When you're ready to head out into the summer sun, skin cancer is the last thing you want to have on your mind. But there's more to reach for than just high SPF sunscreen. Block the UV rays by wearing clothes that come with a built-in ultraviolet protection factor (UPF).
Peak protection: up to UPF 50 sun protection and beyond
Unlike sunscreen, UPF clothing is measured for protection from UVA and UVB rays. Not only will you block out the UV radiation that causes sunburn, there's extra benefits. Sun protective clothing also offers UV protection against rays that contribute to premature aging, wrinkles, and more.
What does the UPF rating mean? The number tells you the sun protection factor of the fabric. For example, a fabric with a rating of UPF 50 only allows 1/50th of the sun's rays through to the skin. To get the best sun protection, you'll need high rating. Take your sun safety seriously, and remember to throw sunscreen into your hiking pack along with your favorite protective sun shirt.
Stay active with sun protective clothing
When you shop for men's activewear or women's activewear, add "blocks sun damage" to your list of must-haves. Head to checkout knowing you have the best training clothes for outdoor adventures. Breathable fabrics let you hike for hours without feeling stifled. If you're going for a run on a hot day, avoid feeling drenched by the end of the first mile. The quick-drying, moisture-wicking construction helps beat the summer heat. And you can tug on a pair of board shorts and a t-shirt over your swimwear for instant protection at the beach or boardwalk.
Even when it gets cooler, stay out of the sun. Long sleeves with thumbholes keep your arms protected. Pants and leggings keep your legs out of the sun. Block as much UV radiation as possible: your skin (and your dermatologist!) will thank you.
Mix it up: Sun protection clothing in all styles
From a swimsuit cover up to a jog-worthy hoodie, there are plenty of ways to style your outdoor look. Shop short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts for all types of weather. And don't forget, you can always grab an iconic fleece for an extra layer in uncertain weather.
But things often heat up when it comes to hours in the sun. When you lace up your sneakers, don't forget a pair of breathable running tights for extra comfort. A skort and a wide-brim sun hat make for a perfect outfit for exploring a new city. Throw on a baseball cap with capris and a tank top for an everyday protective look.
Still looking for the perfect outfit? We're coming up with new looks all the time. Check out our new arrivals for even more amazing sun gear.
What is sun protective clothing/UPF clothing?
Sun protective clothing is made in a way that blocks some percentage of the sun's UV rays from reaching the skin. It's the special weave that gives it an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). UPF clothing blocks both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause sunburn while UVB rays contribute to wrinkles, premature aging, and skin cancer.
What does UPF stand for?
UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It's similar to an SPF rating for sunscreen. The higher the UPF, the more protection it offers from the sun. Clothing with a UPF of 50 blocks all but 1/50th of the sun's rays from reaching the skin. Clothing with a UPF of 30 or better gets The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation. When it comes to UPF ratings, 30-49 is considered good protection. 50 and above is excellent.
Do you need sunscreen if you have sun protection clothing?
Yes! Sunscreen is still important, especially on your face and other exposed skin. Most people don't cover every inch of their body with clothing. Any skin that's still exposed to sunlight should be getting a layer of sunscreen.
How do you wash sun protected clothes?
Sun protected clothes can be washed in the washing machine, like your other clothes. For the best results, wash your UPF clothes in cool or cold water on gentle with mild detergent. Instead of using the dryer, air dry sun protective clothes without wringing them out.
Is it safe to wear sun protective clothing every day?
Yes! Sun protective clothing is just like your other clothing when it comes to wearing it. You can wear your sun protective clothing as often and for as long as you like. Just make sure to keep it clean between uses.
Does black UV protective clothing reflect the sun's rays?
Color plays a part in making UPF clothing. Dark and bright colors absorb UV rays before they can get to your skin. If you're looking for extra sun protection, black and other dark colors are particularly good choices.
Where can I buy sun protective clothing?
We sell sun protective clothing right here on thenorthface.com, or you can find a store near you to browse for sun protection clothing and UPF clothing in person.