October 1, 2022

Clothing and hats are some of the most influential and simplest ways to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. They are highly effective at working as the physical block between the UV rays and your skin. Unlike sunscreen, you don’t need to worry about reapplying for them every time. 

For the past couple of years, various clothing and hat manufacturers have started including additives and chemicals to boost sun protection. This is why modern hats and outfits are highly effective at protecting the skin from UVA and UVB rays. 

The Risks of UV Radiation

UV rays are one type of invisible radiation present within the sunlight. There are three types of UV rays: UVA rays, UVB rays, and UVC rays. Even though UVA rays and UVB rays are dangerous, UVB rays cause severe damage. As per various reports, UVB rays cause most problems to people with lupus. UV radiation can also trigger the symptoms. 

If you duffer from lupus, excessive exposure to the UV rays can trigger different symptoms, including:

  • Joint pain
  • Lesions or lupus rash
  • Internal organ swelling 
  • Weakness or fatigue

The Ultraviolent Protection Factor 

Nowadays, more clothing and hats are coming with the ultraviolet protection factor of UPF. These hats and clothes are treated with chemical UV absorbers and colorless dyes that effectively block both the UVA and UVB rays. The ultraviolet protection factor is similar to the sun protection factor used on sunscreens and cosmetics. SPF measures the number of blocked UVB rays, not the UVA rays. High-quality sunscreens can protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. 

UPF Ratings 

The American Society for Testing and Materials created special standards for labeling clothes and hats as sun protective. A UPF factor of 30 or higher is imperative for the product to achieve a seal of recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation. Here are the UPF ratings you need to know:

  • Good: This means clothes with a UPF rating of 15 to 24. 
  • Very good: This means clothes with a UPF rating of 25 to 39. 
  • Excellent: This means clothes with a UPF rating of 40 to 50. 

When a cloth or hat is labeled as UPF 50 or higher, it will indicate that the garment only allows less than 2% of UV rays to pass through. The higher the UPF rating, the higher the protection from the UV rays. 

High UPF Clothing 

Due to the massive requirement of sun-protective clothing, manufacturers produce clothing with more excellent UPF ratings. As per Skin cancer, UPF 50+ provides superior protection from the sun. 

Some companies are also using a trademarked name to promote their sun-protective clothing. Here is some high UPF clothing you need to know:

Shirts

If you choose a regular white t-shirt during the summer days, you won’t be able to safeguard your skin from the UV rays as these clothes come with 8-10 UPF ratings. It will allow almost all of the UV radiation to pass through, making your skin vulnerable to various diseases, including skin cancer. 

If you’re searching for better t-shirts, you should long sleeve dresses with higher UPF ratings. Even if you’re choosing short sleeve shirts, make sure you protect the skin of your hand. 

To enhance air circulation and help you stay comfortable and cool, some tightly constructed UPF clothing use holes and vents. Some garments are also made of moisture-soaking fabric that will soak sweat from your body. 

Hats

This is one of the best options you should consider if you’re searching for high UPF clothing. The hats are not only effective at increasing your fashion statement, but they can also protect your head and neck from UV rays. The UPF protective rating of the hats will determine their effectiveness at protecting yourself from the UV rays. 

Make sure you choose hats that feature at least 3 inches of the brim. Additionally, make sure the hat can reduce UV radiation to your face and neck. Wearing a wide-brimmed fedora hat from the American hat company can safeguard you from UV radiation. 

Keep in mind that some hats are not suitable for the summer months. For instance, cotton hats are perfect for winter. Hence, pay close attention while purchasing the relevant one. 

Pants or Shorts

Pants that come with a higher UPF rating are extremely effective at protecting the skin of your leg while you play or work. If you wear these shorts, you can also apply sunscreen easily. However, make sure you don’t choose irrelevant shorts. They won’t be able to block the UV rays. 

Factors That Determine Sun Protection

All clothes block UV radiation, even if the amount is small. While determining the UPF of clothing, you need to consider multiple factors. You can also consider the same elements to determine if an ordinary outfit can block the UV rays. 

Dyes 

If you’re planning to go out in the sun, you need to choose outfits of dark color. The dark-colored outfits are more effective than the lighter shades. However, the UV blocking power of dark-colored clothing is dependent on the type of dye used to color the fabric. The higher concentration you choose for certain UV-blocking dyes, the more UV rays they will disrupt. 

Fabric

The fabric will also determine the UPF ratings. Materials cannot block the UV rays effectively if manufacturers don’t treat them with additional chemicals, including cotton, flax, rayon, and hemp. 

Fabrics that are extremely effective at blocking the sun’s UV rays include nylon, polyester, silk, and wool. 

Treatments

Clothing and hat manufacturers might add certain chemicals to enhance the UV blocking feature of the clothing during the manufacturing process. Laundry additives such as UV disrupting compounds and optical brightening agents can improve the UPF rating of the garment. These UV blocking dyes are undoubtedly extremely effective. 

Weave

Remember that fabrics that are loosely woven provide less protection from harmful UV rays than tightly woven fabrics. To determine the tightness of the fabric, hold the clothing to the light. If you see the light through it, the weave is too loose, and the material cannot protect you from the UV rays. 

Conclusion

This is everything you need to know about sun-protective clothing. Remember that sun-protecting clothing becomes imperative during the hot summer months. Hence, make sure you choose clothing or hats as per their UPF rating so that they can offer superior protection from the UV rays of the sun. 

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