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Sunscreen Isn't Enough - Protect Skin With Sun Protection Clothing

Jun 6, 2008
Every year, millions of people head outdoors as soon as the weather warms up. Sports, family gatherings and even work can take us outside and into the potentially harmful rays of the sun. If we don't keep ourselves protected from the sun, we may end up with skin damage, eye damage and even harmful skin cancer.

Sunscreen is a great tool to help prevent sun damage, but it is not enough on its own. When you spend any amount of time in the sun, it is essential to wear protective clothing and sunscreen to minimize the effects of the sun's ultraviolet rays. While most of us are familiar with sunscreens and how to choose the right sunscreen for different types of skin, not many of us know how to pick out UV protective clothing.

Choosing the Right Sun Protection Clothing

The first thing to keep in mind when picking out sun protection clothing is how its effectiveness is measured. Sunscreen is measured by sun protection factor. This number measures the amount of time that it will take for exposed skin to get red. Eye protection factor is the rating that establishes the amount of eye protection provided from eyewear. Sun protection clothing, however, is measured in ultraviolet protection factor. This number measures how much ultraviolet radiation can penetrate the fabric and reach the skin. This rating is based on the weight of the material, the tightness of the weave and how much skin the clothing protects.

Some fabrics have a naturally high ultraviolet protection factor, while others are treated with special chemicals to increase the amount of sun protection they offer. Because of this, some sun protection clothing can lose its effectiveness over time. Replacing your sun protection clothing often ensures that it is effectively blocking harmful rays.

The higher the ultraviolet protection factor number, the more protection you will get from that garment. An ultraviolet protection factor of 10 provides significantly less protection than a garment with a factor of 50. When purchasing sun protection clothing, look for the highest ultraviolet protection factor available. Also try to purchase only sun protection clothing that is certified by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. The ARPNSA is the world leader in ultraviolet protection testing.

How to Protect Your Entire Family

When you go out into the sun, it is especially important to protect kids' skin. The number of peeling sunburns experienced during childhood is directly linked to the risk of skin cancer later in life. Sun protective swimwear and sunsuits are available for all ages and can help to prevent some of those childhood burns. Sun hats are another great way to keep kids' tender skin protected from the damaging rays.

Adults have slightly different needs depending on the types of activities that they will be doing in the sun. When fabrics become wet or stretched, they can often lose a great deal of their protection. Look for men's and women's sun protection clothing that is meant for the activities you'll be engaging in. Surfing, swimming and lying on the beach will all require different types of UV protective clothing.

Enjoy Your Summer

Once you know that your family is protected from sunburns and the related skin complications, you are freer to enjoy your outdoor activities. Shop for and buy sun protection clothing for the entire family early in the season and spend the rest of the summer lounging, playing and enjoying the unique sensations that only summer can provide.
About the Author
J Edmond have been working in the unique concept sun protection clothing industry for several years. The main aim is to raise awareness of the sun' UV radiation and it's effect on human skin. Find out more how you can protect your family and enjoy your outdoor activities.
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