THE BEST PROTECTION IS CLOTHING, BUT NOT ALL TEXTILES ARE EQUALLY EFFECTIVE!
Pants, shirts and T-shirts make it easy to protect the most exposed parts of the body without even thinking about it. But not all textiles are equally effective: a light cotton T-shirt will let some of the UV through, a tight weave will protect you better than a loose or stretch weave because, when the stitching stretches, it loses its protective power. A wet garment will also lose its effectiveness, while a loose garment will offer more protection. And finally, washing will increase cotton’s UPF*! (So it’s important to always wash your clothes before wearing them.)
In addition, it’s still important to apply a layer of sunscreen to your skin. You should ideally wear fabrics certified anti-UV which guarantee optimal protection: long-sleeved shirt (men), tank top (women) or windproof, for example. The UPF* 40+/50+ label guarantees it meets the European standard:
- A UPF* 40+ index means that 97.5% of rays are blocked
- 50+ that more than 98% of rays are blocked.
*UPF = Ultraviolet Protection Factor. This measurement indicates how much UV radiation is absorbed by a material.