4 Things to Consider When Choosing Clothing for Sun Protection

4 Things to Consider When Choosing Clothing for Sun Protection

You don’t have to wear a bright pink snowsuit, but factors like weight and color do come into play when choosing the right pieces.

Sun damage is something many people are seeking to avoid as summer sets in. With skin cancer rates on the rise, it’s a valid concern.

But while some swear by the protective cream, others feel that the chemicals in the extra layer aren’t doing us any favors, either. What exactly is your body soaking in, and spreading in place like oceans and lakes?

Wearing sunscreen is likely a better bet than foregoing it if you’re going to be out in the hot sun, but here’s a look at another alternative: simply covering up.

Related: Are You Making These Common Sunscreen Slipups?

Wearing long, loose clothing isn’t always as hot as it seems, and it can be very effective at keeping the sun’s rays from reaching your skin when you don’t want them to.

If you’re in the market for clothing that’s going to protect you against the sun, here are 4 thing to consider before you buy:

1) Weave

Clothing can often offer the best kind of protection against the sun.

As the bright minds at skincancer.org state, you can be covered from head to toe in some kind of clothing but if the weave is relatively loose, you’re not doing yourself much good.

Related: Crazy But True: This Popular Sunscreen Has Been Recalled as Users Are Catching on Fire

In order to protect your skin from the sun, your clothing needs to be made of fabric that’s tightly knit. Jeans offer a good example. To find out how protective a piece might be, stretch the fabric out and hold it up to the light. Seeing stars of white shining through? You might want something that’s a bit tighter.

2) Weight

Heavy fabric tends to be woven more tightly, just like the example of jeans, above. You don’t want to sweat yourself silly of course, but wearing clothing of moderate weight will keep the sun out. A really light weight t-shirt might not. Linen is a good example of something that’s tightly woven, heavier and somewhat cool.

Related: Is Your Sunscreen Blocking Your Vitamin D?

3) Color

Clothing can often offer the best kind of protection against the sun.

If a pale colored fabric is tightly woven, thick and heavy, it’s going to keep those rays away. If you’re comparing t-shirts or light shorts and skirts though, the darker and brighter the fabric the better. Bright yellow is great at keeping the sun’s rays off your skin. Dark colors are effective at absorbing those UV rays. In general, go for something vivid.

4) Size

This one is pretty straightforward but we’ll mention it nonetheless. If you’re wearing a skimpy tank top, it obviously isn’t going to provide your shoulders with any sun protection. Wearing long sleeves and long pants covers you up substantially. Having a hat with a protective piece cloth at the back can protect your neck, and while it may look funny, it’s a very easy way to ensure that a hard-to-reach area is being looked after.

Cover up and get outside! It’s beautiful out.

Photo credits: SurasitP/Bigstock; monkeybusinessimages/Bigstock; Voy/Bigstock

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