It’s no surprise that pretty much everyone’s favorite part about summer is the sunshine. Think about it – all the classic summertime activities are better in the sun. Swimming, going for a bike ride, drinking beer. These things only get better when the rays are plentiful. But as with most things in life, too much sun can be detrimental to your skin. When you expose your skin to the sun, you are exposing yourself to ultraviolet radiation (UV), which is the driving agent of sunburn, skin aging, and skin cancer. While sunscreen is a great line of defense against the sun, it’s not the only option. Enter UPF clothing.
Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) clothing enhances your protection against UV rays. You can think of UPF as the equivalent of the SPF in the sunscreen you use. Factors such as garment construction, color, treatments, and fiber type all play into a specific piece of clothing’s UPF rating. Luckily for you, rather than inspecting a piece of clothing for these attributes, you can simply look at the tag on the piece of clothing to see if the style has a UPF rating. UPF ratings between 15-20 are good, 20-40 is very good, and 40+ is excellent. If possible, always opt for a higher UPF rating. Your skin will thank you later!
Everyone can benefit from UPF clothing. Even if you never get sunburnt, your skin will still be susceptible to UV rays when exposed to sunshine. Certain folks have more to gain from UPF clothing than others. If you have fair skin, UPF clothing can help shield you from powerful UV rays. Children are particularly vulnerable to UV rays because their skin is thinner, and more sensitive than adult skin. If possible, choose UPF styles for any children in your life. Additionally, people at high elevations are at a greater risk to the effects of UV rays. If you have any trips to the mountains planned this summer, make sure you have a few UPF pieces packed for your outing.
Taking care of your skin is no joke! Always liberally apply sunscreen before exposing yourself to UV rays, and wear clothing with an excellent UPF rating if possible. Now get out there and enjoy your summer!