If you are aware of How color affects sun protection clothing you will be able to make better choices in protecting your skin from the sun.
According to many health specialists, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer.
Source: US gov.med line plus
The Skin Cancer Foundation shares its website along with these statistics:
5, 000,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the US every year
We know that excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun has been determined as the leading cause of us developing skin cancer.
This is also why we know that protecting our skin from the sun is an important part of our skin safety.
One of the better ways to protect our skin is by wearing sun blocking clothing. Learning what to wear is so much easier than the continual application of sunscreen to all your body. Unless you are wearing a sun mask, you face and backs of your hands will need sunscreen.
Color can Help
Do you know how the color can make a difference when choosing your skin protection clothing?
So lets look at how the color helps sun protective clothing.
The darker colors are better at blocking UV rays than lighter colors. The reason darker colors block better is because the deeper colors absorb the UV energy in the sun’s rays. The energy that is absorbed is turned into heat. So, you will be warmer in darker clothing.
This is why it is important to have a loose fit. The garment must allow air to move around your body and take the heat away.
Lighter colored clothing will be cooler as it reflects the UV ray and doesn’t absorb the heat. The reflected rays makes the reason that sunscreen is important when wearing lighter colors. You face will be the receiver of that UV reflection, and the UVA particularly is in plan here.
You may think you are OK because you didn’t turn red, but a sunburn isn’t the only danger the sun offers.
What Makes Clothing Protect You From the Sun
When making your sun protection clothing choices, besides color, consider the fabric. When the fabric is tightly woven it offers better protection than a loosely woven that will allow the sun get through pinpric holes from weaving.
The tighter woven the fabric, the better it protects your skin.
If the fabric is loosely woven it should be a darker color. The darker color will make up a little for the loosely woven bit. This is not a garment for all day protection in the peak sun hours. It will protect better than a thinner white top.
Man made fabrics can be thinner and softer than tightly woven cotton and hemp or linen. Polyester blends are good choices. 100 % man made fabric like polyester can often be hot, even though it protects from the sun because there is no breathability. This makes blends of fabric a better“Best” Fabric For Sun Blocking Clothing choice.
Lets Talk About UPF Rating
Color is very important in the protection of your skin from the sun by covering your skin. Wearing Ultraviolet blocking sunglasses, wide brimmed sun blocking hat, and your sun protection shirt will give you a chance to have a fun day in the sun without sunburn.
The UPF rating is used for determining how well the garment protects your skin. The higher number blocks more than lower numbers. A simple formula. However, as this rating is often used in price determination, let’s give some thought to the actual protection you are getting.
Only 98 % of the rays can be blocked.
Rating # 5 lets abut 20% of the UV rays through.
Rating # 15 allows about 6.7% of those rays through.
The National Skin Cancer.org does not recognize any thing less than a rating or 30 as enough to make a difference. This is to make sure the manufacturers are offering true sun blocking protection.
However, in my way of thinking, that favorite dark-colored t-shirt with a UPF rate of 5 that only allows 20% through, that is something worth mentioning. I would be getting my 80% blocking.
When there is a rating of UPF 30, that tells us that 3.3% of the UV rays are getting through. That tells me that about 94% are blocked.
Then with a UPF of 50, you are blocking all but 2.2 %, and that 97% are blocked.
So what I am trying to explain is that something is better than nothing on your body when you are in the sun. Yes, the higher, the better.
And if you are very high risk for sun damage, you should be super careful.
Otherwise, wearing that old shirt that is worn and no longer bright colored is better than nothing. If the shirt has no collar, wear a wide brim hat. There are many layers of sun blocking that we can do. Our faces and the back of our hands are hardest to cover, don’t forget sunscreen.
Source of UPF rates: Rei.com
How UPF and Color Work Together
UPF clothing can be sun blocking even though they are white and light. As there is often damage that is not recognized immediately when there is reflected UV rays, darker colors are thought be safer in the long run.
For a full day outside in the direct sun, choosing darker colors for your hat, shirt, and pants is a safer move. Protecting your skin from the sun is important, and having all the help you can have is a good idea.
If you are shopping UPF clothing, you will usually find good choices in navy blue, black and dark green, sometimes purple. Just keep in mind that color is not the only factor you should consider when protecting your skin from the sun
Please be aware that protecting you from the sun 100% is difficult, even in UPF rated clothing. The longer you are out the higher your chances are of skin damage by the sun. Remember to add sunscreen, take breaks in the shade, either trees or man made like an umbrella or pop-up of some sort.
Tired Of The Darker Colors?
The darker colors will be better at absorbing the radiation from UV rays. But if you are ready for some lighter colors, here are some suggestions.
- You could be fairly safe in lighter colors in the hours before 10 AM and after 4 PM.
- When you wear your lighter colors you should be sure you are watching the time and reapplying sunscreen as needed on uncovered skin.
- Get over your addiction to tans.
- Up your sunscreen use.
- Bring portable shades like umbrellas if no natural shade is available.
Remember your sun hat, and be aware that you are not becoming dehydrated.
Sami’s Take On 7 Risks Kids Face from the Sun “Just Because They Are Kids.”
There is one more risk, that parents need to keep in mind that can make their kids at higher risk for sun damage. Medication
Check the labels of the medications your kids need. Make sure they are not on the list to raise your kid’s risks.
List of drugs for young kids’ parents:
- Antihistamines: These are medicines that help with allergies and allergic reactions.
- Coal Tar and Derivatives: These are medicines that treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Contraceptives, Oral, and Estrogens: Medicines used to prevent pregnancy and treat certain medical conditions.
- Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: These are medicines used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, but should only be given under the supervision of a doctor.
- Phenothiazines: These are medicines used to treat mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.
- Psoralens: These are medicines used to treat skin conditions such as vitiligo.
- Sulfonamides: These are antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections.
- Sulfonylureas: These are medicines used to treat diabetes.
- Thiazide Diuretics: These are medicines used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
- Tetracyclines: These are antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants: These are medicines used to treat depression, but should only be given under the supervision of a doctor.
It’s important to always consult with a healthcare professional before giving any medication to your child, as they can advise you on the proper dosage and potential side effects.
Finding ways to have a sun safe lifestyle and using all these factors together to ensure an easier way to protect yourself in he sun.
It’s important to remember, no clothing can provide 100% protection from the sun, so it’s still important to wear sunscreen and take other sun protection measures, such as wearing a hat and seeking shade during peak sun hours.
Color is important, but not as much as the fabric your sun blocking clothing is made of. Shopping your closet? Stick with the darker colors to be safer.
Make a few changes and have a much safer life in the sun. Being safe and aware of how you can slow down your skin cancer risks is easier if you use all the tools you have. Sun protection clothing, color knowledge, remembering to be out in safer times of the day. Use your sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun hat.
Thank you for reading. Hope you are getting more confident to make good sun safe fun days for yourself and your family.