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An Essential Guide to UPF 50 Sun Protection Clothing

An Essential Guide to UPF 50 Sun Protection Clothing

10th Aug 2020

Who says that functional clothes can't also look good?

When you're out for a long hike or a day at the beach it's important to protect your skin. But it doesn't have to come at the expense of fashion.

If you haven't heard of UPF 50 sun protection clothing, you are missing out! This sun protective clothing can prevent sunburn, signs of aging (like sunspots or wrinkles), and even reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Want to learn more? Keep reading for everything you need to know about UPF clothing.

What Is UPF?

UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor. UPF clothing provides your skin with broad-spectrum protection against two different types of rays coming from the sun. The first is long wave ultraviolet A rays (UVA) and the second is short wave ultraviolet B (UVB).

Typical sunscreen uses SPF (sun protection factor) as a way to measure how long the sunscreen will protect your skin from UVB rays. However, sunscreen will not protect you from the UVA rays.

This is why clothing uses UPF as a measurement instead. It will tell you how you are protected from UVA as well.

Sunscreen is still important, but if you want to be certain that you are protecting yourself from the harmful effects of the sun you should also consider sun-protective clothing.

What Is The UPF Rating System?

UPF ratings work similarly to SPF for sunscreen. For example, an item of clothing with a UPF rating of 25 will only allow 1/25th of UV radiation to pass through whereas an item with a higher rating will let even less UV radiation through.

UPF clothing is usually available in ratings from 15 to 50.

Why Should I Wear UPF 50 Sun Protection Clothing?

Wearing UPF clothing is more effective than sunscreen. UPF clothing protects your skin from sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer.

UPF clothing is ultimately a better investment than sunscreen because sunscreen has to be reapplied consistently to remain effective. It is more convenient for backpacking or hiking because you do not have to carry extra sunscreen with you.

Who Benefits the Most From UPF Clothing?

Everyone can benefit from UPF clothing, but there are a few populations that are especially vulnerable to the sun and therefore should use UPF clothing when possible.

Children and people with sensitive skin benefit considerably from UPF clothing. Children naturally have sensitive skin because it is thinner.Protecting children from the sun can reduce the risk of any long-term damage from the sun.

People with naturally fair or sensitive skin that struggle with getting sunburned easily also benefit from UPF clothing.

Your environment also may impact your vulnerability to the sun. If you are at a high elevation, at a location near the equator, or near a body of water, you may be at a higher risk of damage from the sun. Therefore, if you go to visit any of these places, be sure to pack your sun-protective clothing.

There are also medications that increase a person's risk of sun damage. Always check the labels on your medications or ask a medical professional about how the medication could affect your risk from sun exposure.

How Do I Pick the Right UPF Clothing?

Generally, the higher the UPF rating, the better. Look for clothing over 25 UPF with 50 or 50+ being the best option.

Sun protection clothing comes in many styles, but generally, the thicker, tighter fabrics are going to offer more protection than looser clothing.

Darker colored clothing also provides more protection because it absorbs more of the harmful rays.

UPF clothing comes in a few fabrics, but polyester is seen as superior to cotton, nylon, wool, or hemp fabrics. You should also consider that regardless of the fabric, the protection from UPF clothing diminishes over time.

How Do I Wash UPF Clothing?

Taking care of your UPF clothing can help it maintain effectiveness. UPF clothing can be washed with your other clothing using regular detergent. Sun protection clothing can be put in the dryer on low to medium heat.

If your UPF clothing shrinks as a result of washing or drying, that's okay! A tight fit actually increases the effectiveness of UPF clothing.

Some articles of UPF clothing will specify how many times you can wash it before it loses the UPF properties.

Where Can I Buy UPF Clothing?

If you are looking to buy sun protection women's clothing you can shop online or in stores that specialize in outdoor or athletic apparel. Women's UPF clothing features short and long sleeve shirts, hoodies, crop top shirts, and dresses.

Men's sun protection clothing includes short and long sleeve shirts as well as jackets, hoodies, and shorts. UPF clothing for kids includes tops in sizes from XS to XXL.

Always check the label to confirm the UPF rating.

Other Sun Protection Necessities

While UPF clothing is a great way to protect yourself from the sun, there are a few other important precautions.

First, limit the amount of time you are exposed to direct sunlight. If you have a chance to move into a shaded area, take a quick break from those powerful rays.

Wear sunglasses with UV-protection to keep your eyes safe, and apply sunscreen to all areas of the body that are not covered by UPF clothing.

Remember that you can still be exposed to harmful rays when it is cloudy. So even if the sun isn't shining brightly, you should still consider wearing your UPF clothing.

Soak Up the Sun, Safely

Remember that the harmful effect of the sun can be short and long term. The only way to avoid these risks is to take proper precautions including UPF clothing.

So the next time you are heading out for golf, tennis, or any other outdoor activity, don't forget to wear your UPF 50 sun protection clothing.

If you are interested in purchasing high-quality, comfortable UPF clothing, check out all of our awesome apparel and accessories for every activity.