What is UPF Clothing?

What is UPF Clothing?

There’s nothing quite like those warm summer days where you're laying out in the sun with your family and friends! It feels so good to bask in the sun, but how can we keep our skin protected while we do it? By wearing high UPF-rated clothing. 

UPF sun protective clothing is becoming more and more popular, and nowadays there are so many stylish options to choose from! Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world, and 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. You can easily reduce your risk of being that 1 by practicing safe sun habits, which we’ll cover in this blog post!


So, what exactly is UPF?

UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) indicates how much UVB and UVA rays a fabric will allow to reach your skin. The higher the UPF, the more rays blocked by the fabric. The Skin Cancer Foundation requires at least a UPF of 30 to qualify for it’s Seal of Recommendation, so keep the below chart in mind when searching for your UPF clothing. (All of Tutublue’s suits are certified UPF50+!)

UPF Rating Protection Effective UV Transmission (%)
15 Minimum 6.7
30 Good 3.3
50+ Excellent 2.0

Who should definitely wear UPF clothing?

Everyone can benefit from wearing UPF, but some people are especially prone to sun damage - 

  • Sun Sensitivity - Fair skinned people who burn or freckle easily should seek shade when possible and wear UPF when in the sun for long periods of time.
  • Children and Older Adults - Kids and older adults have thinner, more sensitive skin, so they should wear long UPF50 clothing as much as possible.
  • People Who Are in High Elevations, Or Near Snow And Water - Sunlight reflects off of surfaces like snow and water which can cause more UV radiation. There’s also more UV radiation where the air is thinner, so if you’re in high elevation areas it’s a good idea to cover up when outside.
  • Darker Skin Pigmentation - Yes, darker pigmentation indicates more melanin (which is a compound that offers UV protection), however darker skin makes UV damage harder to spot. So even if you’re darker, don’t let that be a excuse to ditch the UPF and sunscreen!

Can my non UPF clothing still keep me safe?

In case you don’t have your UPF clothing yet, there are some clothing options that will protect better than others. Not all clothing protects you equally from the sun, but here are some things to look for - 

  • Color - Opt for darker and brighter colors as these absorb the UV rays rather than letting them reach your skin.
  • Construction - Dense clothing, such as denim, canvas, wool, or synthetic fibers, are more protective than thinner cloths.
  • Content - Check the fabrics: unbleached cotton act as UV absorbers, while shiny polyesters and satiny silks can reflect radiation away from you!
  • Coverage - Of course, the more you’re covered, the better protected you are. Try wearing long sleeves and pants when possible to protect as much of your skin as possible.
  • Fit - The tighter the clothing, the thinner it gets, which allows for more UV to penetrate. Wear looser fitting clothing for maximum protection!


Benefits of UPF Clothing

Along with protecting your skin from the sun, our UPF swimsuits have other benefits as well:

  • Quick Dry Tech - All of our suits are made with Quick Dry Technology so you'll be dry in minutes! 
  • 4-Way Stretch - We design with a stretchy fabric that is comfortable to move in. You can wear our suits swimming, working out, surfing, playing tennis, and just about any activity you can think of!
  • The UPF Doesn't Wash Out - Our suits have the UPF built into the weave of the fabric, so you can throw you suit in the wash and the UPF will still work.

Other Ways To Stay Protected

UPF-rated clothing is important, but total UV protection requires more ways than one:

  • Sunscreen - Any parts of your skin that aren't covered by your UPF clothing should be covered with sunscreen. This means your hands, feet, back of neck, ears, hairline and even lips!
  • Sunglasses and Hat - Your clothes won't cover your face, so wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses!
  • Shade - Whenever possible, seek shade to minimize sun exposure.
  • Sun Protection On Cloudy Days - Just because the sun isn't out doesn't mean you can't still get sun damage. Stay true to all your sun protection habits even when the clouds are out!


All in all, taking these precautions will keep your skin healthier and reduce your risks. Still have fun in the outdoors, just keep all of these tips in mind the next time you head out in the sun!

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