Shade, sunscreen, wearing sun protection clothes do indeed provide protection from the sun’s harmful Ultra Violet (UV) rays, which increases the risk of skin cancer. However, not all clothing which covers one’s body is effective, as some garments provide better UV protection than others say the dermatologists.
Lightweight and Long-Sleeved Shirts & Pants: The simplest way to protect your skin while being outdoors is simply covering up as much as possible. And here, the colour and the type of material decides the level of protective efficacy. For instance, fabrics with a loose or an open weave like lace are not known to successfully block UV rays. Also, light colours offer very little protection as compared to dark colours. For example, a long-sleeved denim shirt provides an SPF of about 1,700, while the SPF of a white t-shirt stands at a mere 7. In addition, while at the beach or pool, dry clothing offers more sun protection than wet clothing.
UV Sunglasses: While sunglasses are an elementary component of any sun-protection inventory, specially made lenses that have in-built UV protection are most effective. These are not, however, to be mistaken with the merely dark ones as the colour only creates an impression of a special anti-UV coating. Thus reading the manufacturing and product information details on the label to look at whether the eyewear has a special UV coating, before purchasing, would be prudent. In addition, large-framed or wraparound sunglasses cover a greater part of eye area and thereby offer more UV protection than a popular make like aviators.
A Wide-Brimmed Hat: Headwear like hats are a traditional apparatus to cover the head, face and neck from the sun. However, here too, wide brim hats are most effective, as because of the size and spread of shade that automatically covers the neck and the eyes. Combined with the right clothing and eyewear, a wide brim hat becomes a near fool proof tool against UV radiation. One should, however, avoid baseball or straw hats with holes or any other headwear with perforation as they allow a lot of sun rays to penetrate and reach the skin.
Footwear that Covers Your Feet: Here, merely having footwear that covers the entire foot suffice to offer sufficient UV protection. However, if one is wearing sandals or flip-flops or going barefoot, applying sunscreen over the exposed skin makes up for the lack of cover.
These sun protection clothes offer simple yet effective and work for all skin types and colours. The key is to look for dense fabrics and dark or bright colours and pair those with the appropriate accessories. Also remember, it is best to avoid exposure to the sun when UV rays are strongest – 10 am through 4 pm.
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