SUN-SAFE CLOTHING

Sun protection goes beyond just putting on sunscreen. Proper clothing should also be worn when you’re going out and exposing your skin to the sun’s harmful rays.

The damage done by the sun to eache exposed body part adds up over your lifetime. It continuously adds risks of not only skin cancer but also premature aging. Clothes like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, wide-brimmed hats are items of clothing that protect more than the usual going-out attire during hot, sunny days. Sunglasses protect not only your eyes but also the delicate ares around it where the skin layer is thin.

When shopping for sun-safe clothes, the fabric factor has to be taken into account. The tighter the weave or knit on the fabric, the better it is in blocking UV rays from passing through and damaging your skin. Generally you want to wear clothes with synthetic fibers like lycra, nylon or acrylic, rather than using full cotton fabrics. UPF is a label put on garments that are specifically designed to protect yourself from the sun. Consider it the clothing equivalent of SPF for sunscreens when it comes to how well it can protect your skin. The higher the UPF rating, the better it is.

However, remember that comfort is also important when wearing sun-safe clothing. When at the beach, you don’t need a heavy long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself. A tightly-woven linen shirt can both protect your skin and keep you cool.

TIPS:

-Clothes with a possible UPF rating of 30 or higher
-Garments that cover more skin but do not necessarily weigh you down
-Cotton garments should first be washed to tighten up the knitting in the fabric, increasing its UPF rating
-For hats, find wide-brimmed round hats that can cover your face, neck and ears
-Use UV-filtering sunglasses
-Minimize the overall risk of sun damage by seeking shelter from the sun

Remember that you can put a personal touch on your sun-protective clothes. It can be bright, light fun and fashionable.

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