How to Choose Sun Protection Clothing

Sunlight includes rays of ultraviolet radiation, and exposure to those rays can lead to sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. Choosing clothing that is designed for sun protection and tested to confirm its Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) will give you greater control over your overall level of UV exposure.

Always look for a garment’s lab-tested UPF rating to evaluate its true UV protection level. If an item doesn’t have a UPF rating, there are a few things to look for when considering your options for sun protection:

· Darker fabrics will usually perform better than light ones
· Denser weaves are better than loose weaves
· Polyester and nylon do better at sun protection than natural fibers

And there are some factors that will reduce UPF ratings:

· Fabric wetness: For many types of materials, wetness can cause a significant reduction in a fabric’s UPF rating. Some studies, though, suggest that polyester may actually protect sightly better when wet.

· Fabric wears: As a fabric becomes worn or faded, it also becomes less effective at blocking UV light.

· Fabric stretch: Stretched fabric can lose a significant amount of its UPF, so considering replacing any item that simply fits too tightly now.

UPF-rating clothing alone will not provide enough coverage. Total UV protection requires a multifaceted approach such as applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and seeking shade whenever possible.

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