November 29, 2022

Sunscreen is one of the best ways to prevent sun damage, but it isn’t always enough, especially if you live in a sunny nation like Australia.

Recognizing how harmful the sun can be, an increasing number of Australian families are turning to sun protection apparel as a means of staying safe outside.

Various clothing items, such as a hat with a neck flap, are becoming standard for providing sun protection in Australia. No matter how much sunscreen you put on, avoiding direct sunlight is the best way to prevent sunburn.

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Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun has a detrimental effect on the skin, eyes, and immune system. Skin cancer may develop as a result of skin damage. Thus, considering an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating is helpful while selecting outdoor clothing.

What is UPF?

The UPF refers to the ultraviolet protection factor rating for sun protection. This rating is applied to both:

  • The garment’s design (percentage of the skin it covers)
  • The fabric (how much UV protection it provides)

Generally, sun-protection apparel gets tested and is labelled with a UPF rating. This indicates how much UVR (ultraviolet radiation) the garment will block. The current Australian Standard includes three key kinds of protection:

  • Minimum: 15 UPF rating
  • Good: 30 UPF rating
  • Excellent: 50 or 50+ UPF rating

Note: As a general rule, the tighter the weave of the fabric, the greater the protection.

How to Choose Sun Protection Clothing?

You may be unsure of a garment’s UPF rating. You can keep the below indicators in a note while choosing sun-protection clothes:

  • While cotton, rayon, and hemp all feel cool, they are not effective at filtering UV radiation. It’s better to go with polyester, nylon, wool, and silk that are tightly knit or reflect sunlight.
  • Darker shades are preferable. E.g., Black, navy, or any vivid colour. This tends to block off UV radiation better. The lighter colours may offer less protection from the sun.
  • Stretchy clothing gives less UV protection than loose-fitting clothing. Hence, it’s better to choose the former one.

However, UV protection apparel is manufactured from a UPF 100 fabric. It provides optimum sun protection and freedom of movement necessary for outdoor activities.

Benefits of Sun Protection Clothing

  • The best way to escape the sun’s direct rays is to avoid them entirely. Sun protection apparel helps shield your skin from UVA and UVB radiation. When worn in conjunction with sunscreen and a hat, it provides the best protection.
  • You need roughly a teaspoon of sunscreen for each of your body parts. Instead, it’s simple to shield yourself from the sun with sun protection apparel. You’ll never miss a spot uncovered.
  • Sun protection apparel provides continuous protection whether you’re kayaking, boogie surfing, or creating the world’s most giant sandcastle. It will not dissolve in your sweat and does not require reapplication like sunscreen.

Note: Broad-brimmed sun hats are the best consideration to protect yourself from UV rays.

Does Sun Protection Prevent Skin Cancer?

Excessive sun exposure may indeed cause skin cancers. Hence, it is recommended to wear high-UPF sun protection clothing. It acts as the best defence against skin ageing, skin cancer, and melanoma.

Though sunscreens are feasible for many, they are not as effective as UV protection clothing.

Note: A good quality sun­protection suit protects at least 98 per cent of UV rays.

Conclusion

Sun protection apparel protects the main organ, skin, which cannot be exchanged for another. It’s time to invest in clothing that provides sun protection in Australia.

Some UV rays will still enter no matter how much sunscreen you use. Even if you think you’re cov­er­ing up, your skin could be getting damaged. Therefore, you should always go for high-quality sun protection clothes.

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