ua en ru

How to choose sun-protective clothing that will reliably protect your skin in summer

How to choose sun-protective clothing that will reliably protect your skin in summer How to choose clothes that will reliably protect from the sun (photo: Freepik)

In summer, the skin requires special protection from the sun. Sunscreen doesn't necessarily have to be the sole means of skin protection. It's worth choosing quality sun-protective clothing that helps protect the skin and block harmful ultraviolet radiation, according to Real Simple.

Benefits of sun-protective clothing

Many brands offer sun protection clothing across their range, from swimsuits and hats to everyday wear.

Dermatologist Kim Nichols explains that clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection.

UV protective clothing provides better protection than any sunscreen.

If you're not a fan of reapplying sunscreen, clothing is your only choice. This is because the level of protection remains constant throughout the day, eliminating the need to reapply every two hours.

If you regularly apply sunscreen, it quickly runs out, whereas sun-protective clothing can last for years, depending on wear and tear.

What does UPF mean

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which is the level of protection provided by sun-protective clothing.

The UPF rating for clothing is measured on four different levels: UPF 15, UPF 30, UPF 50, and UPF 50+.

Clothing with UPF 15 blocks 93.3% of UV radiation, UPF 30 blocks 96.7%, and UPF 50 or higher blocks 98%.

Experts recommend choosing clothing with a UPF of at least 30 to ensure adequate protection from the sun.

If clothing is labeled with UPF, it means that the fabric has been tested in a laboratory to determine how effective it is as a protective layer.

How to choose sun-protective clothing

Sun-protective clothing is tested in laboratories to determine UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), with most countries using international ASTM criteria to assess the level of protection.

A dermatologist noted that synthetic materials provide better UV protection than natural ones. For instance, nylon or polyester typically offer sun protection, whereas natural fibers like cotton or linen often require chemical treatments to achieve effective sun protection.

Even clothing without UPF labeling can offer sun protection. For example, a pair of dark jeans can provide nearly full sun protection.

Thicker and darker fabrics offer better protection than thin, light ones. Bleached cotton offers little protection, whereas black velvet blocks more UV radiation.

How long sun protection lasts

The duration of sun protection depends on how it was applied to the fabric. For instance, if a chemical or dye was added to make the fabric sun-protective, it may gradually wash out over time, whereas tight weaving used for sun protection tends to last longer.

If clothing has a chemical treatment for sun protection, the label may indicate how long it will last. Typically, you can expect chemical treatments to endure through approximately 30 to 40 washes.

Earlier, we discussed why sunscreen is so expensive and what the difference is between cheap and high-quality SPF.