Posted: June 30th, 2022
With UPF garments rising in popularity in the sun protection world, you might be left with a lot of questions. What are they? Do they work? It's kind of a lot to take in (and we get that!)
What is UPF?
UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor which describes how effective a garment is at absorbing UV rays before they reach the skin. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) on the other hand, is specific to sunscreens and measures UV absorption of products applied directly onto the skin.
The two ratings differ in that UPF measures the impact of both UVA and UVB rays, while SPF typically only measures UVB. UVA rays are known to cause damage to deeper layers of the skin, while UVB rays lead to more surface level skin damage.
What Makes a Good UPF Garment?
1. UPF Rating
According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, the best UPF protective garments will be rated at UPF 40-50+, which block upward of 97.5% of UV rays.
As stated by the Skin Cancer Foundation, brighter or darker colours are better able to absorb UV rays into their fabric and help prevent the rays from reaching the skin.
3. FabricTight-knit fabrics allow for less gaps between threads and help prevent UV ray penetration to the skin.
4. Garment fit
Looser fitting garments are recommended for UPF clothing so that the fibres remain unstretched and as close together as possible.
Why Choose UPF?
Additionally, since it is recommended to avoid applying sunscreen to babies under 6 months old, UPF clothing is a great alternative to keep those little ones safe.