Summer. The weather gets warmer, drinks get colder, hair gets lighter and the skin gets darker. The summer sun makes everything better, but also comes with a dose of danger. Being exposed to sun rays for a while is beneficial but only if you are well protected. Sunscreens are certainly the number one products we all use but with all those advances in technology, UV clothing becomes as good as sunscreen or even better. Today, UV protective clothing became one of the finest ways to protect yourself from the UV rays anytime you need to travel, play or work outside. There are easily available, but not all sun protection clothes are same so you may find overwhelmed once you decide yo buy a piece or two for yourself. Here is what to keep in mind when choosing UV clothing.
Sun safe clothing can be made of different materials. So when shopping. make sure you buy a pice with high UPF. Ultraviolet protection factor rating provides information on how much UV rays can pass through the fabric. For example, a piece of clothing with UPF15 will offer your skin good protection but a 50 UV clothing will provide you with the highest level of protection as it blocks more than 97% of the sun UVB and UVA radiation. These clothes are absorbing and reflecting the UV radiation so it does not come to your skin. However, it is always a good idea to check some other factors such as the colour, fabric texture, moisture content.
Yes, most dyes absorb UV rays but the thing is, some of them absorb more than others. For example, darker colours like navy, dark red and black will absorb more radiation than other, lighter colours. It is a technique that is proven many times using many different sun protection clothing materials. So when choosing UV clothing, keep in mind: darker colours offer less UPF protection factor.
The structure of the fabric is another important element that plays an important role in the whole process of protection. Knitted or woven, the tighter the fabric the better protection. For example, microfiber fabrics offer more protection than regular fibre fabrics. This is because UV rays find it difficult to pass through fibres that tightly close together.
Once the clothing becomes wet it provides less protection. The level of protection depends on the type of the fabric and amount of moisture it absorbs. To reduce this you can take extra clothing with you to change into or you can look for fabric that is moisture absorbent like bamboo. Bamboo 50 UV clothing is four times more absorbent than cotton which means you will stay dry and sun safe.
Once you buy sun protective clothing make sure you are taking good care for your fabric. Washing your new clothing regularly will certainly increase the sun protection level, especially if the piece is made of natural fibres like bamboo. Washing tightens the fibres allowing less sunlight to pass through thus increasing the sun protection factor.