Can Your Clothes Protect Your Skin From the Sun?

Can Your Clothes Protect Your Skin From the Sun? | The American Outdoorsman

You’ve probably seen skin-protecting clothing before, such as summer tees and shorts that feature SPF and moisture-wicking material. Many think that the only tool to protect your skin from the sun is sunblock, but this clothing type offers an additional layer of security. It’s also an excellent safety net for when you forget to pack your sunscreen!

How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun

Again, many rely solely on sunblock for skin protection. Although this is absolutely the most important and useful step, other techniques also defend against harmful UBA and UVB rays. The secret is using them in addition to sunscreen to guarantee that your skin stays protected and fresh. 

Clothing with SPF

When you’ve finished slathering on your sunblock, your next defense should be your clothing. Unfortunately, not all fabric will do the trick. Sun-protecting clothing includes a rating on a scale called UBF, which stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. The sun’s rays are clever and can penetrate certain materials and reach your skin, even if you’re wearing long sleeves. That’s why some companies produce clothing with sun protection (UBF rating).

Wearing sun-protecting clothing is especially important in the summer months when it’s hot. When we’re out hiking, biking, or fishing when the weather is warm, we tend to wear breathable, lightweight fabrics that are more vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Maybe we won’t get a visible sunburn, but the UVA and UVB rays can still damage our skin. Summer tees with moisture-wicking material and UBF offer an additional layer of defense to more fully protect your skin from the sun.

Long Layers

When it’s hot, the last thing you want to think about is putting on that long layer. Summer tees are far better when it comes to relieving you from sweat and heat during more vigorous outdoor activities. But because of sun protection, it’s essential to pack those long layers. Both tops and bottoms come with UBF ratings, but as long as you use sunblock, a regular long-sleeved shirt or pair of pants will do. 

Hats and Sunglasses

Even with sunblock and sun-protecting clothing, there could still be exposed areas of your skin that you want to protect. It’s always a good idea to pack a hat when you plan to enjoy the outdoors on a sunny day. Caps and hats will protect your scalp and offer additional protection to areas that we often forget, like parts of your face, neck, and chest. Sunglasses with proper protection are another essential must. Your eyes are particularly sensitive to the sun and its rays, so be sure to remember your sunnies!

High-Risk Activities

Remember that there are specific times of the day and environmental elements that are riskier. A day at the beach during high-noon will require more effort to protect your skin from the sun adequately. With the sun’s rays intensified by water, it’s imperative to use sunblock and layers or sun-protecting clothing. This same goes for high-altitude activities. The higher in elevation you are, the stronger the sun — and the more painful and damaging the sunburn!