All About UPF

Fact: Not all clothes provide effective sun protection. Some fabrics let in a lot of UV radiation which can damage the skin and lead to both skin cancer and premature aging.  Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is the rating system used for apparel that tells us how effectively a fabric blocks UV rays.  The higher the UPF number, the greater the UVA and UVB protection a fabric offers. (UVA rays cause aging, UVB rays cause sunburn. Both contribute to skin cancer.)  UPF ratings are as follows:

Protection Category

UPF Range

% UV Blocked

15-24

Good

93.3% - 95.8%

25-39

Very Good

96.0% - 97.4%

40-50+

Excellent

97.5% - 98%

When it comes to sun protection, UPF 50+ is the best rating a fabric can receive.  In order to ensure our fabrics provide excellent sun protection, they are third-party tested and certified before being considered for production. 

SPF vs. UPF

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the standard used to measure the effectiveness of sunscreens.  As previously mentioned, UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and is the standard used to measure a fabric’s effectiveness to block UVA and UVB rays.  If a fabric is rated UPF 50+, that means at least 98% of both UVA and UVB rays are consistently blocked. 

Unless a sunscreen is labeled as “broad-spectrum,” it only provides UVB protection.  When used properly, broad-spectrum sunscreens provide wonderful protection from the sun and should be used wherever UPF clothing doesn’t cover. 

SPF should be applied 30-minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every 2 hours.  Although SPF has its place, most people aren’t diligent enough about reapplying their sunscreen.  We’ve all been there.  Maybe you forgot your sunscreen at home.  Perhaps there’s an exposed area on your back you can’t quite reach.  Hey, maybe you just don’t feel like applying that much sun screen.  Whatever the reason might be, SPF tends to need a helping hand.

UPF clothing is that helping hand and should be your primary defense against the sun.  According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Clothing is the most effective form of sun protection.”  At Constant Sol, we make stylish sun protective clothing so you can safely enjoy your time in the sun. 

To learn about our luxurious fabrics, click HERE.