Importance of Sun Protection
The sun puts out harmful ultraviolet radiation in the forms of UVA and UVB rays. Even on cloudy days, it's possible for the sun to do damage to your skin unless you take steps to protect yourself. In addition to applying sunscreen
whenever you are planning to spend time outside, you might also consider wearing UV protective clothing to shield your skin.
What Does UPF Mean?
Different types of fabrics will provide varying levels of protection from the sun's rays. For example, a thin, sheer shirt will be less effective at preventing sunburn than a dense black one. The UPF rating system establishes a standard so that you know how much protection a certain article of clothing will provide. If a garment has UPF 15-24, it is considered "good" and will filter out 93 to 95 percent of the sun's rays. UPF 25-39 is ranked "very good" and filters 96 to 97 percent of radiation, while UPF 40-50+ is "excellent" and filters more than 97 percent. The level of protection you need depends on how much time you plan to spend in the sun, location, time of day, time of year and other factors.
Types of UV Protective Clothing
Clothes specifically made for UV protection will typically have a high UPF rating and be made from thick fabrics with very little space between their fibers. Most of these garments provide extensive skin coverage in addition to being made from dense materials. Swimming shirts are very popular for the beach as they cover large areas of the body. UV protective hats also frequently have a high UPF rating to protect your head, in addition to large brims that can shield your face and neck.
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