Skin damage caused by harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is always a cause for concern, so we decided to check out whether so called Sun Protective Clothing really works.

Of course, there will always be a time and place for rubbing lotion into yours, or somebody else’s bare skin, but with all the furore regarding the inadequacy of some of these creams and lotions, we should make an effort to find the most effective way to keep ourselves and our loved ones protected.

Coolibar Clothing with ZnO SUNTECT Technology

Coolibar Clothing with ZnO SUNTECT Technology

There are now a whole host of companies that offer Sun Protective Clothing ranges for every occasion, be it the beach, the ski slopes or simply everyday wear for a hot climate.

Made popular in Australia back in the 90’s, and going worldwide in the last 10 years the question you have to ask is ‘Do they really work?’.

Well, the latest studies seem to say yes. These clothes are made from a tighter weave and contain a chemical solution which offers protection against harmful UV rays, similar to what is used is sun creams.

One issue with some protective clothing is when the treated item of clothing is washed the protection factor diminishes, meaning they are essentially effective for only one season.

New clothing ranges now claim to have innovative technologies where the UV protective particles cannot wash out, ensuring all year full protection.

Wash-in UV Protection

Another solution is to buy a laundry treatment and simply do-it-yourself. Washing your regular clothes with a laundry additive, typically containing a chemical such as Tinosorb, won’t alter their the usual look or feel of your clothes and whilst offering an SPF of 30 is said to be good for 30 washes, this is clearly the more practical solution, though won’t be for everybody, especially those with a wardrobe from colder climes.

If you don’t like the idea of either of these, another suggestion would be to buy darker clothing with a tight weave fabric as these offer the most protection from the sun, a general rule being that a white cotton T-shirt will have an SPF of 5-8 as opposed to an item of denim which will be around SPF 50.

Keep well covered or sit in the shade during the days hottest hours, generally between 10am and 2pm, buy a good sun-cream with a high SPF factor, being sure to apply it to all of your exposed parts, wear a hat and invest in a quality pair of sunglasses. Above all and whatever your choice, stay healthy and safe.

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