While daily use of sunscreen is important, The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends clothing as first line of defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Different items of clothing can affect how well you are protected. According to Ali Venosa here are 5 criteria to consider when choosing clothing to protect against UV rays.
- Color: The color of your clothing can affect how well it protects you from UV rays. Dark or bright colors, including red, black and navy blue, absorb more UV rays than lighter colors like whites and pastels.
- Construction: Synthetic and semisynthetic fibers like polyester or rayon are the best choices for sun protection, as are dense, heavy, tightly woven fabrics like wool, denim or corduroy.
- UPF: Some clothing is specially made to provide sun protection and comes with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating.
- Size: It’s pretty obvious that the more skin you cover, the better protected you are. It can be easy to forget that the same thing applies to hats! They’re a great way, along with UV-filtering sunglasses, to supplement daily sunscreen use in keeping your face safe from UV rays.
- Fit: It may seem counterintuitive, but looser threads offer better protection than super-tight clothing! If a piece is too tight, that straining can cause fabric fibers to stretch or tear, allowing more UV to pass through the material.
Remember, no single type of sun protection is complete in and of itself; The Skin Cancer Foundation advises you to use clothing, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and shade together for all-around sun safety.
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