Next-Level Sun Protection...Beyond Sunscreen!

sun safety upf clothing Jun 10, 2024

If you're someone who values your skin's health, but loves soaking up the sun's warmth, then UPF clothing might just be what you need! So, what’s UPF Clothing all about? Let’s break it down.

What is UPF?

UPF stands for ‘ultraviolet protective factor,’ and it’s a rating system designed for fabrics and clothing, much like SPF (sun protection factor) is for sunscreen. UPF measures how effectively a fabric blocks ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are responsible for sunburn, skin aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. A higher UPF rating indicates better protection against these harmful rays

As a dermatologist, I can't stress enough the importance of sun protection. Over the years, I've seen countless cases of skin damage that could have been prevented with proper UV protection. That's why I'm such a huge advocate for UPF clothing. It simplifies sun protection and makes it accessible for everyone. Plus, with so many stylish options available, you can look great and stay protected at the same time!

Now, let's talk about why UPF clothing has become so popular and why I love it so much:

1) Consistent Coverage: Ever had trouble applying sunscreen evenly? Maybe you’ve missed a spot or didn't apply enough. With UPF clothing, you don't have to worry about that. It gives you uniform coverage all over, so no more missed spots or patchy protection!

2) No Reapplication Required: Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours or after swimming and sweating. With UPF clothing, you get continuous protection all day long without any touch-ups. Perfect for those long beach days or outdoor adventures!

3) Broad Spectrum Protection: UPF clothing shields you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can cause premature aging and skin cancer, while UVB rays are the main culprit behind sunburns. Protecting against both is essential for keeping your skin healthy in the long run.

4) Stay Cooler: One of the coolest benefits of UPF clothing (pun intended!) is that it actually helps keep you cooler. These garments act like a portable shade, reflecting the sun’s rays and reducing your skin temperature. This is super helpful during hot summer days when the sun is at its strongest!

5) Comfortable and Durable: Today’s UPF clothing is designed to be both comfortable and stylish. Many pieces wick away sweat and water, just like modern activewear, so they’re not hot or stuffy. Plus, they look great! The protection doesn’t wash out or fade over time, and many brands even offer guarantees on their products’ longevity. This means your investment will keep you protected for a long time.

6) Kid-Friendly Options: Getting kids to wear sunscreen can be a real struggle. UPF clothing is a fantastic alternative, offering reliable protection without the hassle of reapplying lotion. This makes it easier for busy parents to keep their little ones safe from the sun!

How to Choose the Right UPF Clothing?

If you’re new to UPF clothing, start with a hat with a wide brim (ideally 3 inches) and a rash guard for beach or pool outings. These items provide essential coverage and are easy to incorporate into your routine. People who work outdoors or exercise outdoors can also benefit by wearing long sleeves, especially with a thumb hole as this will also protect the tops of your hands!

Just remember, not all clothing is adequately 'sun protective', though. A quick and easy trick is to hold the garment up to the light. If a lot of light shines through, it's not blocking out the sun’s rays well. For example, a simple white t-shirt only has an equivalent SPF of 7, so it's not good enough for sun protection. Clothing with a UPF 50 or higher rating is the most effective for sun protection and means that it blocks out 98% of the sun's harmful rays!

By choosing UPF clothing, you’re not just making a smart choice for convenience and comfort—you’re making a proactive decision for long-term skin health. So, next time you’re gearing up for a day outdoors, reach for your UPF clothing and enjoy the sun safely!

Tune in to this week's podcast episode with Dr. Virginia Reeder, where we discuss why sun protection matters, whether sunscreen alone is sufficient, and how to determine if your clothing offers adequate sun protection!

Find Dr. Reeder here:

A new podcast episode drops every Monday!

For more great skin care tips, subscribe to The Skin Real Podcast.


Let's talk skin together!

Unraveling the potential of radiant skin through a fusion of expertise, innovation, and genuine care.

Your privacy matters; we promise no spamming.