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Sun Protection Clothing

Sun Protection Clothing SunAWARE

Choosing the Perfect Sun Hat

 With so many sun hats to choose from, how do you narrow it down to the perfect one? The three most important factors to consider are: brim size and shape, material, and the activity for use.

Brim size is a fundamental factor in the level of UV protection provided by a sun hat. Most physicians recommend a minimum brim of 3 inches or greater. Coolibar sun protection hats range from 3 inches to 8 inches in brim size. Brim size is most important for blocking direct UV rays.  

The shape of the sun hat and brim also impacts the hat’s UV blocking ability. In some environments, there may be significant dispersed or reflected UV. This dispersed UV can bounce up underneath the brim of the sun hat and will often strike areas lower on your face such as your chin and cheeks. In general, brims that curve down and sit closer to your face will provide better protection against this reflected UV. For complete sun protection, it is best to also use sunscreen on your lower face area while wearing a sun hat.

Another approach to protecting against reflected UV is to wear a flap hat. Sun hats with flaps can almost completely protect your skin from reflected UV where the fabric lies on your skin – such as your ears and neck. Some sunblock hats with flaps have an extended neck flap that can wrap all the way around to the front of your face and provide excellent protection for your chin and cheeks.

The second key factor for UV protection is the material used to make the sun protection hat. Look for a hat constructed from material rated UPF 50+, meaning it will block 98% of the direct UVA and UVB falling on it. Cotton canvas typically provides good to excellent sun protection. Straw hats with a tightweave or fabric lining under the brim will keep your face shaded too.

One other factor that has a modest affect on sun protection is the color of the underbrim. A sun hat with a dark underbrim will absorb more reflected UV that could bounce down on to your face and thus provide more protection for your skin as well as help minimize UV and glare on your eyes.  

Finally, consider what you’ll be doing outdoors while wearing the hat. If you’ll be in a windy environment, opt for a hat with a locking chin strap. For water or other physical activities, look for a wicking or chlorine resistant hat material. And of course, for an outdoor wedding, picnic or other fashionable occasion go for the oversize brim that will provide excellent coverage and a stunning look.

If you consider these factors in selecting a sun protection hat, you can be confident your choice will provide excellent sun protection.  

Shapeable Pooliside Hat
Sun Hats for Women
Shapeable Wide Brim Hat
Sun Hats for Men
Girl's Chlorine Resistant Bucket Hat
Sun Hats for Kids
 

 

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing Wear Sun Protection

The Secret Advantage of Long Sleeves

On a hot, sunny day, long sleeves get a bad wrap. In fact, when it’s hot out, a wearer in long sleeves will endure laughter and ridicule on the golf course and the endless question, “Aren’t you hot in that?” Here’s the good news, if you wear UPF 50+ long sleeves when the rays are pummeling you, you no longer have to contend with those who simply don’t know the secret advantage of long sleeves.

The fact is that when the sun is shining and temperatures rise, UV protected long sleeves keep you safe from sunburn and keep you cooler. Doctors have long recommended wear UV sun protective clothing as a way to prevent sun damage and protect against skin cancer; however what science is now proving that blocking UVA/UVB rays in combination with long sleeves actually keeps us cooler too.

A number of years ago, an inquisitive research team led by C Richard Taylor and Virginia Finch of Harvard University and Amiram Shkolnik and Arieh Borut of Tel Aviv University were puzzled by the ability of the Bedouins of the Sinai to minimize solar heat loads in a hot desert. The study, aptly called Why Do Bedouins Wear Black Robes in Hot Deserts?, measured the people’s overall heat gain and loss in the robes, considering their amount of coverage, long sleeves and the color of their robes.

A volunteer wearing different levels of coverage and different colored clothing was faced into the midday sun in the desert for 30 minutes. Withstanding 95F, the volunteer placed in the Negev desert at the bottom of the rift valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Eitat wore either: 1) a black Bedouin robe; 2) a similar robe that was white; 3) a tan army uniform; or 4) shorts (that is, he was semi‑nude).

The results were surprising, but not surprising. Long sleeves and more clothing kept the wearer cooler. As the report puts it: “The amount of heat gained by a Bedouin exposed to the hot desert is the same whether he wears a black or a white robe. The additional heat absorbed by the black robe was lost before it reached the skin.”

As far as desert temperatures in our everyday world, when it’s hot, our bodies sweat as a natural cooling mechanism. Let’s face it, sweat sitting on skin feels sticky and damp. Then often, the temptation is to “release” heat by removing clothes or wearing short sleeves, leading to damaging sunburn. Comfortable loose fitting UPF 50+ long sleeves in a wicking fabric transfers sweat away from skin so it can dry, and it creates a small air flow between skin and fabric to keep it cool while protecting against sunburn and UV damage.

While long sleeves can actually keep skin dry and cool, when it’s exceedingly hot, long sleeves are not a replacement for drinking liquids. Medical professionals will always recommend wearing a sun hat, UV clothing, taking frequent shade breaks, using a UV umbrella for portable shade and drinking plenty of hydrating fluids.

So, the next time friends question if you’re too hot in your long sleeves, you have your answer. Recommendations are for sleeves that are loose enough for some air flow. Long sleeve styles like UPF 50+ wraps layered over a tank top or accessories like UPF 50+ scarves channel air in, around and flow heat out, like a bellows. As for the color debate, it appears dark is not an issue as far as staying cool in the deserts. Nor, would we suppose, it be an issue around the pool or on the boat either.

 

Source: Strange, but true: science’s most improbable research, The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/aug/19/most-improbable-scientific-research-abrahams

The heat and the hazard: 9 facts about summer health, The Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/summer-time-and-the-living-isbuggy-itchy-a-bit-germy-heres-what-to-do/2015/06/29/b8c0a7f8-0487-11e5-8bda-c7b4e9a8f7ac_story.html?utm_term=.a6326c7f6a65

 

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

Style Expert Bridgette Raes on Summer Trends in UPF 50+

Since 2002, Style Expert Bridgette Raes has transformed the wardrobes and styles of hundreds of clients. She is the president of Bridgette Raes Style Group in New York and author of the book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want. Her witty, down-to-earth and educational advice has made her a sought-after writer, spokesperson and style expert for many media outlets. Now, Bridgette brings her expertise to the Coolibar Blog to show us how to prepare our wardrobe for warmer weather in a trend setting way.

The warm weather is here!  It’s time to get out and enjoy the sun.  Getting enough sunshine is important for your health and wellbeing, but too much sun can be very dangerous.  With Skin Cancer Awareness month this May, I thought it was important to write a blog that showed you how you can safely enjoy the sun this summer….while still looking fabulous.     

I decided to take some of Coolibar’s more popular pieces, all that have UPF 50+ and 98% UV Protection to show you just how easy it can be this summer to look good and care for your skin at the same time.

For this first look, I took Coolibar’s ZnO Harbor Hoodie in a classic navy and white stripe and paired it with some trendy red cropped pants.  Colored pants are so popular for summer and the overall look, worn with a pair of metallic wedges and an easy tote offers a timeless nautical style that is perfect for summer, be it for boating, going to the beach, the park or attending a barbecue with friends.  

 

Bright colored tunics and color blocking are two big trends right now. To address both, I took Coolibar’s ZnO Bayside Tunic and paired it with white Bermuda shorts and a pair of bright green sandals.  For more protection, I added Coolibar’s very versatile Sun Hat.  This is a great look that can be worn for just about anything you may be doing out and about this summer from a day out sightseeing to a casual dinner out with your mate.

 

For the beach, Coolibar’s Print Ruche Swim Shirt in this trendy zebra print is so exciting.  Not only can the chlorine and salt-water resistant swim shirt be cinched up and worn in the water, but it can also be worn as a tunic-length cover-up.  For additional sun protection (and style) can throw on Coolibar’s Packable Wide Brim Hat and a pair of their fabulous sunglasses.  Yellow is  one of the “it” colors for summer.  I went with a trendier yellow for that extra punch.  Lastly, a black straw bag and you can take from the beach to the street with this two-for-one piece.

 

In the summer, most of us get outside to exercise.  Often when working out we don’t think about how the sun could be damaging our skin.   There is a way to look stylish and be sun protected while getting your heart rate up.  Coolibar’s Swim Bike Run Jacket that has stylish contrast piping gives you a high performance jacket that can also be worn in the water.  Paired with their swim active capris and one of their fabulous hats, I threw in some additional pink accessories to inspire you to get out and get moving…while protecting yourself. 

 

Lastly, a tank top and capri jeans.  Who doesn’t have this look in their wardrobe for summer?  It is important to point out that if you’re looking to protect yourself from the sun this summer it does not mean that you have to get rid of your entire wardrobe.  Coolibar offers great ways to add protection to your existing style.  Every woman owns at least one cardigan in her wardrobe.  It’s a great piece to grab when you get chilly.  I love Coolibar’s ZnO Sun Wrap, particularly in their olive fatigue, which works so well with the most popular color of the summer season, orange!!!!  Worn with a pair of sandals, and one of Coolibar’s protective sun hats, you’ll be styling and saving your skin at the same time.

Shop Coolibar UPF 50+ Trends

Listen to Bridgette Raes on her radio talk show “Where Are You Going In That?” as she talks about Melanoma Month, the Melanoma Research Foundation and Coolibar.

Listen to internet radio with BridgetteRaes on Blog Talk Radio

 

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Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

Models Advocate for Sun Protection? Oh Yes!

When recently browsing the web for a new story idea, I came across this site called ModelKarma, a website for aspiring models, pro models and modeling industry professionals started by the famous Thomas Zeumer, supermodel launcher. While clicking through some of their pages that provide advice for models, I was hoping to find plenty about protecting skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. While somewhat disappointed by the small amount of information on this subject, I was relieved to see one post reminding models to protect their assets, meaning their looks or skin from ultraviolet radiation. 

I think many of us know that over-exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer down the road. However, the cosmetic damage the sun does to skin can also be significant. As you age, your skin will start to show spots and wrinkles even more so if you haven’t been properly protecting yourself from the sun. The writer of the article on ModelKarma dramatizes it even more by saying, “Basically, [the sun] makes you look fried well before your years, thus killing your career before you are done!”  

The article goes into detail about protecting yourself from damaging rays by using sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. It reiterates the Skin Cancer Foundation’s advice on how to properly use sunscreen to get the best result as well. While I agree that sunscreen is essential when choosing sun protection, the article failed to mention sun hats and sun protective clothing. It’s our hope at Coolibar that in the future sun protective clothing and hats will be talked about equal to sunscreen, as they’re an unbeatable match for keeping skin healthy and young looking. 

I wish to add the other ways to “protect your assets” to their list, including wearing a hat with a three inch brim or greater that has a tight weave and a high UPF rating. Not only can you find hats that are glamorous in themselves, but they’ll protect your eyes, ears, nose and sometime even neck depending on the brim size. Also, wear sun protective clothing, especially when outdoors for extended periods of time. Remember, most summer clothing allows UV to penetrate right through the garment, so you’ll have to apply sunscreen underneath if you’re not wearing UPF clothing. 

All of us at Coolibar are glad to see professionals in the modeling industry discussing the need for sun protection. Every time we see a new Marc Jacobs skin cancer prevention shirt or a fashion editor talking about the pale skin trend, we know we’ll start seeing a shift in the way many of us protect ourselves from the sun. 

Amanda Oberg 

Coolibar Blog Editor 

Marc Jacobs Protect The Skin You're In Shirt

Read the ModelKarma article: Protect Your Assets 

Feature photo credit: Jose-Goulao

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing

Packing for a Warm Weather Get Away

Economization is the keyword when planning for any vacation. Many of us go through exhausting efforts to spend less, carry less and worry less. Accomplishing these three objectives doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you know the pre-travel task to focus on – your packing list.

New York Style Expert Bridgette Raes agrees that packing less and focusing on bringing versatile items is important. In an interview with She Knows Beauty and Style on packing stylish for an international beach getaway, Raes says, “Remember very little of what you pack should only be worn once. Keep pieces simple so that they have more mix and match ability and don’t forget accessories either.  They can easily take a look from day to evening, or change up an outfit when you wear it more than once.  Plus they take up very little space.”

With this in mind, our designers at Coolibar devised some simple warm get-away travel solutions that will save you the packing space, checking that extra luggage and of course, keep you covered from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

 

1. A single Packable Wide Brim Hat is a must whether you’ll be spending time on the beach or sightseeing.  Look for a hat that’s crushable, has a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), and can be paired with beach, casual and even dress wear. Floppy brim hats tend to be the most versatile.

2. Pack one bottle of broad-spectrum sunscreen to apply to exposed skin, including your face.  In order to prevent having to pack multiple bottles for multiple purposes, find a sunscreen such as Cotz that’s oil-free and won’t clog pores so you can wear it on your face as well. Also, make sure the sunscreen you bring is water resistant and blocks both UVB and UVA rays (or contains ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide).

3. UV Swimwear is a necessity in sunny climates. Bring your bikini, but look for a cover-up or a Swim Jacket that can slip right over your suit. Cover-ups also work for bumming around the local town.  If you want more leg coverage, pack a pair of Swim Capris to match your cover-up.

4. A packable dress can be accessorized to look different and be worn more than once during your vacation. It should be made of a wrinkle resistant fabric that can easily hang in the bathroom while showering to release the wrinkles. Something like a Shirt Dress will fit right-in at the resort night and day.

5. Both sun protective and chic accessories including a colorful scarf and a variety of jewelry will help you make outfits look a little different each time you wear them. Having a scarf handy is also an easy way to get instant sun protection for your décolletage, which is often neglected and vulnerable to sun damage . And don’t forget a good pair of sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.

Now get ready for a great vacation!

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Sun Protection Clothing Wellness Warriors What our customers say

For Women with a Sense of Adventure – Travel Sun Shirt Review

Soft Adventure Travel, the fastest growing segment of the exploding travel industry, is rewarding for the spirit and intellect, yet is safe and without excessive physical demands. Linda Ballou, author and soft adventure travel writer, has hiked, biked, kayaked and horse-backed through untouched country. Most trips are with a reliable guide, but often she explores alone seeking the sustenance from nature that can only be found in solitude.  With a degree in English Literature and a published author for over twenty years, Linda’s well-researched articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Northwest Travel, Specialty Travel Index and she’s the LA Outdoor Travel Examiner .

Linda knows a thing or two about the importance of carefully preparing for every excursion, including sun protection. “Since I am a ‘booming boomer’ in the most likely demographic to develop skin cancers, I really must pay attention to sun-protection,” says Linda. “It’s so important that I plan to write an article on the subject in my column on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women site in January. I hope to spotlight the Coolibar Women’s Travel Sun Shirt, which contains a built in sun scarf for additional coverage on tender chest skin, and the need for sunscreen with zinc oxide as well as a wide-brimmed hat along with other skin saving tips.”

Linda also shares her thoughts about her favorite Coolibar Travel Sun Shirt and sun protection accessories she uses. Strolling the sands of Malibu, hiking the trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, river rafting and horseback riding, I need strong sun protection. I am thrilled to have this ‘Sunsational’ Coolibar Travel Sun Shirt in my wardrobe. It is light as a summer’s breeze and is sophisticated enough for street wear, but sturdy enough for outdoor activities. I live in Southern California and spend a good deal of time at the beach or hiking on the trails. This shirt is perfect for my sunny clime,” says Linda.

Linda Ballou, Expert Travel Writer

We asked for Linda’s opinion on our aire SUNTECT® fabric, which her shirt is constructed with. “My favorite feature of the fabric is the light airy feel. Plus it needs no ironing after washing. I’m glad a fabric that makes me feel so feminine can stand up to the rigors of an active outdoor life. I would give the fabric a 10 (on a scale of 10 being great to 0 being horrible) for hot weather hiking. For cool weather, I might opt for my flannel shirt, but that does not have sun protection. The fabric also didn’t stick to my skin like polyester tends to.”

“Other sun protection accessories I use include a hat and sometimes fingerless gloves. I love my Sedona Hat. It is sturdy and wide-brimmed and really does keep the burning rays off my face. The chin strap keeps in on in the strongest winds. The fingerless gloves are just the ticket for river rafting when hands take a beating from wind, sun and water. You do not lose mobility while gaining much needed protection against the elements,” says Linda.

To read more about Linda Ballou’s adventures, visit her blog and website.

 http://lindaballoutalkingtoyou.blogspot.com/

http://www.lindaballouauthor.com/

To view the sun protection items Linda takes on her adventures, click any of the following links:

Coolibar Women’s Travel Sun Shirt
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Coolibar Sedona Sun Hat
Coolibar Fingerless Aqua Gloves

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

2011 Coolibar Gift Guide for Life Outdoors

QUESTION: Do you need to find a gift for …

a. A family member who spends a lot of time outside?

b. A girlfriend who obsesses over her skin and owns oodles of cosmetics?

c. A parent with small children?

d. A friend who lives to garden, bike, hike, climb, fish, run, walk, camp, swim, surf, golf, farm, surf, sail, travel and participate in a never ending list of outdoor activities?

If you answered YES to any of the above then we strongly suggest you proceed reading!

While the holiday season may not have you thinking about sunny beaches and or long afternoons on the golf course, we’ll bet everyone on your list would love a gift that’s associated with that carefree feeling. Sun protection is a gift everyone needs (and we’re convinced would want if they knew about it). Wide brim hats and sun protective clothes are not only practical for easy sun coverage, but over the years, these items have been recognized by both fashion editors and outdoor athletic communities for their style and performance. So, maybe not everyone on your list knows about sun protective clothing. Well, here’s your chance to show the one’s you love how smart and thoughtful you are.  Sun protective clothing is not only easy, comfortable and a health conscious move, but there are a range of styles and features so fashionistas and fitness enthusiasts alike can take on the outdoors in their own style.

If you don’t know where to start for a someone who’s new to UPF clothing, here’s our ideas:

Our Customer’s Favorite Coolibar Basics
Click on the first image to browse our gift ideas.

[nggallery id=25]

Find the perfect Coolibar piece for that special person on your list.

HAPPY SHOPPING!

www.coolibar.com

Santa Letter Photo Credit: katerha

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Expert Rx Sun Protection Clothing Videos

“The Doctors” on Basal Cell Carcinoma and Prevention

On Tuesday, October 24, 2011, “The Doctors” TV show aired a segment nationwide about a new skin cancer treatment for basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. This treatment option uses low doses of radiation on a targeted area to kill the cancer cells, going no deeper than the skin. Only a few dermatologists are offering this non-surgical treatment for basal cell carcinoma opposed to micrographic surgery, the current standard for treatment, which can take hours to perform.

Seth Forman, M.D. practices dermatology in Tampa, FL and demonstrated the procedure on his patient Betty for the show. From patient Betty’s perspective, the treatment is like having an x-ray – it’s painless and over within 45 seconds. She will need multiple treatments to destroy her cancer – 12 times over a 4 week span.  There are no shots, no blades, no bleeding, no stitches, not even a band-aid.

Watch the “Low Dose Radiation Treatment” segment from “The Doctors.”

To find out more about low dose radiation and other treatment options for basal cell carcinoma, visit http://www.skincancer.org/bcc-treatment-options.html.

Dr. Drew Ordon, an expert on “The Doctors”, also took advantage of the opportunity to talk about prevention.  His advice:

1) Try to avoid daytime sunlight, between the hours of 10-4 avoid mid-day sun.

2) Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen – at least SPF 15, we recommend [broad-spectrum] SPF 30 and to be generous with application using a shot glass full and re-apply every two hours.

Finally what you can do is…

3) Wear protective clothing – UPF 50+, it blocks both UVA and UVB rays and is a great way to go because you can’t get sunscreen everywhere.

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing

It’s All in the Fabric – Coolibar SUNTECT

The most common question we get from first time customers at Coolibar is “how does your clothing protect against the sun’s UV rays?” The answer is quite simple – it’s all in the fabric!

Our SUNTECT® fabrics are rated UPF 50+ meaning they block 98% of harmful UVA and UVB rays and provide protection in one of two ways: 1) A broad-spectrum sunscreen ingredient, either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, is permanently embedded into the fibers during the manufacturing process. These sunscreen ingredients reflect UV, so UVA and UVB rays bounce off the garment. 2) Tight-weave construction prevents UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the garment.

Each SUNTECT® fabric has unique qualities to suite a variety of outdoor lifestyles. The fabric type can be found on each individual item page on Coolibar.com under the “Fabric Details” tab. Here are our most popular SUNTECT® fabrics:

3D dri SUNTECT® – Stay cool when the sun heats up.
(The Sunblock Hoodie pictured above is made with this fabric. Click on the picture, zoom in, and you’ll see the texture!)

Description: A visible tiny surface grid pattern lifts the fabric off skin providing cooling comfort.
Sun protection source: embedded titanium dioxide
Features: lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking, soft
Activities: hiking, jogging, walking, beach bumming, boating, high-heat activity, traveling
Content: 100% Polyester
Care instructions: Machine wash, tumble dry

ZnO SUNTECT® – Dress in the comfort of everyday cotton.

Description: Millions of tiny particles of zinc oxide are woven into every fiber for sun protection that cannot wash or wear out.
Sun protection source: embedded zinc oxide
Features: soft cotton feel, lightweight, cool, antimicrobial properties reduce rash and body odors
Activities: everyday, casual, camping, walking, hiking, gardening, biking, traveling
Content: 70% cotton, 25% viscose from bamboo, 5% spandex (exception: grey color)
Care Instructions: Machine wash, tumble dry

aire SUNTECT® – Slip-on silky feminine coverage for work or play.

Description: Feather-light, with a luxurious feel, this fabric is so soft, airy and cool, no one will ever guess it provides maximum sun protection.
Sun protection source: tight weave construction
Features: silk like feel, lightweight, fast-drying, moisture-wicking, naturally wrinkle resistant
Activities: working, farming, gardening, traveling, beach bumming, boating, picnicking
Content: 86% polyester, 14% spandex
Care Instructions: Machine wash, tumble dry

aqua SUNTECT® – Dive in with quick-dry UV gear made for water or workouts

Description: Much lighter weight than typical swimwear, it’s extremely water friendly and comfortable enough to wear even in the hottest weather.
Sun protection source: tight weave construction
Features: chlorine and salt water resistant, retains shape, doesn’t cling, quick-drying, durable
Activities: swimming, surfing, boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding, running, biking
Content: polyester/lycra blend or polyester/spandex blend or nylon/spandex blend (check item label)
Care Instructions: Machine wash, line dry

 

Common Questions:

What is the difference between sun protective clothing and regular clothing?
Most summer clothing actually provides less sun protection than a SPF 30 sunscreen. We test each garment we sell for UPF 50+ coverage.

What is the difference between UPF and SPF?
The Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF on sun protective clothing is actually a very similar concept to the Sun Protection Factor or SPF rating for sunscreen but there are some differences. The major difference is that the UPF for sun protective clothing and swimming shirts rates protection for both UVA and UVB whereas the SPF number on sunscreen only rates protection against UVB. Also, a person wearing a UPF 30 garment will, in practice, be protected against 96% of UVA and UVB, whereas most people who use a SPF 30 sunscreen don’t apply enough sunscreen and, in practice, end up with significantly less protection, typically being protected against less than 50% of UVB.

If I wear sun protective clothes, do I still need sunscreen?
Sunscreen is always recommended on areas not directly covered by our sun protective fabric, such as your chin, cheeks and hands – this will ensure maximum UV protection.

Why can I see light through some of my UPF 50+ clothes and hats? Does that mean they’re not blocking 98% of UVA and UVB?
The garment or hat is still protective even when you can see light through it. UV rays are shorter and have a higher frequency than visible light rays. Visible light is not harmful to us since the frequency is not high enough. You can still see light through sunglasses with 100% UV protection – right?

Are all sun protective clothes the same?
No. Every company that produces sun protective clothing has different quality standards and fabric types for their UPF clothing. In addition, different sun protective clothes may have ratings lower than UPF 50+. Coolibar only sells sun protective clothing with a UPF rating of 50+.

Is the titanium dioxide in some of the fabrics safe?
Yes. The micronized non-nano titanium dioxide particles are encapsulated by the fibers. We often use the seeded watermelon analogy to explain.

– The fibers (fibers are thread together to make the fabric) = the rind of the watermelon.
– The titanium dioxide = the watermelon seeds. If you cut the watermelon in half, you can see the seeds on the inside.

The seeds, however, are never able to reach the surface of the watermelon. The same principle applies with the titanium dioxide used in our clothing.

How many times can I wash it before the sun protection wears out?
Our SUNTECT® brand fabrics have guaranteed UPF of 50+ for the life of the garment. The protection does not wash or wear out.

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Sun Protection Clothing

Sun Protective Clothing – Your Best Defense Against the Sun

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention (NCSCP) has updated their advice on skin cancer prevention, and “Wear Protective Clothing” has been listed before “Generously Apply Sunscreen.”  The National Coucil is comprised of members from all leading skin cancer prevention organizations.  The Skin Cancer Foundation, a member of the NCSCP, says, “Clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection. It is our first line of defense against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.” However, not all clothing provides adequate sun protection.  Look for a UPF 50+ rating, which is the highest rating available for clothing and blocks 98% UVA and UVB rays.

Check out the Skin Cancer Foundation’s rundown on sun protective clothing and learn how to choose apparel that will ensure your skin is safe in the sun.

The Skin Cancer Foundation on Sun Protective Clothing

What a UPF Rating Really Means

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation is absorbed. A fabric with a rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. This means the fabric will reduce your skin’s UV radiation exposure significantly, because only 2 percent of the UV rays will get through.

What’s the Difference between UPF and SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the rating you’re familiar with for sunscreens and other sun-protective products. It measures the amount of time it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden, while UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin.

Which Fabrics are Best?

As a rule, light-colored, lightweight and loosely-woven fabrics do not offer much protection from the sun. That white T-shirt you slip on at the beach when you feel your skin burning provides only moderate protection from sunburn, with an average ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 7. At the other end of the spectrum, a long-sleeved dark denim shirt offers an estimated UPF of 1,700 – which amounts to a complete sun block. In general, clothing made of tightly-woven fabric best protects skin from the sun. The easiest way to test if a fabric can protect your skin is to hold it up to the light. If you can see through it, then UV radiation can penetrate it – and your skin.

The color of the fabric also plays a role. Darker-colored fabrics are more effective than lighter at blocking out the sun. For instance, the UPF of a green cotton T-shirt is 10 versus 7 for white cotton, and a thicker fabric such as velvet in black, blue or dark green has an approximate UPF of 50.

Fabric Content and the Wearer’s Activity Make a Difference

What the clothing is made of matters. Fabrics such as unbleached cotton contain special pigments called lignins that act as UV absorbers. High-luster polyesters and even thin, satiny silk can be highly protective because they reflect radiation.

Even if the piece of clothing has a good UPF, what you do while wearing it can make a difference. If the fabric gets stretched, it will lose some of its protective ability, because the fabric becomes thinner and more transparent to light. And once it gets wet, it can lose up to 50 percent of its UPF. In Florida, it is a common practice for parents to put a white T-shirt on their children to protect them from the sun while swimming. But when that T-shirt gets wet, it provides a UPF of only 3.

Consider High-Tech Clothing

When selecting clothes for sun protection, consider fabrics that have been specially treated with chemical UV absorbers, known as colorless dyes. These prevent some penetration of both UVB and UVA rays. A number of manufacturers are now making special sun-protective clothing that has been treated with a chemical sunblock during the manufacturing process. In addition, they use fabrics of the weave and colors that provide protection best. The garments are designed to cover as much of the skin as possible.

New standards for sun-protective fabrics in the US were unveiled in January, 2001. UPF is similar to SPF, in that they both measure protection.

Only clothes with a UPF of 15-50+ may be labeled as sun-protective. Clothes that are marketed with a sun-protective claim are usually UPF 50+. Also, like regular clothing, sun-protective clothing may lose its effectiveness if pulled too tight or stretched out, if it becomes damp or wet, or if it is washed and worn repeatedly.

Reference: Skin Cancer Foundation website. http://www.skincancer.org/sun-protective-clothing.html 

Coolibar is the authority in sun protection. With years of advanced testing and innovative sun-blocking technologies, we make the highest quality sun protective fabrics available. Shop Coolibar or visit the Coolibar Facebook Page to have a sun protection expert answer your questions about sun protective clothing.

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