Have you ever wondered if your clothing is protecting you from the sun? And if it is, just how much is it really protecting your skin from UV rays?
It’s possible for UV rays to pass through clothing and reach the skin. In fact, a regular white cotton t-shirt may only provide a UPF rating of 5 – that means roughly 20% of UV radiation passes through the fabric and penetrates your skin.
What does this mean?
Because the effects of sun exposure are cumulative over time, even small doses of intermittent sun exposure can add up and increase your chances of skin damage and skin cancer. This is where Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) clothing comes in.
The UPF rating of a piece of clothing measures how much of the sun’s broad spectrum ultraviolet radiation is blocked by a fabric before it can reach your skin. UPF50+ is the highest achievable rating on the UPF scale and means that at least 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays are not able to reach your skin. Without a UPF rating, it’s hard to say for certain just how much a piece of clothing is protecting your skin from the sun.
There are several factors that determine the level of sun protection that a piece of clothing offers. The type of fabric, weave density, thickness and weight, color stretch, moisture content and fabric condition all play a role in determining UPF rating.
For example, a denim jacket will likely have a high UPF rating and act as a reliable barrier between the sun and your skin, but because of its weight and fabric composition, it won’t be the most comfortable thing to wear on a hot, sunny day.
That’s why specialist UPF50+ sun protective clothing is a great way to keep your skin protected from the sun. It’s specifically designed to provide excellent protection against UV rays, while also being lightweight and durable, to keep you as comfortable as possible while enjoying the outdoors.
In Australia, the government tests and certifies sun protective fabrics, making Australian sun protective clothing an excellent option for reliable UPF clothing. Australia has a proven track record of pioneering superior sun protection driven by the prevalence of skin cancer diagnoses amongst Australians. At Solbari, our mission is to create a world without skin cancer by sharing Australian certified UPF50+ sun protection with the rest of the world.