What is UPF 50+ clothing or sun protection clothing?

UPF 50 clothing
Fashion with UPF50+ sun protection

Everyone, at any time of the day, is exposed to solar radiation. The sun is essential for the existence and development of life on Earth. It provides us with light and heat, it helps us develop vitamin D and prevent numerous diseases. But the sun also emits ultraviolet radiation ( UV rays ) which can cause irreversible damage to our skin.

Our lifestyle has changed a lot in recent years. Our leisure time in most of our lives takes place outdoors.

Sunbathing is not just lying on a beach or pool. Walking, doing sports (fashionable sports such as running, cycling…) outside, visiting places for tourism… the sun is acting on our skin throughout the day without us being aware of it.

Only in the month of vacations that the majority of the population enjoys, we spend daily outdoors, from morning to night. Counting the two summer months there would be 450 hours of sunshine.

(The World Health Organization WHO that ensures that people with skin cancer have taken more than 1000 hours of sun at noon during childhood and adolescence).

The protection offered by sun creams is only effective if applied generously every two hours. Bearing in mind that hardly anyone follows this guideline, we recommend heeding the advice of the World Health Organization WHO: “Clothing is the most effective form of sun protection. It is our first line of defense against harmful ultraviolet rays.”

clothing upf 50
Scarf with UPF50+ fabric

What do the acronyms UPF stand for?

Most of the fabrics that we use in our clothes allow UV rays to pass through their fibers (you can read my own experience here) so that this does not happen, the textile must meet certain characteristics of the composition and structure of the fabric. The mesh of the fibers must be dense enough to offer resistance to the passage of the sun. The acronym UPF Ultraviolet Protection Factor is a rating that indicates the amount of radiation that the garment blocks.

The maximum rating is UPF 50+ meaning it blocks over 98% of UVA and UVB rays. The technique used to add this protection to fabrics varies depending on the manufacturer, it can be from chemical baths to adding layers made of ceramic particles to absorb radiation.

Why don't cotton t-shirts serve to protect us from the sun?

The habit, especially for the little ones, of putting on a cotton shirt on the beach is a very bad idea. Natural fabrics such as cotton or linen cannot block the solar ration. A cotton t-shirt has about a UPF of 12, but when wet it drops to 8. This would be equivalent to less protection than a factor 15 of sunscreen.

And what about sarongs or fine linen kaftans… it’s like wearing nothing. Although you do not feel that your skin has been burned with this type of clothing, it is accumulating all that unwanted radiation throughout the day.

The most natural sun protection

The fabric of the Zazou® layer does not require the application of chemical treatments , it offers an intrinsic natural protection in the way it is woven. This protection does not go away with washing or with the use of the garment.

It has been tested and certified in the laboratory through the strictest protocol in terms of sun protection by the AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists). The result is a UPF 50+ Excellent UV protection clothing label category.

Finally, let’s not forget that the perfect sun protection is one that combines all the elements we have: UPF clothing, hat to protect face and head, sunglasses and cream for exposed areas.

UPF50+ sun protection t-shirt for women and girls
T-shirts with sun protection upf50+
Photographs: Gemma del Hoyo, Petar Paunchev, Esi Photography.