We all know we should slip on clothing when in the sun as part of the SunSmart slip, slop, slap, seek and slide message, but what exactly does sun protective clothing involve – and how do we find the best choices? Let’s find out.
Firstly, what is sun safe clothing and how does it work?
Sun safe clothing is that which blocks the sun’s harmful UV radiation from reaching our skin and causing DNA damage that can lead to skin cancers. Technically most clothing will provide some protection for our skin, however some are definitely better than others at blocking UVA and UVB wavelengths. The tighter the weave or knit of the fabric, the better that protection is likely to be. For example, denim or heavy cotton will provide much better sun protection clothing for your arms and legs than knits or sheer cotton will. Certain fabrics are also developed specifically to provide sun protection, through the use of certain fabric weaves, chemical treatments and denier (that is, thread count per inch).
Sun safe clothing from Solbari
What is the best colour to wear in the sun?
Many fabric dyes will absorb UV rays – and the more your clothing absorbs, the less your skin will! If you have a choice of lighter or darker colours it’s actually a better choice to select darker colours such as black, grey or red, as these are generally better at protecting your skin[i].
What is the best fabric for sun protection?
When looking for the best sun protection clothing, look for tightly woven fabrics. Thick cotton and linen are great options for keeping you cool while providing high protective qualities. If you’re searching for the very best protection, look out for a UPF rating. This stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates the effectiveness of that fabric in blocking UV radiation from your skin. The higher the rating, the greater the protection will be. There are so many ideal options for lightweight sun protective clothing out there now. Many surf brands, workwear brands and fashion brands provide high-UPF options that look great too.
Finally, look for good skin coverage. That means collared shirts, long sleeves and any design that covers up your skin while you’re outside, whether that’s for work or play.
Sun safe clothing from Solbari
When should I use sun protective clothing?
UV radiation from the sun can reach and damage skin cells no matter the season, yet it’s all too common to forget about our sun safety during the cooler months. High UPF-rated clothing can and should ideally be worn all year round together with sunscreen while you’re outside in the sun: whether that’s gardening, at work or kicking the ball around at the park. It’s important to protect yourself, even in winter.
Where can I find sun protective clothing?
Solbari make the highest rated sun protective clothing available in a wide range of modern styles. To receive 10% off your purchase plus free shipping for your order, simply enter the code SUNDOCTORS on the Solbari checkout page.
Wearing sun protective clothing is just one part of a good sun safety routine, along with applying quality sunscreen, protecting your eyes with well-rated sunglasses and getting regular skin checks. If you’ve noticed recent changes in your skin, it’s time for your next appointment or you simply have questions, free call SunDoctors Skin Cancer Clinics on 13SKIN (13 75 46).