Protecting your skin doesn’t stop at applying sunscreen. Proper sun protection clothing is as equally important. So make sure you’re wearing the appropriate clothing whenever exposed to the elements. Staying properly clothed outdoors will protect you from deadly UV rays that lead to skin cancer. However, not all clothes are made the same. Certain colors, materials, and weights of clothing provide different levels of protection, so it is imperative that you know how well your clothes are protecting your skin.
As you’re reading this, you’re probably mentally sifting through your closet thinking about how protective your clothing really is. With this in mind, consider these five things that affect how well your clothing protects your skin.
The construction and material of your clothing make a huge difference when it comes to sun protection. Synthetic and semisynthetic fiber materials such as polyester or rayon are proven to provide the best protection against harmful UV rays. These are ideal during the warmer months as they provide the best breathability for outdoor activity. However, you’re still at risk during the fall and winter season. Dense, tightly woven materials such as wool, denim, canvas or corduroy will provide excellent sun protection while keeping you nice and warm.
This is especially important for those who want the utmost protection from the sun. There are clothes out there that are specifically crafted to provide skin protection. These articles of clothing will come with a specified Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating. This rating is very much like the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating on sunscreen bottles. This rating will verify that it has been tested and indicates how well it will protect your skin from the sun. Like sunscreen, you want to aim for garments with a high UPF rating. These will provide the best protection.
The color of your clothing plays a huge factor in the safeness of your clothing. Dark and vivid colors such as black, red and navy blue will absorb more UV radiation as opposed to lighter colors such as whites and pastels. For the most sun protection, opt for darker colors.
The fit and tension of your clothing is another factor you must consider. Clothing that tightly stretches around your body means it will provide less UV protection, so make sure you choose well-fitting clothing.
This is a factor that seems to miss everyone’s mind, which is unfortunate because clothing care is as equally important as the contents of it. In fact, thorough washing of your clothing can increase its sun protection. Washing certain fabrics such as cotton will tighten up the fibers, providing better sun protection.
It’s important to remember that proper sun protection happens in a variety of ways. Using sunscreen should not be your only line of defense against the sun. In addition to applying sunscreen, consider the above factors to prevent melanoma skin cancer. Are there more factors that we may have missed? Let us know on our Facebook page. If you’re concerned about the health of your skin, our MoleSafe Skin Surveillance Program is designed to accurately detect any changes in the skin for a fast, effective skin cancer treatment. Contact MoleSafe today and get a free consultation.