Skin Is Safe: What Kind Of Clothes Absorb Solar Radiation

Skin Is Safe: What Kind Of Clothes Absorb Solar Radiation
Skin Is Safe: What Kind Of Clothes Absorb Solar Radiation

Video: Skin Is Safe: What Kind Of Clothes Absorb Solar Radiation

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How does “sun protection” work?

The term "sunscreen" first appeared in 1996, when Australian companies, concerned with the continent's high incidence of skin cancer, began developing specialized clothing with an additional layer of UPF filters. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that it must protect against ultraviolet A and B rays (unlike conventional cosmetic sunscreens, which resist only UVB radiation), minimizing their negative effects on the skin. The UPF level of such garments usually ranges from 15 to 50 - often this is achieved by treating the fabric with a special chemical composition (for example, titanium dioxide) or a dye with an ultraviolet block, which helps to absorb or reflect solar radiation. In addition, there are various additives for washing - powders, gels,- which promise to turn any wardrobe item into sun-protection clothing by giving it an extra UPF level.

Who needs it?

By and large, everyone. Even if you are not prone to allergic reactions to the sun and are not planning a vacation near the equator, additional protection of your skin from harmful radiation will not hurt. But for most of us, ordinary clothes are enough, but specialized ones, with a UPF factor, are intended rather for people with increased skin sensitivity and for those who have to stay in extreme conditions for a long time under the scorching sun. In addition, many experts urge children to choose clothes with additional UPF protection - the reasons for this are obvious.

Photo: Jason Briscoe / Unsplash
Photo: Jason Briscoe / Unsplash

© Jason Briscoe / Unsplash

What, ordinary clothes will not work?

As already mentioned, most people really do not think about clothes with special UPF filters, limiting themselves to ordinary Sanskrins and basic principles like "cover your shoulders on the beach." For example, a typical cotton T-shirt has a UPF rating of 5-8 on average, which means it transmits about one-fifth of the UV rays. We repeat: if you do not have a critical need for serious measures, it is not necessary to update your wardrobe with things marked with a UPF block.

Any clothing serves as additional protection for us from solar radiation, so it's enough just to remember a few basic rules. So, the denser the fibers of the fabric, the higher the level of protection: for example, artificial lycra, polyester, nylon or acrylic cope with this task better than thin natural cotton or weightless linen, but they are less comfortable for hot weather. A simple test: the more the tissue is translucent, the weaker its UPF function. Therefore, if you are not ready to wear synthetics in the heat (although some of its modern representatives are quite suitable for such conditions), choose unbleached cotton and linen with the most dense arrangement of threads.

By the way, one more important point - when wet, almost all fabrics lose their UPF properties by an average of 50% (the exception is silk and viscose, here the situation is the opposite). The color of the thing also plays a role - clothes in dark shades absorb UV radiation more efficiently, the same applies to bright, saturated colors in comparison, for example, with pastel colors. And finally, the most obvious: the larger the area covered by the clothing, the higher the degree of protection, so a suit made of a tunic with long sleeves and loose-fitting trousers would be an ideal option for walking under the scorching sun. And a wide-brimmed hat, of course.

Where to buy "sun clothes"?

Today in the segment of clothing with UPF protection, you can find almost any wardrobe item, even beach bikinis (which, however, practically do not make sense). Thus, Uniqlo has a UV Cut line, which promises 90% UV protection. Colambia garments made from Omni-Shade fabric also block unsafe UV rays through tightly woven fabrics and special UV reflectors.

If you think UPF clothing is limited to purely athletic gear or a plain basic wardrobe, check out smaller brands like Parasol (founded by the former fashion director of Vogue magazine), Mott 50 or Cover. They all offer cool, modern clothing with UPF 50 protection. Cabana Life has great beach tunics and long sleeve tops to spend all day by the water without getting burned. Solumbra has some pretty good classic shirts in basic colors made from a special material with an SPF 100+. The Cool line from West 56 will appeal to those who love an unusual, slightly avant-garde cut - asymmetric hem and sleeves, original cutouts.>

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