Will sun blocking fabric help save your skin? Not all clothing is effective as sun blocking clothing. Nor is all sun protective clothing woven or created equal. While trying to figure out which to purchase for me, I am a bit overwhelmed by my choices.
Seeing the price tag on some of the sun blocking clothing, I decided I need to know more and why this is better. Do I already have something that would be alright? Help protect my skin? Surely, I do. Someone like me who’s lived in this area of bright direct sunlight. Add to that how many years this has been my home.
Do I really need to protect my skin that much?
Then I remembered the visits to the dermatologists.
Actually, I was thinking I could just share my knowledge with my kids. They were the main reason I was interested, I told myself. Not for myself. They’re the whole reason I am on this journey. Yes, I may have lived here for a long time. Have I learned anything? Apparently not a lot! Do I need to do a better job of protecting my skin? Obviously. That is not debatable!
Some online clothing lines like Coolibar an Australian company have excellent descriptions for their garments and the protection they offer. How they are stitched. What activities they are suggested for. Others were less descriptive but still, they were quality items and would do a great job of protection. Most all sites would give enough description for me to find the sun blocking protection I am looking for and need.
This is especially true as I have become more aware of how to protect my skin and avoid skin cancer. I will feel more comfortable with my decisions as I work through the language used in this world of sun blocking fabric. The name that is used for the fabric that goes for making sun blocking clothing.
Which Is Better
I then checked out the online sources for information. Trying to decide if natural products were that much better than polyester or polyester blend fabric for sun blocking clothing. The whole purpose is to block the sun from shining on my body. This is how to avoid sunburn when in the direct sun.
Sunburn happens when you are exposed to the direct sun rays when they are their hottest which is between 10 AM and 4 PM. Does this mean you can throw caution to the wind at 4:15 PM on a hot day in the summertime?
Of course not. There will be a chance of sunburn beyond or before the magic hours of 10 AM and when it reaches 4 PM in the afternoon. Common sense should be used to help protect yourself. Sun blocking clothing may not be able to do it all.
So all the guidelines that I could find suggested protecting myself with sun blocking clothing during the hours from 10 AM until 4 PM. I realized that most clothing is made using the same guidelines about when you could do the most damage to your skin, and when to protect it. So, then I wondered why one was more expensive than another?
Why Does One Sun Blocking Fabric Cost More
If the sun blocking factor is the same because the fabric is pretty much the same, what is the difference? Again as I am referring to my notes and the websites it donned on me that the prices were somewhat different, in some respects.
The sun-blocking clothing is made of natural fibers or polyester and blends of the two together. How much difference in protection? Being me, I was wondering about the difference in cost?
Back to notes and research and it was apparent that there are special finishes for fabrics that some of the companies are using. Some are not using the same kind of finish.
This is important because? Some of the clothing is made with fabric that wicks away moisture from your body to the outer layer so it will evaporate quicker. Some is a four-way stretch. So many choices. No surprise that prices reflect this difference.
Extra Steps In The Finish Of The Sun Blocking Fabric
Of course, this is results in extra steps in manufacturing and makes the fabric more expensive. Often a whole layer of something like cotton or linen is added to the fabric, but it is still smooth, sometimes silky. Not heavy and bulky. Lightweight or if for colder times of the year it can be heavier, but not bulky.
Another thing I noticed was that there were some items of sun blocking clothing with labels that state it is alright to swim in long pants or shorts or whatever. There are other items that are not for use in a pool with chlorine. Other labels state ” is not suitable for saltwater.” So there are some differences.
Some of these labels were very explanatory, others were less so. Some of the articles of sun blocking clothing state that you could wash it 50 times and it would be OK and retain its sun blocking ability. The protection from the sun is still there in the sun-blocking fabric.
Wearing Sun Blocking Fabric
If you are searching for a swimsuit to wear all day at the beach you will want it to fit comfortably, dry quickly, stretch with you when you move about. The fabric and style of the suit are important. Smoothly finished seams. Easy to wear clothing that will not rub your skin or irritate. Even after wearing it all day. A sun-blocking swimsuit would be important when you are in and out of the water all day.
When you are searching for a shirt or knit top to wear to a grandkid’s ball game as I will be, comfort is important. So after determining that it has a UPF of 50% ( 50 % is the highest you can get for sun blocking. This is about 90% of the sun’s rays that are blocked ), I will then start checking the style, how does it look? Is it OK for what I want it for? Will it wick moisture away to dry in the hot sunshine?
Will my grandson think I look cool? Or will he think I look frumpy all covered up with long sleeves and a sun hat? That is important too.
Does Style = More Cost
So I think that we are now in another part of the buying cycle that may have an effect on the price of my sun blocking clothes. Besides the way the fabric is finished, style is definately an important point of the selection of garments. When we get the sun blocking clothing styles that are more costly to create, this may also affect the price.
Price And Quality
The style. While I do not profess to be a trendsetter, style is important. The clothing that remains hanging in the closet will do little to protect my skin from the sun. Or keep me from getting a sunburn that could lead to skin cancer if I don’t wear it. If the shirt is not comfortable and makes me feel self-conscious when I wear it, it probably won’t see much use.
Remember these things when you are shopping for your and your family’s sun blocking clothing. These concerns need to be addressed when you are making your choices. Make sure that your family will actually wear what you are purchasing for their sun blocking clothing wardrobe.
What Are Your Options
Yes, you will probably pay more from the Coolibar site than from the Walmart site. There are items on other sites that are priced to reflect a good amount of quality as well. It pays to do some comparison shopping. Sun Blocking Clothing Available At Walmart
There is more information about what sun blocking clothing on the Walmart site with a quick search. Mind your P’s and Q’s so that your shopping dollars that you invest in clothing will be for garments you and your family will wear and enjoy.
Sun Block Clothing For All Activities
Having clothes for the activities you and your family likes will make it easier to wear. A shirt that is made of knit will be good for playing a sport. It would dry fast and keep the wearer comfortable.
For fishing on really hot days, a loose-fitting shirt with breathing vents might work better. Hiking will call for shorts or pants that would not snag or catch on branches or whatever is growing along the trail. A smooth sturdy fabric that would allow the wearer to brush off trail dust after the day’s hike.
Just think about the activity. Will you be sitting in a canoe in shorts that don’t dry fast? That is surely not comfortable. So there are many options that your family would need to consider. To have clothing that will work for what you’re doing is important. You and your family must like the garments to wear them.
In our part of the world, this nearly always involves being out in the sun, often the direct sun. You have options, and some are better than others.
If reading this has made you more aware of protecting your family from the sun, we have done what we wanted to do. Starting sooner is better than later. However, start somewhere. Pay attention and take care of your skin.
Your skin may be only one more sunburn away from having damaged cells that will not replace themselves correctly. You may not be very far at all from your first actual cancer-causing exposure from the sun.
Are you running out of time?
Sami’s Take On Will Sun Blocking Fabric Help Save Your Skin
You will be able to use some of the new sun blocking fabric that has been developed to protect your skin. The newer blends are more comfortable than rough heavy cotton, like denim when it is 105* outside.
Fabrics that breathe and are styled to have air vents to enable you to cool down and still dry quickly. Finding out what is most comfortable for your sun protection is important.
What works well for me may not be what you like at all. Due to my history with denim, I will probably choose it for long pants to protect myself from the sun.
You may choose another blend and a style that works for you. This is one of the reasons getting comfortable with a new style and fabric is such a personal thing. I might not be comfortable with what you are in.
I love deep dark colors, blues, purples, and greens. They are perfect for sun blocking because those colors soak up the sun’s dangerous rays. However, this makes the shirt hot in my part of central Texas. As the color soaks up the UV rays, it makes me hot!
After hot, you get sweaty! Better colors for protecting me from the sun are lighter blues, pale pink, colors that reflect the light rays, not absorb them. So I would wear my sweatshirt to protect my arms from the sun in the cooler months. A tee shirt is also one to pay attention to color for.
To get protection from the sun you will need to wear your skin protection shirt. The same with your kids. They will need to have shirts that work to absorb or reflect heat as needed.