Seriously, What Color Can Block Out The Sun’s Rays? Does color really make a difference? Color is important in choosing your sun blocking clothing.
When we look for what color can block out the sun’s rays we need to think of darker colors. And yes it can make a big difference. Color can help you protect your skin from the sun.
If you are thinking about what you already have in your closet to help keep you protected today before you can put together a UPF wardrobe, think of deep deposits of color. Deep yellow, not pale yellow, dark blue, not sky blue. Dark or bright red, not pale pink.
Black is not the only color that can do a good job of blocking the sun’s rays. However, black will give you a good boost when looking for colors to block the sun.
Wear your darker colors until you get a UPF-rated shirt in a lighter color.
Skincancer.org -“Dark or bright colors keep UV rays from reaching your skin by absorbing them rather than allowing them to penetrate. That’s why these colors offer better protection than lighter shades.”
Some Basic Skin Protection Information
While you are becoming aware of how to protect yourself from the sun’s dangerous rays, start with what you have. Anything is better for protecting you from the sun than nothing. So don’t spend time in the stronger rays of the sun with nothing on the trunk of your body.
Any shirt is better than no shirt. Next, any hat is better than no hat. And any sunglasses are better than no sunglasses.
This is true for your kids as well. As you are figuring out how to get their sunblocking wardrobes going, deeper, darker colors are best. However, any clothing is better than no clothing.
Sunscreen with a wide spectrum and an SPF of at least 30 is important. I am not sure that just anything works until you get the right kind. Don’t let the kids out in the sun from 10 AM until 4 PM without protecting their skin with sunscreen on uncovered areas of their bodies.
It is better if they are not out at all during those hours. Have play times in the early mornings or later afternoons. Keep them out of the hot sun’s rays. You don’t need to be out either. This is how you get exposed to the UVA as well as the UVB rays. You know the ones that make you look older before you should.
Do you know your risk for sunburn? This can give you some idea of how careful you should be. How much risk your family has for sunburn this weekend when you go to the theme park for the day? Maybe you should not plan to be out in the hotter, more direct ray time of day.
How The Sun’s Rays Get To You
Finding the right color will help keep your skin safe from too much sun, but let’s look at how those rays get to you.
Think about it, UV light does not all reach you along a straight line from the sun, like it looks like it is.
There are molecules in the air that scatter all light. The photons with a higher frequency will scatter more than the lower-frequency ones will.
That’s why the sky is blue but the sun appears yellow.
Yellow light travels through the atmosphere in a straight line with little scattering, but blue light scatters a lot.
UV light scatters even more.
This explains why when you try to shelter in the shade of a tree, or an umbrella, you will be only partially safe.
This is true even if the object you are sheltering behind blocks 100% of UV light hitting it. There will be only a tiny fraction of the UV that will be blocked from all the sun’s rays that are shining down on you from every direction. Yes shining down on you from horizon to horizon.
Yes, standing in the shade will be cooler, but it won’t keep your skin from burning. So prepare yourself.
Lifestyles Are Important
The rays are a combination of all the colors from the sun. All the rays travel at different speeds because of the levels of energy in the rays.
All react differently. Some will scatter to the 4 corners of our world. Some travel more directly. Getting around what you thought might block out the sun is no big deal for these sun rays.
This is why it is important to use your color information to make your sun blocking wardrobe as safe as possible.
It is also important to teach your family the safe hours to be outside, and when it is better to be inside. In my part of Central Texas, we have hot midday times. Coaches are getting the news that early morning is better for practice, or later in the afternoons. It is better to avoid the risk of heatstroke or sunburn.
Does The Color Black Block Out The UV Rays?
Black is the best color for soaking up all those UV rays from the sun. Royal blue is considered the next best. Any deep color will soak up those rays and help keep them from bouncing around.
However, color is only one step in a multistep of layering to protect your skin. Tightly woven to keep the sun out! So a tightly woven fabric that is black or deep blue will be about the best you can do. At least the best without a UPF rating tag.
So if you are wanting to work with what is in your closet a fabric like denim is a great step. A new dark denim shirt is what you are looking for.
Now, for fit. Your shirt needs to be a loose-fitting long-sleeve shirt with a collar. Are you getting the picture? You need to get some air around your body to dry the sweat.
A loose-fitting shirt is what will make you comfortable on hot days.
This is where UPF clothing comes in. These fabrics are specially made to be lighter weight, lighter in color, and able to protect your skin from the sun.
While protecting your skin is important in all seasons, the summertime is when we tend to wear less, just to be cool. To stay safe from the sun, you will need to stay in the house and out of the sun. Or you will need to generously apply sunscreen to any part of your body that is bare. And you will need to apply often.
This is why UPF fabrics have become so popular. Well, that and finding out how dangerous the sun can be to you and your family’s skin.
You need tightly woven fabrics, deeper colors with loose-fitting clothing that covers you from the sun. Sun protection is better in layers, not by one product alone.
Trivia Question: Can Paper Block UV Rays?
In the interest of continuing education, I am curious about how safe paper is for blocking out UV Rays. I know that paper is not what we think of when we think of blocking the dangerous sun rays.
- Paper can block out the light.
- Black paper or darker colors can darken a room, so they are absorbing and blocking out the light.
- The plain white paper does a fair job of blocking the sun but allowing light in.
- Paper comes in many thicknesses and with different fibers in the paper.
- Using paper for privacy can give you good results.
- Considering the same paper might not be as good for sun ray blocking.
- Remember that some clothing is better than none, and some blocking from paper is better than none.
- A paper that has color, like construction paper is heavier and would block better. Colored poster board would block the sun as a temporary fix in a window, even in your vehicle window, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the driver’s vision.
This is just a partial list of my thoughts on using paper to block the sun. I do think that when you have nothing else, it is a good product to use. The heavily dyed fibers in some paper will offer a good chance to block the UV A that causes early aging.
Using Paper In Windows For A Season To Block UVA Rays
Today’s trend towards open windows in many parts of our homes and the hot dry weather we are experiencing may make covering some of a window that catches lots of light with something as inexpensive as paper during the time of the year that has the sun hitting the windows longer.
Most homes with lots of windows have deep roof overhangs that offer shade most of the time. However, summertime and natural sun movement cause the sun to hit windows for a few weeks that normally don’t catch much sun.
One bedroom in our house is in the few weeks when the sun shines in the windows, heating the room quickly. To keep the room more comfortable I added some plain white copy paper in the bottom half of both windows. The room stays much more comfortable.
Do you have a window that could use some temporary blocking? With only 8 sheets of copy paper, we were happy with the results.
Sami’s Take On What Color Can Block Out The Sun’s Rays
As we move into the really dangerous sun season here in my part of the world being aware is important. We can help ourselves by observing some common sense rules. These skin protection rules will keep us healthier.
Sure many live their whole life staying in the sun, and ignoring any rules. As one family who tried to do that, and now are paying the price, we all agree, we wish we had heeded warnings.
There is too much data now to make protecting your skin from the sun an important part of your everyday routine. Like brushing your teeth, protecting your skin is important. The sunscreen should be as habitual as brushing your teeth.
As more data is available we can’t argue the common sense of better skin protection. There are better sunscreens to add to your UPF clothing and the protection the two together can provide. With your sunscreen as another layer. Your knowledge of which colors are better. There is no question, you can protect your skin.
What can you do to keep your skin safe?