Will Bright Color Clothing Protect Me From The Sun? I asked myself this question while browsing through some of the ads popping up on my computer screen. I do need a new sun blocking shirt and a sun hat.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of sun hat I need! I won’t be laying out on a beach anywhere! Is there enough color in that one for our Texas sun?
I will be raking leaves, weeding, and pushing a wheelbarrow when I am wearing a sun blocking hat. A 3-inch brim in a slight bucket shape has been working for me. I bought it at a 5 and 10-cent store in Fredericksburg Texas several years ago.
Our Texas wind would have the pretty blue one sailing across to the neighbor’s yard in a heartbeat!
The science around color tells us that color is a tool that can help you protect yourself from the sun.
Dark? Bright? White? Black?
Dark or bright colors keep UV rays from reaching your skin by absorbing them rather than reflecting rays. Absorbing rather than allowing them to reach your skin. That’s why these colors offer better protection than lighter shades for keeping those UV rays away from your skin.
A sun hat and a sun-blocking shirt, as well as sunglasses, are easier to wear than sunscreen, as you are completely covered and don’t have to keep applying sunscreen. When you have yourself covered with clothing, you are blocking all but 2% of the sun’s rays.
What color of clothing should I be searching for? What is best for sun protection?
Bright colors? Pale Colors? Dark Colors? Does it make a difference?
Again the science of color says that darker colors absorb more UV than lighter colors. So navy blue will protect you more than white or pastels or even the fun wide-brimmed hat in the image above.
This means the UV rays are less likely to reach your skin through a shirt or sun hat in darker colors.
But bright colors such as red, orange, gold, and green can also absorb UV rays.
The more vivid the color, the more protection from the sun you will get.
A bright yellow shirt will protect you more than a pale one. Anywhere your shirt covers your body, as long as the color is very bright, you will be better protected than if it was a white one or a pale tinted shirt.
Having your sun blocking shirt laying beside you on the sand is not protecting you.
You must wear it.
More people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined. Most skin cancer is associated with sun exposure. If you know how to protect your skin from the sun, you may be able to have a lasting impact on your skin’s safety.
Using sunscreen on your hands is important unless you are wearing gloves. Then there is the bottom of the sleeves if the shirt does not have an extended cuff or a cuff with fingerholds to hold the coverage over your hands.
Dark or bright colors offer a safer choice for protecting your skin.
Sun Blocking Clothing And Sunscreen
Sun blocking clothing can be a game changer for protecting your skin from the sun. For me and what we are doing in our part of the world, it gets so hot and sweaty to keep reapplying sunscreen.
There is usually so much humidity that you are sweating any sunscreen off pretty soon after getting outside. I do put on sunscreen each morning, a mineral sunscreen to work to protect my skin from looking any older than it does.
So I don’t add any more sunscreen as I wear my hat with a wide brim that is shaped to come down around my face and neck. Adding to that is the fact that trying to tan is not worth the risk of skin cancer to me. So I have given up on the tanning business. It no longer fits my lifestyle.
The cone shape or bucket is a more accurate description of my hat’s shape. I have found that this is the better shape for protecting me from the UV rays.
What shape hat works for you?
Protecting Your Eyes
I wear sunglasses when out in the sun or driving. The sun is dangerous. I had to have cataract surgery early in life, and have been much more careful since. This could have been delayed had I exercised more caution.
There have been other eye issues related to too much sun. Wear your sunglasses. Large lenses and oversized frames are important to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes from the sun.
Sunblocking Shirts In Bright Colors Do Work
I also wear a tightly woven, loosely fitting shirt in a bright color to keep the sun off the trunk of my body.
The tightly woven fabric and bright color do what I need for protection against the sun.
Usually, I wear gloves while outside working in the yard. With the oversized shirt, I have no skin showing above my knees. So there is little cause to use sunscreen.
It is cooler to wear sun blocking clothing than sunscreen for me. Each of us has our own ideas, but to me, sunscreen is hot to wear.
I don’t usually get hot enough to sweat off the sunscreen on my face. So for the last several years, I have been able to avoid too much sun on my skin.
You can soon find what protects you the most, and used consistently will help your skin stay a bit younger. If you are as old as I was when I learned to be careful, you may think it not helping. Hang in there with protecting yourself. You will see a difference.
A combination of sunscreen and sunblocking clothing can help you too.
Sunscreen Protection Instead Of Bright Color Clothing To Protect Me From The Sun?
Your choices for sunscreen can be overwhelming. Often it is easier to just grab a bottle or tube and throw it in the shopping basket.
Even though I prefer bright and darker color clothing to protect my skin from the sun, sunscreen is needed too.
Using sunscreen and sun blocking clothing is a solid layer for your sun protection.
You do need to make sure the sunscreen you have chosen is a full spectrum to protect from both UVA rays (the aging rays) and UVB rays (the sunburn rays) protection.
With the full spectrum protection, you have both kinds covered.
Then there is a mineral sunscreen that sits on the surface of your skin to protect your skin. Takes a little longer to apply as it is slower to run on, but it does a great job of blocking the sun from your skin.
Now, what about the strength?
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you use at least a strength of 30 in your sunscreen. A 50 is even better. Anything less than 30 offers little protection against skin cancer. But then, a little is better than none. So if 15 strength is all you have use it! Don’t be unprotected.
Will One Application Of Sunscreen Last All Day?
The Skin Cancer Foundation tells us that UVA rays are present all day and can cause skin aging and wrinkling. UVB rays are strongest during peak hours, from 10 AM until 4 PM. These rays cause sunburn.
Both UVA and UVB contribute to skin cancer.
Sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours when you are out in the sun.
What about the exposure at work from the windows you work by?
I did not consider the damage to my skin from working by windows all my working years.
So, I did not reapply every 2 hours. I didn’t apply in the mornings before makeup back then. Did you?
So now I am playing catch up. I try to reapply after lunch. So twice a day is all I apply when not out in the sun.
Everyday damage adds up too, just like fun-in-the-sun times do. However, the fun-in-the-sun times add up more quickly than the everyday working day. (unless you work outside or drive a truck)
Sunscreen is used up as it is on your skin. You will need to reapply every 2 hours when out in the direct sun. Remember the sweating or getting into water that washes your sunscreen away quicker.
We Know That Sunscreen Must Be Reapplied
We know that one application will not last all day. It does not mean it is not important. However, it is another reason to use both UPF clothing as well as sunscreen. Use the tools we have to keep our skin safe.
It is also fun that bright colors can make the clothing more fun to wear.
You do have to be responsible and apply when you are out in the direct sun.
With the need to stay protected from the sun, sun blocking clothing can be the magic thing that keeps you from developing skin cancer.
If you are determined to spend your fun-in-the-sun time getting a tan, you will need to be attentive to the clock and sunscreen reapplication.
It is a lifestyle choice. Is it time for you to start making some changes? What is your risk for skin cancer?
You have many choices for protecting your skin from the sun. We all know that color can be important in our protection from the sun plan.
A True Or False Question # 1
True or false?
You can get sunburn on a cloudy day.
This is one of the most common mistakes people make. Forgetting about incidental sun exposure. Your skin is still soaking up those UV rays on cloudy days as well as while driving with the windows down.
Making sunscreen and wearing sun blocking clothing to help protect skin your skin at these times are an important part of your lifestyle. Applying sunscreen on first thing in the morning, even if you aren’t planning on going outside. This should become a daily habit.
True Or False Question # 2
True or false?
You should use the highest SPF possible:
Higher SPF does not always give your skin better protection. You may not need anything higher than SPF 30 if you’re applying generously and often.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF 30 protects against 97% percent of the sun’s rays, while SPF 50 increases that just a bit – to 98 percent.
True Or False Question # 3
True or false?
You can use sunscreen spray or sunscreen lotion and get the same protection.
It depends on how well you apply.
Sunscreen spray can be easier to apply. However, it comes with a few risks. Sunscreen spray is harder to control and most people do not use enough of the product.
Suggestions for better application of spray on sunscreen:
Spray each area of your body for at least six seconds. You will also need to rub it in after applying for better skin protection..
Safety Alert: Be aware that ingredients in spray sunscreens may be irritating to your lungs if inhaled. Make sure you’re not spraying directly on your face. (as I did with my grandson- talk about making a Granmom feel bad!)
True Or False Question # 4
True or false?
Just a little bit of sunscreen will go a long way:
To get sunscreen’s full protection, you should always apply about one and a half to two ounces of sunscreen. A smaller body or area to protect requires less. Full body or larger size body requires more.
Consider using a lotion for a base and reapplying with a spray instead.
Summer is a great time to get you and your loved ones outside to enjoy the fresh air, outdoor activities, and exercise under the sun so don’t let concerns about sunscreen stop you from enjoying the warmer weather.
True Or False Question # 5
True or false?
Using sunscreen is a lot better than covering up.
Sunscreen is important to your skin protection and should be used, it’s also very important to stay covered up. Wear lightweight, tightly woven hats, and shirts. and pants.
Combine sunscreen and sun-protective clothing in dark or bright colors for your strongest protection.
Our summertime is a great time to get out with your loved ones. Enjoy the fresh air, outdoor activities, and exercise under the sun. Don’t let concerns about protecting your skin from the sun stop you from enjoying the warmer weather.
It can be fun to have bright colors for your sun blocking clothing and maybe there will be less pushback when you insist that your kids stay covered up under the sun.
Sami’s Take On Will Bright Color Clothing Protect Me From The Sun?
There are many choices in UPF clothing to keep you and your family safe from the sun. If you have not yet found your perfect UPF-rated shirt, look in your closet. Do you have a dark blue or black or brown loose-fitting long sleeve shirt?
What about a dark red, or deep green. You can be protected from the sun with clothing from your closet. The fabric may not be as tightly woven to qualify it for true UPF protection, but it is better than nothing.
It is a simple fact that covering up your skin is the best and most complete way of giving your skin the coverage needed for staying safe from the sun.
Do your kids have shirts in their closets that fit loosely and can help their skin stay protected? As they are learning to protect their skin, they will need help.
Allowing your family to continue to sunburn every summer a time or two is definitely careless. Allowing them to sunburn time after time is dangerous and will increase their risk for skin cancer and melanoma.
Setting a good example is important as well.
Our lifestyle changes for safer times to be in the sun, staying indoors during the hotter times of day is a better choice. Even if your family has darker tone skin. Taking preventative care of our skin is growing more important.
Besides skin cancer and melanoma, many of the immune diseases of the skin are being traced back to unhealthy skin. Maybe not to the point of skin cancer, but to the point that it is not able to keep your body healthy.
In our family, we were not very kind to our skin. We didn’t realize the extent of the abuse we were practicing. We loved water skiing, and the kids were in sports while growing up.
You could see their light gold strawberry blond hair as they participated. Their pale skin tanned, some. Then again and again till they were too brown. Did I realize what was happening?
Unfortunately, I didn’t They now are very frequent visitors to the dermatologist office. Every time I know they have been again, I feel so guilty that I didn’t make them more aware of skin protection.
You are aware. Take action and have healthier skin.