Summer comes with a tone of excitement and lots of trips to the beach. While the sun brings happiness, being under it for too long increases your exposure to harmful Ultra Violet rays.
That, therefore, begs the question, “Exactly how summer-ready are you?” Sure, you have all your sunscreens set. But is that enough? You may have the protective products, but your clothes need to be suitable for the sun too.
That is why there are shirts with UV protection. You can start with checking out Fathom performance fishing shirt, if you are looking to get one.
What they are
Shirts with UV protection are a type of sun-protective clothing. These clothing types comprise a material that protects against ultraviolet rays. The material fabric is rated for just how much protection it can offer.
You can tell how much protection a piece of fabric offers by checking its Ultra Protection Factor- commonly called the UPF.
Generally, the higher the UPF, the higher the blockage, and in essence, the better the protection it offers.
For a fabric to qualify as protective, it must have a UPF of 30 or higher. Here are some numbers from the skin cancer foundation to help you:
- Up to 30-Standard protection.
- Between 30 and 49- Very good sun protection.
- 50 and above- excellent sun protection.
Why they are important
You may be thinking, but why protective clothing? Why not just good old sunscreen? Well, here are some of the benefits having a protective shirt accords you;
1. It protects your skin against sun damage
Staying under the sun for too long causes it damages. The damage usually occurs in the form of sunburns on the skin surface. However, some rays travel deep into the skin, causing death or damage to skin cells.
The overall effect of this is premature aging (age spots) and wrinkling. Other symptoms of sun damage to the skin include reduced elasticity and dulling. Overexposure also causes an increase in the melanin content of the skin, causing temporary darkening.
Wearing a protective shirt reduces the area of skin in contact with the sun, thus significantly lowering the probability and extent of the damage. See this link to find out a few benefits of wearing the shirts https://stthomassource.com/content/2019/01/19/benefits-of-sun-protective-clothing/
2. It reduces the likelihood of developing skin cancer
Apart from causing aging and damage to the skin, ultraviolet radiation from the sun may also lead to skin cancer. The disease occurs when there is an abnormal growth of skin cells.
There are 3 types of cancer that affect the skin; squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and basal cell carcinoma, of the three, melanoma are the most serious and accounts for over 75% of deaths caused by skin cancer.
UV protective shirts block or absorb the rays, thus significantly lowering the exposure and probability of developing the ailment.
3. It provides affordable protection
The shirts either block or absorb UV light, thus offering protection. Usually, most people prefer to use sun-blocking screens to serve the purpose.
However, with sunscreen, you would need to reapply to get protection constantly.
Now think of it this way, the cost of buying a shirt may be higher than that of a tube of sunscreen. However, the cost of sunscreen being repetitive makes it more expensive in the long run.
4. It is a convenient way to protect your skin
Using a shirt for sun protection offers you convenient protection. The convenience stems from the fact that you only need to wear it, and you’re good to go. This is unlike sunscreen, which you may need to apply every time you go out to the sun. Sometimes you may even need to reapply it several times a day.
How to choose UV protective shirts
Shirts with protection against ultraviolet radiation are very beneficial to your skin and health in general. As such, it would help if you ensured you make the right the right purchase when it comes to it. Here’s what to do while buying:
- Go for longer sleeves. The amount of coverage you have primarily determines how much protection your skin gets. Therefore, if possible, choose those with long sleeves over the short-sleeved ones. However, think of what activities you will be engaging in as may require you to have short sleeves.
- Understand UPF. A fabric’s ultra-protection factor determines how much protection it can offer. Therefore, you must understand these numbers and make them work to your advantage. Generally, the higher the UPF of a material, the stronger the protection it can offer. You should generally consider fabrics with numbers ranging from 30 or higher.
- The darker, the better. Generally, dull colors offer more protection than their lighter counterparts. Therefore, unless unavoidable, wear darker color shades on sunny days.
- Keep them dry. A shirt will offer you more UV blockage when dry than when wet. Therefore, unless you’re at the beach or engaging in water sports, ensure your clothes are as dry as possible. Click here to read more.
Wearing shirts with UV protection is one of the ways of maintaining vibrant, youthful skin while keeping skin cancer at bay. However, it is essential to note that the shirt will only offer coverage on the back, chest, and parts of the arms. Therefore, you will need to complement it with clothes such as wide hats, UV sunglasses, and closed shoes to get complete protection. It is also important to use waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to any uncovered body areas. Other steps you could take include reducing your exposure time by staying under a shade whenever possible.