While a Summer tan is nice, a sunburn? Not so much. Enter sun-protective UPF clothing. While you may have heard of it, most of us probably don't consider it a wardrobe staple. However, because not all clothing protects equally, UPF gear can make a huge difference, especially for people with sensitive skin. Before you bust out that bikini, let us explain the benefits behind sun-protective clothing; it could be the best addition to your Summer adventures!
- What's the difference between SPF and UPF? Found in sunscreen, SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and takes into consideration the time it takes for your skin to redden in the sun. UPF is short for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and measures the amount of UV radiation that goes through a fabric to reach the skin.
- What makes UPF clothing different? While all clothing impacts the transmission of UV rays, some do a better job than others. Most fabrics will protect your skin at the same level as an SPF 30 sunscreen, but those looking for more of a barrier should consider UPF clothing. Compared to standard fabrics, UPF fabric is very dense with a tight weave, minimizing the amount of sun that can pass through. UPF clothing is also made with specific treatments, fibers, and dyes that boost the UPF rating. Lastly, these fabrics aren't prone to stretching, and you probably won't find them available in white; the darker the fabric, the better.
- What's all the talk about this rating system? Just like SPF, there is a UPF fabric, meaning some fabrics protect more than others. Similar to sunscreen, the higher the number, the better. For example, clothing with a UPF range of 15-24 is good, while clothing with a rating of 50+ is excellent!
- Is UPF clothing for me? Wearing UPF clothing won't hurt you; it will only protect you. If you spend loads on time outdoors, then maybe a few UPF tees are right for you. If you have sensitive skin or are severely prone to sunburns, then UPF clothing is a smart choice. UV-protective clothing is great for children, too, especially for beach babes or those who don't like sunscreen. Remember, regularly applying sunscreen, wearing hats, and keeping track of your time in the sun will prevent painful sunburns, sun damage, and maybe even skin cancer, so don't substitute UPF for these important routines.