Sun Protective Clothing

Does Sun Protective Clothing Actually Work?

It's recommended that sunscreen be reapplied every two hours, especially if you are frequently swimming, toweling, or sweating. Although this will not solve all your problems, as it is recommended to be used in conjunction with sunscreen, may we suggest sun protective clothing for you?

Huh? You might be asking, "How are womens boating clothing with UPF different from regular clothes?"

Alok Vij, MD Dermatologist, explains the workings of UPF clothing and other factors that should be considered when dressing for maximum protection.

What is UPF clothing?

Dr. Vij suggests that you use the term "UPF" when discussing fabrics. This stands for ultraviolet protection factor. For sunscreen use the term "SPF", which is the more common sun protection factor.

Dr. Vij says that most cotton shirts have a UPF of 5. Most fabrics we wear have a loose weave, which allows visible light to penetrate and reach our skin. UPF clothing has a different weave. It is often made of a special fabric that acts as a barrier to the sun's rays.

The micro holes in regular clothing weaves allow UV light to penetrate. It can also travel through light-colored clothes. UPF clothing offers greater protection against the sun.

Sun protective clothing can look and feel like activewear. It comes in many styles, including leggings, shirts and hats. It often feels more luxurious than a standard t-shirt because it has a higher thread count.Sun Protective Clothing

What UPF rating should you be looking for in sun protective clothing

When shopping for UPF clothing, look out for clothing with a higher UPF rating. A 30 UPF item means that it will allow 1/30th, or 3.33%, of UV rays through.

Any garment that emits less than 2% UV radiation will be given the highest rating, UPF 50+. The lowest rating is 15 UPF.

To be recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, an item must have a minimum of 30 UPF in clothing.

What is the life expectancy of UV protective clothing?

What about the useful lifespan of sun protective clothing for woman

Dr. Vij said that the apparel will eventually wear out, just like any other fabric. However, it is reasonable to expect it to last for two to three years.

Make sure to check the label if an item has a finish that gives it its UPF rating. It is possible for the finish to start to fade after every wash. Typically, the label will indicate how many washes it is good for.

What else should you consider besides UPF?

Here are some other things to keep in mind.

Wear dark colors

Dark-colored clothing is a good choice for outdoor activities. Dark colors such as black, brown and navy will protect your skin from the harmful UV rays.

Look out for fabrics that are tightly woven

Items with tightly woven fabric permit less ultraviolet light to pass through them. Items made from wool, canvas and denim can provide protection from the sun.

Consider thicker fabrics over thinner ones. The best rule of thumb is: It's unlikely that the fabric will offer UV protection if you can see through it.

Choose synthetic fibers

You shouldn't reach out for the cotton T-shirt. Protecting yourself from the sun's UV rays is not possible with natural fabrics such as hemp and cotton.

Are you still required to use sunscreen and sun protective clothing?

Most people find it easier to put on clothes than to apply sunscreen every few hours.

While a shirt, pants, and that provide great sun protection, there are still areas that are exposed to UV rays such as your hands, neck, and face.

Here sunscreen can still be of help and prevent sunburn as well as skin cancer.

Dr. Vij says that most sun-protected fabrics have UPF 50 or more -- which is better than your standard SPF sunscreen. To get the best protection, it is recommended that people use a combination of sunscreen and clothing. So check out Boat Bitch Apparel for extra protection against the sun with built in UPF. Comfortable, sleek and affordable, Boat Bitch Apparel is the ultimate boat wear for women. Many different designs that keep you fashionable, cool and protected when on water. 

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