How Does UPF Protective Clothing Work?

Discover how UPF clothing works and why it's so important to wear sun-protective clothing with a high UPF rating on the UV Skinz blog today.
Ultraviolet ray with the sun

If you're a water lover or a new mother, you've probably wondered how to best protect your skin as well as the skin of your loved ones at the beach or an outdoor event. Sunscreen is an option, but it can also wear off easily. Plus, it's not always easy to remember to reapply it. Enter UPF clothing, sun-protective clothing that protects you from the sun's harmful rays. 

If you're wondering how this type of clothing is different than regular clothing, continue reading to learn all about how it works. 

How UPF Clothing Offers Protection from the Sun

You might be wondering, can't the clothes you wear every day offer you protection from the sun? The answer to this is yes and also no. Your traditional clothes don't offer you enough UPF protection. They may provide a UPF protection level of 5, which is not enough to protect you from harmful UVA and UVB rays. For example, a cotton T-shirt has a UPF between 5 and 8. That's not even considered to be UV-protective clothing as it falls below a rating of 15. To be considered sun-protective clothing, an article of clothing must be given a rating of 15 to 50+.  

UPF clothing has a UPF level of 30 to 50+, with the best of the best landing at 50+, meaning that a UPF 50+ rating protects you from over 98 percent of the sun's UVA and UVB rays. 

How Does UPF Clothing Work?

Since most articles of clothing, including swimsuits, offer a UPF rating of 5, they're not great at protecting us from UV rays. This is mostly due to the fact that UV light can get into these fabrics. Since they're not tightly wound, they can't block the sun. 

UPF clothing has more of a weave density to the fabric as well as a thickness and weight. You want a tighter knit on your fabric to block out more sun. UPF clothing absorbs, reflects, or guards against UV rays instead of letting them penetrate your skin. 

Scientific Studies on Ultraviolet-Protection Clothing

According to the National Library of Medicine, a combination of photo protective clothing and sunscreen use over non-covered body areas is likely to be the optimal way for sun protection with minimal risk. With 86% of all melanoma cases stemming from UV rays, it's no wonder this organization considers UPF clothing to be one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from the sun.

Is UPF Clothing Better Than Sunscreen?

Let's face it, it's easier to put on a rash guard than reapply sunscreen three times while at the beach. But sunscreen also does play a role. We don't consider one better than the other. We think you can use these two together to help you stay protected from UV rays. 

If you can't comfortably cover yourself entirely with sun-protective clothing, put on broad-spectrum sunscreen over the areas you can't keep out of the sun.

The best thing you can do for your health is to purchase some UPF clothing and use sunscreen on exposed skin while out in the sun.

Where to Buy Sun Protective Clothing

Purchase sun-protective clothing for those summer days when the beach is calling your name. Your skin and health with thank you later. Be sure to purchase UPF clothing with a rating of 50+ for the best protection. You can shop our selection of men's, women's, and baby's sun-protective clothing in our online shop. 

Be sure to browse our sun accessories to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the sun's harmful rays.