Will I get sunburned through my black sun blocking shirt? Is there enough protection to keep my skin safe?
Will I get sunburned through my black sun blocking shirt? How do you choose a shirt that can block the sun and keep us safe from the sun?
With shirts like this family is showing, they are safe for early in the day walks on the beach, or late in the day, as this picture shows. However, if you are out when the sun is directly overhead and shining brightly, you may not be able to stay out very long before some areas of your upper body start to get sunburn.
It is important to think about when you will be exposing your skin to the sun as you are planning your sun blocking clothing.
If you are planning to be out all day, you will need to have your sun blocking hat and sunglasses. As well as a shirt made of a tightly woven fabric that is loose-fitting with long sleeves. Denim is a tightly woven fabric if you haven’t shopped for one yet.
While a garment from your closet can do a great job of protecting your skin, it may be very warm. The UPF rated fabrics are usually lighter weight, but still, protect your skin from the sun. Your shirt should not allow the sun to shine through the fabric.
Hold your shirt up between you and a light source, the sun, or electric light. If you see pinpricks of light between the weave of the threads in the fabric, the sun will be able to find your skin as well. A loose fit of your shirt allows the fabric to move on your body, and have air to move about and cool you.
Tight-fitting clothes will not be as comfortable in the hot sun.
Loosely woven fabric will let the sun through, and should not be worn for protection if anything else is available.
What Is Sun Blocking Clothing?
Sun Blocking Clothing is continually changing and improving with the new fabrics that can protect our skin. This makes knowing all there is to know about UPF clothing a continual learning time. Manufacturers have done a great job of improving the fabric and style of clothing.
Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) refers to a rating system used for apparel. Using the UPF numbers will help us know how effectively a fabric shields your skin from the sun’s UV rays.
The higher the UPF number, the better level of UV protection it offers. If you have a shirt with a UPF of 50, it will let just 1/50th of the UV rays through the fabric reach your skin. This is a lot of protection from the sun. With some sunscreen to cover the areas that the sun can get to, like your hands, you should be safe from the sun.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a UPF of 30 or higher as being enough protection to keep you safe from skin cancer.
When you take the time to shop for your sun blocking wardrobe, you will find that many of these fabrics are also designed to wick sweat and water away from your skin, so you’ll stay cool and dry as well as sun-protected while being active.
Will My Black Shirt Lose Its UPF?
That depends on the kind of fabric and finish your sun blocking shirt is made of as well as how long you have had it.
Is the shirt made of a tightly woven fabric, maybe a blend of some sort? Like polyester/nylon/with cotton?
- Cotton. Unbleached cotton contains natural lignins that act as UV absorbers Linen and Wool(Fabric will be more sun proof when the threads are fatter and new, not worn out and washed to often.)
- Polyester/Nylon & Synthetic Blends. Often blends are better than just cotton or a synthetic alone)
- Deep Colors of fabric or with dye coating the fabric threads. ( There are many dyes that work by coating the fabric and preventing andy pin prick sun holes to allow the sun to your skin.)
Your black shirt will keep its UPF for about 3 years, according to manufacturers. Unless your shirt is worn and washed every day, you should be able to wear it safely a time or two a week for 3 years.
So the answer to will I get sunburned through my black sun blocking shirt is no, you should not.
However, when it gets wet, it could lose as much as half its ability to protect your skin. When you are laundering your sun blocking black shirt use the method suggested by the hangtag when it was new. This will keep your shirt in good shape longer.
When your black shirt starts to fade, it is probably losing some of its ability to protect the trunk of your body and your arms. So, yes, you should get a reasonable life of sun protection from your shirt, but it will eventually wear out, and you will have less UPF in your shirt.
Do I Need An Umbrella Or A Sun Blocking Shirt In The Mornings?
Is your story similar to mine? Does morning find you ready as ever to venture outdoors for your brief, but daily jaunt around the block? You are ready to enjoy a few minutes of nature to remind yourself of the outside world.
Now that there are a few less restrictions, the morning outside is a pleasant time where humans are once again allowed to travel somewhat freely. With most of the coronavirus restrictions gone. It is good to get back outside and have some fun on sunny days.
The sun has become a distant concern as we grew accustomed to life within the walls of our shaded home. It seems like a good idea to soak up some of those sun rays while on your stroll. It has been a while!
The chances to get out during the spring are welcome. You have long pants and a shirt on, after all, your exposure will be for only a while this morning, to just a few minutes this morning, right?
Wait a minute here, what if you are wrong! This is the kind of thinking that gets those of us who have a high risk for too much sun quickly in trouble!
Lightweight, light-colored fabric will offer very little sun protection if it is light and loosely woven. Clothes that are lightweight are what I usually wear around the house. Clothing that is lightweight and cool. What about you?
So think through what staying out in the bright sun for a while will mean for your skin safety. A quick 15-minute walk will allow you a little sun, and still, be safe. However, 20 minutes, and you may start turning red from the sun on your face, your shoulders, and your throat. This is what gets responsible people in trouble with that “quick walk” business.
You are way underdressed, and you stay out too long. Rethink how you allow your skin to be exposed to the sun.
And if your clothing gets sweaty and wet while on your quick walk, it can lose up to half of its UV protection. Then you see your neighbor out walking, so you spend a short minute passing the time with them? Or is it heads down and run past?
When you are out and under-protected, your shirt and pants just don’t quite measure up for protecting your skin from the sun, you can be in trouble fast. The sun could be bearing down on your wet back from sweating, and shining right through the little bit of protection you have.
Are You Aware Of The Dangers Of The Time Of Day?
Yes, the sun is hot, at least in my part of the world.
Setting an alarm to warn you that you have been out long enough to start getting sunburn is a great skin-saving act. If your skin can handle 30 minutes in the sun before you start turning red, you are fortunate. In 25 minutes, I will be flushed, and have another freckle! Grabbing my sunhat and sunglasses is important.
When I get my outside stuff done by 10 AM I can have a nice bit of time outdoors. However, between 10 AM and 4 PM are dangerous for me. If I am out during those times, I wear UPF clothing and sunscreen soaked.
Learning to be careful came later in my life than it should have. Hopefully, you are more aware of the sun’s dangers and will protect yourself better, while you are younger.
Sunscreen never hurts, and wearing your sun blocking clothing will also help. You are giving yourself a break as you have made the decision to not be outdoors between 10 AM to 4 PM. This just made your whole life safer from the sun.
Wearing your long sleeve loose-fitting sun blocking shirt gives you great protection when you are out, but, curtailing outdoor activities during the warmer hours is much better. Half the battle is over when you pay attention to the time you choose to be out and in the sun.
In my part of the world, where our sun is so hot and intense, it is always a good idea to use sunscreen. Your sun hat and sunglasses should always be on your body when you go out, during the sunniest part of the day, summer ad winter.
Wearing your jeans, if you haven’t purchased your sun blocking pants will be a big help, not a pair of lightweight running shorts. A loose-fitting shirt with long sleeves that will wick moisture away from your body is a better choice.
Wear UPF clothing that is Ultraviolet resistant and absorbent you will be doing a good job of blocking out the sun, and protecting your skin whenever you head outside.
UV absorbent clothes work on several principles: They come in dark or bright colors that absorb UV rays, keeping them off your skin. UPF clothing is densely woven and will give more coverage than a sheer, loosely woven cloth.
UPF clothing is often made of high-tech fabrics. The fabric has a finish with chemical UV absorbers that will prevent the sun’s rays’ penetration.
Fortunately, you can acquire the basics of a sun blocking wardrobe without draining your bank account.
White Tee Shirt Black Tee Shirt
Your white Tee shirt provides only a moderate amount of sun protection, with a UPF of about 7 if it is new. After several launderings, this protection drops to about 5 or less. What if your T-shirt becomes wet, you will only have a UPF of 3!
A dark, long-sleeved denim shirt can provide a UPF of about 50. This is almost complete sun protection.
A Black T-shirt will absorb more of the sun’s ultraviolet rays that can cause sunburn than a white one will. The color black will be warmer because it will release the heat it absorbs onto your skin. In the summer when this extra warmth that is created as the ultraviolet energy is absorbed can be uncomfortable unless your shirt will allow air to flow next to your skin by being a loose fit.
Remember, dark colors absorb rays, and thick, compact fabrics like denim and wool prevent them from ever reaching your skin. While you won’t get the actual UV rays that will burn your skin, you will get the heat from the sun’s rays that have been absorbed.
Your black T-shirt will protect you less as you wear the shirt. The thickness of the fabric for your shirt is important in protecting your body.
All of which makes me feel even better about wearing black and dark denim all year round.
Do Black Clothes Prevent Sunburn?
Your clothes do provide different levels of UV protection. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective. The weave of the fabric that your clothes making up your sun blocking clothing is important as well.
When using clothing that is just your regular stuff from your closet to protect your skin from the sun, you could still get a sunburn. Unfortunately, even denim can become worn, and allow some sun through.
If you are going to be out during the hotter times of the day, and you are depending on clothing from your closet to protect you, sunscreen is important as well. When denim pants fit super tight, there is probably sun getting through to your skin. A loose-fitting pair of pants will give much better protection and keep your skin safer.
Will My Black Sun Blocking Shirt Protect Me From Ultraviolet (UV) Rays?
Most skin cancers are the result of too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most of this exposure comes from the sun. My skin cancers are the result of too many days in the sun with too little protection for my skin.
While I did have several sunburns, resulting in all the problems of feeling bad, with a temperature and chills and serious skin blisters. My First incidents were when I was fairly young, having blonde hair and green eyes. My symptoms didn’t last very long, and in the way of the times, we just let me heal by myself.
So while I was only in my early 20’s when the first spot became visible on my face. My doctor promptly took care of the spot with a spray canister that was in his office. I continued to have far too many day-long playdays in the sun while on the water.
When we weren’t playing in the water, we were sitting out at ball game practice. Yes, often the practice was after the hotter hours of the day, but just so many hours were accumulating on my skin.
This kind of too much sun exposure that lasts months every year adds up to damaged skin. Damaged skin when I was only in my 20’s.
This is repeating exposure to the sun results in UV Rays that cause so much damage.
Indoor tanning can’t be the reason for my sun damage, but maybe you were a frequent visitor to the tanning booths. We just didn’t understand the damage possible from man-made sources, such as indoor tanning beds and sun lamps.
Regardless of how you got your UV exposure, people who continue to get a lot of exposure to UV rays are at greater risk for skin cancer.
A Quick Reminder Of What affects UV Exposure
When determining the strength of the sun’s UV rays reaching you and your family playing there on the ground depends on several factors, such as:
- What time of day it is: UV rays are strongest in the middle of the day, between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Which season of the year you are in: UV rays are stronger during spring and summer months. This is less of a difference if you live near the equator.
- How far you are from the equator (latitude): UV exposure goes down as you get further from the equator.
- What is your altitude: More UV rays reach the ground at higher elevations.
- How much cloud cover: The effect of clouds can vary, but it’s important to know that UV rays can get through to the ground, even on those cloudy days.
- Surface Reflections: UV rays can bounce off surfaces like water, sand, snow, or pavement, leading to an increase in UV exposure.
The UV Index, What It Really Means To My Sun Safety
The UV index is a creation of the US National Weather Service and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Having a scale to attach to the UV Indes gives you a better understanding of protecting your skin. When you know how strong the UV light is in your area on any given day.
Using a range from 1 to 11+, you have more information to make better choices.
A higher number means a greater risk of exposure to UV rays and a higher chance of sunburn and skin damage that could ultimately lead to skin cancer.
The UV Index is part of many weather forecasts throughout the country. Further information about the UV Index, as well as your local UV Index forecast, can be found on the EPA’s website. Check it out here
The Length Of Time You Are In The Sun Matters
As well as the strength of the rays matters, the amount of UV exposure you get also depends on the length of time your skin is exposed. Here is where your skin should be protected with sun blocking clothing and sunscreen.
People who live in areas with year-round, bright sunlight have a higher risk of skin cancer. (like central Texas). Spending a lot of time outdoors for work or recreation without protective clothing and sunscreen increases your risk.
This is what has led to the high rates of skin cancer for people in the US. One person in every five will have some form of skin cancer is what statics tell us now.
The age you were when exposure occurred may also affect your skin cancer risk. For example, frequent sunburns in childhood may increase the risk for some types of skin cancer many years or even decades later.
It’s also important to understand that some people are more likely to get skin damage from the sun, for a variety of reasons. Check this link to see
Remember To Protect Yourself From The Sun
Don’t be one of those who think about sun protection only when they spend a day at the lake, beach, or pool.
Sun exposure adds up day after day, and it happens every time you are in the sun.
Even with sunlight as the main source of UV rays, you don’t have to avoid the sun completely. And it would be unwise to stay inside if it would cause you to become less active.
Our physical activity is important for good health. But getting too much sun can be harmful.
There are some very simple choices you can make to limit your exposure to UV rays.
Simply staying in the shade is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure.
If you are going to be in the sun, the Australian government has been working with the “Slip! Slop! Slap!® and Wrap” program that can help you remember some of the key steps you can take to protect yourself from UV rays:
- Slip-on a shirt. A loose-fitting, long sleeve tightly woven shirt can protect you from the sun.
- Slop on sunscreen. Make sure to have sunscreen on any exposed skin like hands, legs, and feet.
- Slap on a hat. A three-inch brim hat will go a long way in protecting you from the sun. Your brim should protect your face, the back of your neck. As reflections are everywhere, even when wearing a hat, applying sunscreen to your face, your ears, neck, and nose are important.
- Wrap-around style sunglasses work well to protect the eyes and skin around them. A well-fitting pair of sunglasses will help when you are out a bit longer than planned.
Look For Shade Shadow Test
An obvious but very important way to limit your exposure to UV light is to avoid being outdoors in direct sunlight too long.
This is particularly important between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM when UV light is strongest.
If you aren’t sure how strong the sun’s rays are, use the shadow test: if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are the strongest, and it’s important to protect yourself.
UV rays reach the ground all year, even on cloudy or hazy days, but the strength of UV ray swill varies, based on many factors.
Be especially careful on the beach or in areas with snow because sand, water, and snow reflect sunlight, increasing the amount of UV radiation you get.
UV rays can also reach below the water’s surface, so you can still get a burn even if you’re in the water and feeling cool.
Important as well is that some UV rays can also pass through windows. Typical car, home, and office windows block most UVB rays but a smaller portion of UVA rays, so even if you don’t feel you’re getting a sunburn, your skin may still get some damage. If you aren’t feeling the damage, it is usually UVA, the aging for your skin rays.
Tinted windows help block more UVA rays, but this depends on the type of tinting. (If you do have your car windows tinted, check local laws, as some states regulate this.)
UV radiation that comes through windows probably doesn’t pose a great risk to most people unless they spend long periods of time close to a window that gets direct sunlight. However, remember all the reflective surfaces when you are traveling. This kind of exposure needs sunscreen.
Clothing Is An Easy Way To Protect Your Skin
When you are out in the sun, just wear clothing to cover your skin. This is a basic easy everyone can do it fix for protecting your skin.
Clothes provide different levels of UV protection. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective.
Dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors. A tightly woven fabric protects better than loosely woven clothing.
Dry fabric is generally more protective than wet fabric. If my shirt is wet, can I get a sunburn? Even if my sun blocking shirt is black? Even with the color black, the fabric should be dry to be safe.
Be aware that covering up doesn’t block out all UV rays. This is a start, but if you can see light through a fabric, UV rays can get through, too.
Many companies are now making clothing that’s lightweight, comfortable, and protects against UV rays even when wet.
This kind of clothing tends to be more tightly woven, and some garments even have special coatings to help absorb UV rays. This kind of protection is known as UPF protection and gives additional protection in a comfortable way.
These sun-protective clothes have a label listing the UV protection factor (UPF) value (the level of protection the garment provides from the sun’s UV rays, on a scale of 30 to 50+ Anything less will offer little protection against skin cancer).
The higher the UPF, the more protection from UV rays. Important to read labels.
DIY Sun Protection Boster
In the marketplace, there are some products, that can help, like laundry detergents in a washing machine.
These products can increase the UPF value of clothes you already own and have in your closet. They add a layer of UV protection to your clothes without changing the color or texture. By making the threads more conditioned and softer in the fibers of the fabric your garments will offer more protection.
This is especially effective for being able to wear those favorite white tee shirts that have seen some use.
This is good for Moms with kids who aren’t able to outfit everyone in specialty shirts all week long between laundry times.
The product goes in at laundry time, and you can find it online or at larger stores than we have here in Central Texas Small Town!
The clothing that is laundered in this product can be washed 20 times, and still offer good sun blocking. However, as the garment is washed and worn, watch how it performs. You can always re-treat it sooner.
Ours came from Walmart.com. The light-weight blue chambray shirts are a little stiff to the feel, until work a few minutes. Then they are comfy and do a great job of protection.
This can be useful, but it’s not exactly clear how much it adds to protecting you from UV rays, so it’s still important to follow the other steps listed here.
Read Your Sunscreen Labels
When it is time for you to choose sunscreen, be sure to read the label. Sunscreens with broad-spectrum protection and with SPF values of 30 or higher are better.
Sun protection factor (SPF): The SPF number is measured by the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn.
A higher SPF number means more UVB protection.
For example, when applying an SPF 30 sunscreen correctly, you get the equivalent of 1 minute of UVB rays for every 30 minutes you spend in the sun. As long as you are not sweating or playing in the water.
So, 1 hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 sunscreen is the same as spending 2 minutes totally unprotected. Do you know your risk factor? For my skin, I would get about40 minutes of safe sun.
This is why the sun blocking clothing is so important to add to your sunscreen. Yes, we burn when not protected. Yes, each burn is a step closer to skin cancer.
People often do not apply enough sunscreen, so they get less actual protection. Make sure you are applying enough to protect your skin.
Sun Exposure To Get Vitamin D
Vitamin D has many health benefits. Besides that, the sun feels good on your skin. We know we need vitamin D, but how much is enough?
It is also true that vitamin D might even help lower the risk for some kinds of cancers.
Your skin can usually make vitamin D naturally when you are in the sun. So, how long is a good time to let the sunshine on my arms and face?
How much vitamin D you make depends on each individual. Things like how old you are, how dark your skin is, or how strong the sunlight is where you live.
At this time, doctors have not come up with the amount of time in the sun for the amount of vitamin you need. Research is happening in this area.
The American Cancer Society suggests that whenever possible, it’s better to get vitamin D from your diet or vitamin supplements rather than from sun exposure.
Consider these vitamin ideas because dietary sources and vitamin supplements do not increase skin cancer risk, and are typically more reliable ways to get the amount you need.
Be aware of how your skin is reacting to the sun if you choose a few minutes in the sun for your vitamin source.
Sami’s Take On Will I Get Sunburned Through My Black Sun Blocking Shirt
Black is a good color for a shirt to block the sun from your body. It will be warm to wear, however in the summertime.
While the black color assures better absorption of the UV rays, the warmer time of the year may make it an uncomfortable shirt to wear if it is not a loose-fitting shirt.
It is important to be comfortable in your sun blocking shirt so that you will wear it. A dark blue or deep red is also a good color for keeping the sun off of you. However, those colors too will be warmer.
In the hotter times of the year, a bright white or yellow. A soft pink, all good colors to reflect the sun. Finding what works for you is important because no shirt will protect you if you don’t wear it.
If your little one doesn’t want to wear his sun blocking shirt, or gets hot and sweaty, it is releasing the heat it is absorbing onto your child’s body. It is hot to wear.
It may be time to make a change for a UPF shirt, that keeps you or your child more comfortable.
Learning to make better choices for your protection is what will keep your family safe.