Is UV Protective Clothing Worth Buying – Pros and Cons

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All clothing protects you from the sun to some extent. UV protective clothing, however, has a specific, protective scale not unlike sunscreen. A lot of UV protective clothing actually contains sunscreen in the fabric itself. Some garments are said to be UV protective due to their weave, color, and/or reflective nature.

SPF and UPF are acronyms you will see as you look into UV protective clothing. SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” and it’s what you see on lotion, sunscreen, and other topical protectors. SPF is measured by how long it takes your skin to turn red in the sun.

UPF stands for “ultraviolet protection factor” and refers specifically to the amount of UV radiation that can go through fabric and burn your skin. Therefore, you are going to see UPF more frequently in reference to UV protective clothing.

If you are considering purchasing this protective clothing, here are some pros and cons to keep in mind.

Pros

* When you wear UV protective clothing, you need not be concerned about rubbing potentially harmful chemicals into your skin. The chemical content of sunscreen has come under scrutiny lately, and many people are concerned about its safety.

* Comfort is a factor – applying sunscreen can be messy, and if you sweat, it can sting and itch. Also, sunscreen, with its oily feel, can cause sand to stick to your skin, increasing seaside discomfort.

* There is no need to re-apply lotions to skin that is often sweaty, sandy, and/or salty if you are at the beach. Rubbing sunscreen into your skin under those conditions can be uncomfortable.

* There is no debate over what to wear outside in the sun. You need only put on the UV protective clothing rather than trying to put together a comfortable, protective outfit from your existing wardrobe.

Cons

* Over time, the UV protective factor becomes less effective; washing and stretching seem to diminish the protection. However, you can actually add wash-in sunscreen to your laundry, boosting the UV protection of the garment.

* Some UV protective clothing has this sunscreen washed into the fabric, which means it may contain some of the chemicals you are trying to avoid by using less sunscreen.

* There is less choice of clothing style – UV protective clothing does not come in every style and color, and depending on your taste, you may be hard-pressed to find a style you like.

* The cost of UV protective clothing is certainly a consideration. It simply costs more than conventional clothing due to its specialized nature.

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