The image above is just one range of clothing, which we are not recommending against others but this does show that such items can be fashionable. We are in a time where sun protective clothing has moved on.
Sales of this type of clothing have increased in recent years. Online shopping has helped, so has the increased choice and recognition of the protection offered, against all types of skin cancer and signs of premature ageing.
There are two types of sun protective fabric, a standard material coated to offer protection, or fabrics where the weave technology provides a barrier.
Both are a shrewd move, with the first quite effective and in general, a little cheaper but wear and washing reduce protection. They should still be okay for 20 to 30 washes, although the special weave garments would give a longer life.
Clothing can be scientifically measured to gauge the level of benefit in the same way we do for sunscreen (e.g. SPF 30). This is normally given as a numerical Ultraviolet Protection Factor, such as UPF 50.
That rating is not untypical of decent quality protective clothing, with UPF 50 meaning that only one fiftieth (2%) of the sun’s rays get through. The material is also equally effective against UVA or UVB rays.
Compared to a standard cotton t-shirt, which would let 20% to 30% of the sun’s rays through, or more when wet, the advantage is clear.
To achieve the equivalent of high UPF clothing with normal garments, you would need to wear items which were unsuitable for hot weather, or more than one layer. High UPF clothing is the best choice to protect your skin comfortably.
A Range Of Options
As with any item of clothing, costs vary widely. There are fashion houses which produce the odd high UPF garment, or specialist providers, where the output may be a touch smarter and last longer.
A search on “UPF clothing” will give you plenty of choice and at the other end of the market, try a search for “rash vests”.
Not the most inviting term but just a name for a garment made to protect from the sun and abrasion. They normally offer a UPF 50 rating and are available from high street names, with children’s t-shirts starting at around £10.
With sun damage cumulative over a lifetime and the outcome now well understood, these garments are a great investment at any age. We are always there to provide skin cancer treatment but far happier when we don’t need to.