Understanding UPF

sun-burn-aarontaitBeing outdoors means that you’re exposed more to skin cancer risks and sun burns. We know you probably know a lot about sun protection in terms of sun screen but clothing can do a far better job at protecting you than lotions that rub or sweat off and need to be reapplied often. Scientists and health care professional encourage outdoor enthusiasts to load up on clothing rated for sun protection to prevent skin cancer.

UPF is the rating system in place and is a self-administered testing done by clothing and outdoor gear manufacturers. The Federal Trade Commission keeps an eye on claims since they’re part of advertising. However, the rating system is founded in science, just like the SPF rating system, so as long as testing is done accurately, you can rest assured products will perform at their rated levels.

The rating system for UPF is different from SPF because it measures resistance to UVB and UVA , unlike SPF that’s just for UVB (which is why you need a broad spectrum sunscreen). UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and the higher the number, the more protected you will be. For instance a rating of 50+ on items like Tilley Hats mean that less than 2% of 1/50th of UV light is allowed to pass through. A rating of 25 means 4% or 1/25th is allowed to pass through. While you might think that clothing of any kind prevents UV rays from passing through, a simple white cotton t-shirt has a UPF rating of 4.94, according to the National Institutes of Health. That means you’re letting through a little more than 1/5th of all the UV light, essentially meaning you’re letting 20% of all UV light your exposed to harm your skin. While it might prevent you from getting burnt, it won’t prevent UV exposure that leads to skin cancer.

If you want to reduce your UV exposure and skin cancer risk, your options are wearing UPF rated clothing or applying sunscreen to all your body, including parts covered by non-UPF clothing. We’re not sure about you but exposing our bodies unnecessarily to chemicals in sunscreen isn’t what we’d like to do nor mess with the trouble of applying sunscreen all over every two hours. Instead, we’re opting for UPF rated clothing with at least a 30+ rating. Anything below a 30 isn’t really effective at reducing your skin cancer risk significantly.

We have a lot of UPF-rated clothing in stock, as well as other items and accessories that are UPF-rated. Preventing a major illness is as simple as buying and wearing UPF-rated clothing and there’s no reason not to take care of your health.

One Comment

  1. […] everything, from a snack to a rock collection, and keep your child protected from UV rays with a UPF rating of 30. These convertible youth pants are also made of nylon so they pack well, dry quick, and are […]

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