What is sun blocking clothing?
Simply put, sun-blocking clothing is clothing that is specifically designed to protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
This protective clothing is made from fabrics that have been manufactured or treated in some way to absorb or reflect UV rays.
Sun blocking clothing is available in a variety of styles, from practical to the most stylish shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses.
When you live in a sunny part of the world, you must be on guard to protect your ski all seasons of the year. It is important to develop sun-safe habits and a sun-safe life.
This article is written to remind me of what I am learning about here at Sunblockingclothing.com. The plan was to learn and share. Over the years, I have forgotten some of the reasons I am sharing.
So I decided to go back to basics and revisit the subject of sun blocking clothing, and what it can do for our skin and preventing skin cancer development.
I hope this basic reminder in these blogs will refresh your mind about the need for skin safety and daily awareness of sun danger.
Why Sun Blocking Clothing Daily?
Why is it important to wear sun blocking clothing, even in everyday life?
UV radiation from the sun can damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer, even on cloudy days.
Sun blocking clothing can help to protect your skin from UV radiation, even when you are doing everyday activities, like walking to work, running errands, or playing with your kids.
When you live in a sunny part of the world as we do here in central Texas you have many hours of sunshine that makes it easier to overdo the sun exposure.
We live a bit scattered out, at least scattered more than if we lived in a city with many high-rise buildings. We are surely more populated than 10 years ago. Our part of the country is experiencing a high annual population explosion.
An important part of moving to our part of the world is to become sun-savvy. Just as I would need to become street savvy if I moved to New York City or Chicago. The rules are different in each area.
Benefits of Sun Blocking Clothing
What are the benefits of sun blocking clothing?
There really is a need for sun blocking clothing. There are a number of benefits of wearing skin-protective clothing that include: including:
- It is the most convenient and easy way to protect your skin from too much sun.
- Sun blocking clothing can be worn for long periods of time allowing you to protect your skin while having to reapply sunscreen only to the parts of your skin not covered.
- Wearing sun blocking clothing can help prevent sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.
- Sun protective clothing is available in a variety of styles and colors, assuring each of us that we can find something that we will like to wear.
Exposing your bare skin to the sun for lengthy periods of time, even with sunscreen will increase aging in the appearance of your skin. You will also drastically increase your chances of skin cancer.
Why take those risks when simply covering your skin with clothing is so easy to do? Even commuting to work can pose a skin threat in sunny climates.
In winter and summer, we must guard our skin. Awareness will enable you to take some simple preventative measures.
What Are Your Sun Blocking Clothing Needs?
How to choose the right sun blocking clothing for your needs.
When you are choosing sun blocking clothing, it is important to consider the following factors:
- The UPF rating: UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. This is a measure of how well a fabric protects against UV radiation. A UPF rating of 50 or higher provides excellent sun protection.
- The fabric or cloth: Sun blocking clothing is usually made from tightly woven fabrics. Nylon, polyester, or spandex are often used. These fabrics are effective at blocking UV rays. So are blends like poly/cotton. Natural fabrics aren’t usually as protective as blends.
- How the clothing fits: Sun blocking clothing should fit comfortably. It should not be too tight or too baggy and loose.
Proper fit means room for the air to circulate from your body to cool itself. A loose-fitting long-sleeve shirt in a tight weave fabric, and with a collar is a good basic. Wear it alone or layer as needed.
Dr. David E. Bank, a dermatologist says “Sun blocking clothing is the best fashion accessory for your skin.”
Protect Your Skin
Sun blocking clothing is the smart way to protect your skin.
With sun blocking clothing you are in control of an effective way to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Covering your skin with clothing is a convenient and easy way to stay safe in the sun. Who would have thought it could be this easy to prevent sunburn and slow down premature aging as well as skin cancer?
Question: Will my regular clothing protect me from the sun? I don’t want to buy all the new clothing right now.
Answer: Yes, your regular clothing will also protect you from the sun too. However, some garments are better than others. protection.
How Sun Blocking Clothing Works
What makes sun blocking clothing work?
Sun blocking clothing is made from fabrics that have been treated or especially knitted or woven to either absorb or reflect UV rays.
This helps to protect your skin from being exposed to UV radiation, even when you are in direct sunlight. With clothing reflecting or absorbing the UV rays, your skin will be able to stay safer when exposed to the direct sun.
With specially woven, dyed, or sealed fabric, keeping your skin covered keeps you safe from the sun.
When choosing clothing from your closet, or normal clothing, color becomes important.
With the special treatment of the fabric in UPF-rated clothing, your protection is according to the rating on the tag of the garment. A UPF of 50 is the highest rating. The safest you can get.
A UPF of 50 means that 98% of the rays are blocked. 2% will get to your skin.
Will you sunburn with only 2% of the rays shining on your skin?
Yes eventually. It will take a while as the damage is very slow. However, if you work outside and are in the hot direct sun all week long, week after week, you will have tanned skin and some sun damage.
A UPF of 30 blocks 94% of the UV rays. A worn-out white tee shirt will only result in a UPF of 3. However, a new white tee shirt can give you a UPF rate of 15.
A new dark red tee shirt that doesn’t fit too tight can block 25 to 30% of the rays.
Look for a poly/cotton blend fabric, it will protect more as well.
Note from Sami
Where I get into trouble shopping in my closet, everything that is sun blocking is too hot! The shirts are denim, and they get hot in the summer months.
Benefits of Sun Blocking Clothing
What are the benefits of putting on sun blocking clothing, and wearing it all day long?
If you are out in the sun only 30 minutes or so a day, of every day you may be safe, wearing some of your normal clothing.
(If you are out in the direct rays longer than an hour between 10 AM and 4 PM, you definately need to upgrade to UPF clothing,)
- Sun blocking clothing is a convenient and easy way to protect your skin from the sun.
- UPF clothing will allow you to keep the parts of your body covered without having to reapply sunscreen. We use sun blocking shirts the most in my family, along with our wide-brim hats and sunglasses. Shirts cover a large portion of the trunk of your body, where sunburn is a huge risk.
- Protective clothing can help to prevent sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.
- Sun blocking clothing is available in a variety of styles and colors, so you can find something that you like to wear.
The real secret is to wear clothing. Tank tops have been popular in my part of the world for a long time. They are not protecting your arms, shoulders, or upper back and chest from the sun.
This is an example of how we have adapted different clothing styles and left ourselves vernable to the risk of skin cancer.
Our forefathers and mothers dressed much more modestly and covered more of their skin than we do today.
UPF-rated clothing is gaining popularity. The manufacturers are wisely designing attractive clothing that is not bulky and hot to wear like denim or other heavy stiff fabric.
A soft knit shirt that fits well and is in a beautiful color is so nice to wear as compared to a long-sleeve denim shirt. Staying comfortable in the hot sun is important for staying covered with clothing.
Note From Sami
Using Rit SunGuard is a reasonable fix for those things that just aren’t as protective as they were when new. Rit SunGuard laundry additive makes garments that may be older or not as protective as when new, work better.
Wearing something is always better than wearing nothing when you are in the sun.
The Right Sun Blocking Clothing
Let’s take a minute to discuss how to choose the right sun blocking clothing.
When you are making decisions and actually choosing sun blocking clothing, it is important to consider the following factors:
- The UPF rating: UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, and it is a measure of how well a fabric protects against UV radiation. A UPF rating of 50 or higher provides excellent sun protection.
- The fabric: Sun blocking clothing is typically made from tightly woven fabrics, such as nylon, polyester, or spandex. These fabrics are effective at blocking UV rays.
- The fit: Sun blocking clothing should fit snugly but comfortably. It should not be too tight or too loose.
Caring for your Sun Blocking Clothing
Do you know how to care for your sun blocking clothing?
To make sure that your sun blocking clothing lasts as long as possible, and to know how to use your UPF shirt, check the labels.
Care instructions on the label are your best friend in making sure the garment really works for you.
Most sun blocking clothing can be machine washed and dried. Be on the lookout for one or two items that might need line drying. Other items may need to dry laying out flat. Just read and pay attention.
Some garments may lose their ability to block the sun when wet. This can result in an unexpected sunburn.
Don’t forget, to avoid using fabric softener, as this can damage the UPF coating. This warning will probably extend to dryer sheets unless the label says differently.
When I asked the help desk at Coolibar how long the life of a garment was, I was told that the assumed lifetime is 2 years. Then the coverage begins to wear away as the fabric breaks down.
Now I see that some of their fabrics are described as protective as long as you have a scrap of the fabric.
The lesson here for me is that after a couple of years, use the Rit SunGuard laundry aid, making sure you are getting at least a UPF of 30.
When kids outgrow their shirts and pass them down to their siblings, again, it is time to add Rit SunGuard to the laundry cycle for better sun protection.
Sami’s Take on “Introduction to Sun Blocking Clothing”
Sun blocking clothing is an effective and convenient way to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
It is a smart investment for people of all ages, and it can help prevent sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.
If you are new to taking better care of your skin while in the sun, here are a couple of easy-to-do habits to make your every day a safer day in the sun.
- Keep a wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses in your car so that you can always have them on hand.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts when you are going to be out for over 15 minutes in the direct sun.
It is the little daily improvements that make us aware of the bigger changes we can make for less skin cancer risk.
I have a wide-brim hat on a hat rack near one of the back doors. It makes remembering to put it on easier to remember. How can you improve your daily routine for safer skin?
Remember covering your skin with something is better than nothing in repeated sun exposure.
- Skin Cancer Foundation: https://www.skincancer.org/
- American Academy of Dermatology Association: https://www.aad.org/