I’ve vaguely heard about clothing with sun protecting elements, so I looked into it to see a little more what it is about. All of us at Air-Tan are into staying away from the sun’s harmful rays and getting our tan the SAFE way. Anytime I’m on vacation, I avoid being out in the sun like the plague. I am the one camped out under the umbrella with my SPF on. I do not want to be wrinkly in my old age. I’m only 26, and I am already seeing the sun damage that I’ve caused myself on my face! Yucky!
The Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) says that protective clothing is our first line of defense against the sun. Sure, regular clothing does provide protection from the sun, but did you know that you can buy clothing with even extra protection? You can buy clothes that have a UPF rating, which means an Ultraviolet Protection Factor. A regular t-shirt can block 80% of UV rays, but specially made UPF clothing can block 98% of rays. The SCF says these factors play into how much UPF a garment provides:
– Tightness of the weave
– Weight of the fabric
– Type of fabric
– Amount of skin exposed
The SCF answers a lot of frequently asked questions about UPF clothing here. When shopping for this type of clothes, it recommends that you buy the minimum for UPF 30, and that 30-49 UPF is considered “very good”, and 50+ is excellent. The retailer REI also provides a boatload of information on the topic here, and you can buy UPF clothing from them, as well.
Specialty clothing can be pricey, so the SCF also recommends an additive called SunGuard that you can buy to put in your laundry that will add a UPF of 30 to anything you wash, and the protection lasts through 20 washes, and it only $1.99. It’s made by Rit, which is the brand that you may recognize from fabric dyes that you can buy at the grocery or mass retailers. I think this would be a great idea, especially for kids’ clothes since they grow out of everything so fast!
A popular question we get here at Air-Tan is if having a spray tan will protect your skin from the sun. The answer to that is no. You will burn or tan the same as if you didn’t have the Air-Tan on at all, so make sure you are applying your SPF to your exposed skin, and definitely think about using some UPF in addition to your SPF.