Skin Cancer

What is UPF and how can you use it to protect from Skin Cancer?

Team Avatar
Team MoleSafe Creator
Posted 16/04/19

All clothing has a varying level of protection from the sun. Some fabrics allow UV rays to penetrate through them, exposing your skin to harm and increasing your risk of developing skin cancer.

UPF is a rating system that determines a piece of clothings UV Protection Factor (UPF). Similar to SPF, UPF clothing will give a numeric indicator of how protective that piece is. For example, a UPF50+ item of clothing gives a high level of protection while UPF5 pieces provide minimal protection.

UPF rating explained

UPF is the measurement of the amount of UV rays able to pass through a fabric. UPF50 allows only 1/50th of UV radiation to pass through the fabric, blocking out 98% of the harmful rays.

UPF Rating

Protection Category

15 or 20

Good Protection

25, 30 or 35

Very Good Protection

40, 50 or 50+

Excellent Protection

Fabrics that give the most protection

Higher weave count, darker colors, heavier fabric and less stretch generally give higher protection levels from UV radiation. You can by fabrics and clothing items designed specifically for UV protection, such as swimming shirts. The best protective fabrics are blue or black denim, merino wool, 100% polyester, satin-finish silk, tightly woven fabric and unbleached cotton. Avoid bleached cotton, viscose, knits, white denim, polyester crepe and loosely woven fabric when choosing protective clothing.

The main cause of skin cancer is high exposure to sunlight and UV radiation. Sunburn will increase your risk of skin cancer. Wearing protective clothing with high UPF ratings when you are outdoors will significantly decrease your risk of developing skin cancer caused by sun exposure