Have you wondered Why “Color Makes Sun Blocking Clothing Better?” Are you getting mixed feelings when you think about sun safety for your skin?
The deeper and more vivid the color of the garment, the better it might protect you. The cloth the shirt is made of determines more of the protective factor. So, the fabric consideration is first, and the color is 2nd in importance
However, as we are concerned about the colors we like to wear, we often get hung up with color preferences. And color can play a part in skin protection, as well as in making us feel more attractive in one color over another.
I read an article back in the late summer about the importance of color when deciding on a color garment to wear. The article stated that while lighter colors kept you cooler in general, going with a darker color on your upper torso was better because less light reflected back up onto your face and neck.
Remember the rules. darker colors absorb the sun’s energy once it has been blocked off your skin.
Lighter colors reflect the sun’s rays from your skin. This can help keep you feeling cooler.
One more time, dark or bright colors keep UV rays from reaching your skin by absorbing them rather than allowing them to penetrate. This is why these colors give you better protection than lighter shades.
Best Color To Block The Sun
If the fabric is the same for all colors, then the darker the color, deep navy blue is thought to be the best.
However, it is essential to consider what you will be doing when you are out in the sun. If you are going to be working in the direct sun all day, especially during the hot time of the year, the fabric of your shirt can make it easier to keep the shirt on all day.
The technology in the fabric accelerated the moisture-wicking action for a cooler workout. The antimicrobial finish on the fabric helps keep the fabric fresh. (not stinky smelling) A soft fabric that is lightweight and breathable with moisture-wicking that can help keep you dry all day!
Now, who wouldn’t love for all your clothing to do all those things?
Then I noticed the price for a long sleeve shirt with a collar, and the price was $90 plus sales taxes and shipping. So, yeah, that is reason enough that my closet is not full of these specially designed sun blocking shirts. The UPF of this fabric is 50, making it about as sun blocking as you can get.
I am not an affiliate of this company, but I do think their products are especially nice and well worth their cost. And the color selection was offering light pastels. Not just black or dark blue.
However, that isn’t what I see in my future. I see some cotton-poly blends in deeper colors that will help me stay sunburn free.
Does Color Matter For Sun Safety?
Yes, color can matter, but the fabric is still more important.
When considering a UPF-rated garment from a reputable manufacturer, the rating will be close to the same usually, regardless of color. However, if a darker pigmented dye is used, the deep pink may have a higher rating than the lighter pink.
If the sun protection is woven in, the colors should not matter. To me, it seems that manufacturers are battling for higher UPF ratings, and offering fewer selections in the 30 UPF which often is all that is needed, and sometimes is more comfortable to wear.
The help of a 30 UPF hoodie or rash guard is all I need for what I am doing, and they usually breathe better. I think the fabric described in the first part of this article would be nice, especially if it is comfortable. If you have too many bulges, as I do, the thinner slicker fabric may not be what you want to wear.
I will be going to my closet to find a newer cotton poly shirt with a collar that I have only worn a few times and only paid $20 for! Yes, it will be a dark or deep color.
I do use my sun blocking loose-fitting long-sleeve shirt with a collar for an overshirt. The extra layer lets me stay safe when at the park walking, or working in the yard.
Will UPF Fabric Protect My Skin From The Sun?
UPF-rated fabric with a rating of 15 is going to block about 93% of the UV that will be hitting your body. Unless you have very light skin and are at especially high risk for sunburn, you will have some sun-safe time in the sun. This is plenty of sun protection for most daily needs here in central Texas.
Of course, if you are a roofer, or spend your days in desert sun conditions, or any other time of full days in the sun with no breaks and little shade options. There are always extreme cases.
However, for me and what I do, being aware of the danger of the sun, and UV exposure even while inside, I am going for common sense and moderation.
UPF clothing will protect the part of your body that is covered by this clothing. Normally this is the trunk of your body by a shirt. This is where we often sunburn, and for me, my shoulders were always the high-risk part of my body. A UPF shirt will protect your body if you keep it on.
You can also keep the sun off the trunk of your body with a dark or deep-color fabric shirt if the shirt is a tightly woven one. Loose weave lets in sun. It may be cooler, but it won’t protect you as well. Choose a shirt with deep color when shopping in your closet.
Remember Your Sun Safety Year Round
Don’t forget a sun hat and sunglasses. These are important and are the most important for your skin’s protection from the sun. Yes, for your kids as well. Sun hat and sunglasses, then your sun blocking shirt, and sunscreen for your face to protect you from reflected UV rays.
A sun-safe lifestyle will be next in importance for your sun safety. Choosing safer hours to get outside, and staying hydrated regardless of the season.
Sami’s Take on Why Color Makes Sun Blocking Clothing Better
Using the tools we have to stay safe while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine is important. UV Rays don’t slow down in about 20 minutes as you have reached your safe tolerance limit. Having a few basic items to help protect yourself will keep your skin healthy, and reduce your risk of skin cancer.
This video explains how we see color differently, and how difficult it is to explain to people who have never seen color.
Joking aside, it does take more than sunscreen to keep the ultraviolet rays from doing damage to your skin. Manufacturers are coming through with some great options.
Until you have those options, make the best of what is in your closet. Often, normal clothing in lightweight fabric just won’t protect your skin. The cloth is important too.
Do your best. Awareness will help you do a better job of skin cancer prevention.
Thanks for reading,