Is the UPF Rating System A Gimmick? Or is this a gimmick to sell clothing?
The UPF Rating System, Is It A Gimmick? Have you considered a different approach to protecting your skin from the sun? Are you just now realizing the need for protecting your skin?
What Is A Gimmick?
Question: What is a gimmick?
Answer: A trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or business.
I am sure there are many definitions for the meaning of the word “Gimmick.” A source that I rely on through the years to be accurate is Consumer Reports. Before computer days, this was highly respected to be fair, accurate, and truthful.
The Readers Digest and Consumer Reports were thought to be honest with the information they shared.
While the pictures of the attractive and colorful UPF Rated Clothing were spinning in my head I wondered about the ability of the clothes in my closet. Is it time to toss all that old stuff out?
How much UPF ability do they have? What about the ability they have to protect me from the sun?
The clothing that gets the label and is marketed as Ultraviolet Protection Factor clothing comes in beautiful colors. Fun and attractive styles. Easy care garments. All the things that we like to see and hear about our clothing choices.
If Clothing labels will make you feel better about covering your skin and protecting it from the sun, it is not a gimmick. Is it more comfortable in the heat of the day, and you absolutely must stay out in the sun?
Will the UPF rate help keep you safe? Use it correctly, yes it will! So this fact alone makes it not so much a gimmick.
Sun Blocking Clothing And Sunscreen
Let’s not forget that your skin needs both sun blocking clothing and sunscreen. They both play a part in helping keep your skin safe from too much sun. They are both important for your plan of avoiding sunburn.
Your sun blocking clothing will work even better with sunscreen. Do you know how these two are supposed to work to protect your skin?
It is a simple formula, for sun blocking clothing and sunscreen to be able to protect your skin from the sun. You need to cover as much skin as possible with sun blocking clothing. Then what you can’t realistically cover, you apply sunscreen too. No secrets.
Results Of UPF Clothing Ability To Protect Your Skin
In today’s world, there are many choices of hats, sunglasses, shirts, pants, and many other kinds of clothing that have a UPR protection factor for protecting our skin.
Here is a part of a statement from Consumer Reports:
“What we found: The UPF shirt we tested more than delivered on its claims. We measured the UPF in 3 white shirts. The Coolibar Girl’s Rash Guard UPF 50+, $32, delivered a UPF of 174!”
“Because UPF measures what fraction of ultraviolet radiation can penetrate the fabric. The white rash guard is made of a blend of 84 % polyester and 16 % spandex. This blend is embedded with titanium dioxide that is claimed to last the lifetime of the shirt.”
This creates a fabric that allows just 1/174th of UVA and UVB rays to reach the skin! This is almost as good as not getting out in the sun period!
Results Of Non-Treated Garments
Following the remarks about UPF garments and how well they worked, here are some more impressive results.
There were 2 other white shirts tested. These did not claim to provide any extra UVF benefits. These 2 shirts gave some impressive results as well:
A cotton Hanes Beefy-T long-sleeve T-shirt ($13) Even when wet, the Hanes shirt which is thicker than a regular tee-shirt rated a UPF of 39. As 50 is as high a protection number on the UPF scale at this time, this makes a plain shirt a good bet for protection. Remember, the thicker weave is better.
An Eastbay Evapor long-sleeve compression crew neck ($18) made of the same polyester/spandex blend as the Coolibar top, ($32) delivered UPFs of 115 and 392 respectively. (Polyester is a known sun blocking fiber)
So when shopping for UPF clothing, polyester is a good thing in the blend.
Some pretty surprising numbers for sun blocking, aren’t they? This information will make me look at sun blocking garments differently. Maybe I can make some better choices in what I buy and still be protected.
Even better: You may not need to shell out for pricey UPF clothing to get good coverage.
Back To Is UPF Rating A Gimmick?
No, using the SPF rating is not a gimmick. It is a true and accurate way to be able to determine for myself the coverage I can expect from a garment.
I know that my dark navy denim long sleeve shirt will protect me from the sun with its naturally built-in protection factors. Just as UPF-rated garments have a lifespan, so does my shirt. I may still be wearing it when it loses a lot of the ability to protect me from the sun. Now I know what to watch for.
The natural washing and wearing of a garment will eventually wear it out. The finish or protection ability will also wear away in time. That is to be expected.
With some information about how long the UPF garments normally last, I am in a better place to decide when to replace any of the items I use for sun protection. Add some color information to your knowledge here.
Knowing more about colors, fabric and the way these parts protect from the sun has given me a giant step in knowing what will work that is already in my closet
The Basics Of A Sun Blocking Wardrobe
A sun blocking tool chest contains a basic wardrobe.
You will need a sun blocking hat.
A pair of sunglasses.
A long sleeve loose fitting sun blocking shirt.
Sunblocking long pants are next.
Now cover everything that the sun can get to with sunscreen. Don’t forget your head, face, and neck. These are where the reflections from the sun catch you.
Your wide brim will stop the sun from above. However, those reflections from the water, the snow, the cement, and the paint on the side of the building. All of them reflect on your face. Remember to apply Sunscreen, and reapply often.
It really is easy. However, living safer from the sun may require a few lifestyle changes.
Sami’s Take On Is The UPF Rating System A Gimmick?
While we know that sometimes having a UPF-rated garment is fun. And maybe more stylish and comfortable, but, we may also already have clothing in our closets that are sun blocking. It may be a nothing special shirt, but it will help you protect your skin.
They are a dark navy or a deep red, orange, green or brown, or black. Deeper colors absorb more of the UV rays. This will make the shirt warmer to wear, so must be a looser fit to allow the air to help pull the heat from your skin.
Yes, we can depend on some of what is in your closet. However, who wouldn’t love a bright or light fabric shirt that we know protects our skin, and isn’t so warm to wear? Who wouldn’t like a lighter-weight shirt?
There will always be a need for UPF-rated garments. Staying comfortable and keeping the sun-blocking shirt on your body is the key to protection. If it is too hot to wear, you won’t enjoy your fun in the sun time.
As you have become more conscious of how you can better protect your skin, you will also realize the need for better hours for being out. Often the hotter time of day when the sun is stronger and more dangerous won’t be a good time for you.
Lifestyle Choices do make a difference. Can you make some better ones?