The Importance of Using Sun Protective Fabrics for Activewear

Most people remember to cover their bare skin with sunscreen before going for a run, but many don’t know the skin under their clothing could be damaged by the sun. Sun protective fabrics step in to help prevent sun damage under your clothing. Sun protective fabrics for activewear are important for many reasons.

Fabric Made With UPF

Technically all clothing gives you a bit of protection from the sun. Sun protection clothing is special because it carries an actual UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating which tells you how much UV is blocked by the fabric itself. These numbers vary from 15 to 50-plus.

Outdoor Exposure

Outdoor athletes simply have an increased risk for skin cancer because they’re directly in the sun. It’s not just because of this sun, but also because perspiring sweats away your sunscreen. From golfers and surfers to hikers and bikers, being active in the sun is gambling with skin cancer. You don’t have to play indoors or reapply sunscreen every hour if you’re wearing the appropriate clothing.

Moisture-wicking Properties

Sunscreen isn’t foolproof, especially when you’re physically active outside. The sun leads you to sweat more as you’re active meaning that sunscreen, even if it’s waterproof, isn’t staying on too long. Sun protection clothing usually is made with special fabric that wicks away moisture from your body. This means you don’t get as wet while being active. Along with moisture-wicking, many UPF clothing styles have ventilation flaps as well as a loose fit. You’re able to play harder without fear of the sun getting through your clothing or the fear of overheating.

Coverage In Forgotten Areas

People tend to under-apply sunscreen on their chest and shoulders. The skin on the chest is thin like the skin on the face leading to a higher level of sun damage. Sun protection clothing that covers the chest and shoulders works much better than sunscreen because you can’t skimp out on the fabric. A regular cotton t-shirt will only keep your chest and shoulders safe from the sun for about 15 minutes. Some clothing has cuffs shaped to cover the back of the hands and even flip-up sun collars.

Lightweight UPF Fabric

Activewear needs to be light and airy so you can move without restriction. Sun protection clothing is naturally lightweight and comfortable. It’s perfect for outdoor activities because it doesn’t weigh you down. If you choose a rash guard t-shirt, you often get a mock neck or collared option. It helps protect the areas around the neck and shoulders. Activewear without UPF, even when it’s lightweight and airy, is like playing outside without any sunscreen as the rays penetrate the thin fabric straight to your delicate skin.

Being Active In Certain Environments

Sunscreen just can’t do its best job in certain environments. If you’re skiing in the mountains, tubing in the lake or being active in higher elevations, your skin is more susceptible to burn. UPF activewear can help you in any of these environments. Instead of staring at the shelf trying to figure out which sunscreen combats this sun, it’s so much easier to pair that sunscreen with sun protection clothing.

Don’t Worry About Reapplying

Sunscreen has to be reapplied after a few hours. The great thing about sun protection activewear is that you don’t ever have to stop being active to reapply. You don’t need to set your watch to stop your sand volleyball game. You don’t need to worry about old sunscreen not working while you’re on a hike. You don’t need to fret that your sunscreen washed off as soon as you jumped on your surfboard. Clothing works with you while you’re having fun.

It’s impossible to hide from the sun. Your best bet as an active person is to protect your skin with sun protection clothing and sunscreen. You can have fun in the sun without worrying about it when you take the right actions.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.