to your skin. Lose weave like crochet or netting will allow the sun through. For wearing in the more direct sun time of day, choose garments that are tightly woven.
If the fabric is stretched on your body, this will also allow the UV rays to get to you. Make sure the garment isn’t stretched on your body. You may safely wear the tight, stretched garments later in the day, but not during midday sun time.
Your sun blocking shirt needs to be a loosely-fitting long sleeve shirt of a tightly woven fabric. You need room for air to circulate under your shirt to dry sweat, and keep you more comfortable.
When wearing your sun blocking shirt and it gets wet, be aware that wet fabric often looses it’s ability to keep you safe. If you are wearing a old worn white tee shirt, you are getting little sun proction. However, something is better than nothing. If you decide to swim in your shirt, you will have little and none protection.
Wet fabric can offer little protection from the sun. Get in the shade untill dry. This is not a perfect solution, but better than being in the sun while your shirt is wet.
Remember, this advise is to help you stay safe with what is in your closet.
Your old, frayed, or faded garments are less effective in protecting your skin against harmful rays. Chose the newer garments that have not been through so many laundry times.
The More Fabric The Better
Long-sleeved shirts and pants offer the most coverage. It a basic way to protect your skin. Cover more skin. Keep your body safe from too much sun. Sun blocking hats, sunglasses, sun blocking shirt that is loosely-fitting longsleeve shirt of tightly woven fabric.
Long skirts, shoes, sox, and sunscreen on all skin not covered.
Sami’s Take On Can Color Help Protect YouFrom UV Rays?
Color can be one more layer of protection from the sun. But color is only part of what it takes to keep your skin safe.
While you may use clothing from your closet to protect you from the UVrays, if you know you are going to be out in the sun for long periods of time over many days, finding some UPF clothing will make staying safe easier.
Staying in your house and out of the sun is by far the best idea, but even then, use sunscreen to block out the UVA rays that get through the window panes or the windshield in your auto.
As you are checking out your closet for safer shirts to wear this summer, use some of the suggestions in this article to do a better job of stay safe from the sun.