How to Choose Sun-Protective Clothing

Jun 11, 2010
Many of us know that it is essential to use sunscreen when you go out, especially during summer days. While most people try to use sunscreen when they are sunbathing, it is usually not enough to protect skin from sunburn or other health hazards. Specialists recommend covering your body with clothing to reduce UV exposure. What clothes are the best to protect you from UV light?
  1. Choose clothing made of tight-woven fabrics for the best protection from UV rays. To check if the fabric of the clothing is protective enough, you have to hold it up to the light and if you can hardly see through the fabric, the garment is quite effective. Opt for long pants, long-sleeved shirt that cover most of your body.

  2. Choose dark or bright-colored instead of light-colored garments. Light-colored clothes, such as white T-shirt offer moderate sun protection, while long sleeved dark shirt will otherwise absorb most of the UV rays.

  3. Wear wide-brimmed hats to protect your face, eyes, ears and neck from harmful UV rays. Do not forget to put on a hat on yourself as well as your child.

  4. Best fabrics with sun protecting properties are unbleached cotton, high-luster polyester, and silk. They have high absorbing and reflecting properties.

  5. Make sure change the clothes when needed, because stretched and wet garments lose some of their sun protective properties.

Sun-protective clothing

Nowadays there are also many clothing items made of materials that offer high protection from UV rays. Usually, the sun-protective clothing has been treated with chemical dyes that absorb UV light. Their design of the clothes also allows covering most of the body parts for better protection.

If you want to find out what kind of sun protection does the clothing provide, you need to look at the labels that say about ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). UPF specifies the amount of the UV radiation absorbed by the fabric. For example, you can meet clothing with UPF 50, which means that the clothing allows 1/50th of the sun's UV rays to reach your skin. The UPF usually ranges from 15 to 50+ and it is recommended to use clothing with UPF 30 or 40 and higher for better sun protection.

You can also add UPF to your clothing, using specially made laundry detergent Sun Guard that contains Tinosorb(R)FD, chemical that absorbs UV rays and  increases the sun protection of your clothes.