4 Ways That UV Protective Shirts Are Better Than Sunscreen

sun protective shirts

You’ve made the decision to spend the day or the afternoon at the beach or on an outdoor adventure. You've packed the lemonade, the snacks, towels, toys, and maybe tunes. You ask yourself "What else could I possibly need?"

The answer is something to protect you and your family and friends from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

In the past cavemen gave little or no consideration to sun protection. Then we learned about the importance of protecting our skin. We learned that too much sun can damage the skin, causing premature aging, wrinkles, and in the worst case, skin cancer, so sunscreens were invented. They worked well enough but presented a whole new set of questions. What strength is best? How often should it be applied? What's the best scent and brand?  

The American Academy of Dermatology has recommended the top sunscreen brands on the market: listed in order of preference:

  • Neutrogena
  • Coppertone
  • La Roche-Posay
  • Blue Lizard
  • SolBar
  • Aveno 
  • Olay
  • Vanicream
  • Bull Frog 
  • Ombrelle  

In recent years science and the fashion industry have created an alternative to sunscreens - UV protective clothing. Taking a UV protective shirt along on your outdoor adventure will help insure that you have all your sun protection needs literally covered.

Here are four great reasons to purchase UV protective shirts.

  1. Cool, colorful, and comfortable, a UV protective shirt makes life outdoors easy. You don't need to reapply it, fold it, or carry it. Just put one on in the morning and be protected all day long. 
  2. No need to worry about what strength or scent to buy, UV protective shirts prevent various levels of penetration of both UVB and UVA rays - the higher the UPF value the more protective. A number of manufacturers are now making special sun-protective clothing that has been treated with a chemical sunblock during the manufacturing process. In some products, the protection lies in the strength of fabrics, tightness of the weave, and colors that provide protection best. 
  3. Clothing has to have a UPF rating of 15-50 to be labeled sun-protective. That means a UV shirt with a UPF of 50 allow only 1/50 of the sun's rays to reach the skin. That's great and consistent protection.
  4. While sunscreens work for those places you don't cover with clothing like your nose, they do cause problems when they come into contact with clothing. Some sunscreens stain or discolour fabrics making laundry day more difficult. UV protective shirts (and clothing in general) reduce the problem of staining and discolouration of your valued wardrobe.

A UV protective shirt and may not answer all your outdoor adventure packing questions, like what kind of sandwich to pack, but it will take the stress out of sun protection choices. So go ahead, grab your shirt, fill the car and enjoy your day. You may even have room for extra cookies!


Mike McCarthy


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