Sun Protection Myths: Know the Facts to Prevent UV Damage

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Beach Lounging with Umbrella

There are many myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings when it comes to sun protection and preventing sunburn. At Rayward Apparel, however, our goal isn’t just to provide sun protective clothing, but also to provide the information and resources necessary to make you sun smart and UV protected.

Continue below as we bust some of the most damaging sun protection myths:

Sun Protection Myths vs Facts:

MYTH“All sunscreens protect against harmful UV damage.”
FACT: In reality, only “broad spectrum” sunscreen adequately blocks both UVA and UVB rays from the sun. UPF clothing, on the other hand, always blocks both types of UV rays. Therefore, you can trust UPF apparel.

Beach Sun Protection Facts vs Fiction

MYTH“You can’t get sunburn on a cloudy day.”
FACT: Clouds may filter some UV rays, but they do not block skin damaging UVA rays. Therefore, even in cloudy, overcast or foggy weather, sun protection clothing is paramount.

MYTH“You can’t get sunburn in the winter.”
FACT: UV damage doesn’t go on holiday. In fact, while UVB rays are strongest during the spring and summer, you are still being bombarded with UVA rays throughout the year. Furthermore, if the ground is covered by reflective snow or ice, you could actually be hit twice.

MYTH“Glass windows protect you from UV rays.”
FACT: Glass may filter out UVB rays, but UVA rays penetrate most glass surfaces. As a result, unless you are certain a glass window has been treated to block UV rays, wear sun protection apparel even behind glass (such as on a plane, bus, train or car).

MYTH“UV rays don’t penetrate the water’s surface and are blocked.”
FACT: Not only do the sun’s UV rays penetrate beneath the surface of water, but they also reflect off of it. They therefore cause damage both above and below the water’s surface.

Water Reflects UV Rays at the Beach

More UV Protection Myths vs Facts:

MYTH“Hair offers adequate UV protection.”
FACT: In fact, even a thick head of hair or a full beard don’t provide sufficient UV protection. Therefore, they should be protected with broad spectrum sunscreen and sun protection apparel.

MYTH“Regular clothing protects you from the sun.”
FACT: It’s safest to only trust clothing clearly labeled with a UPF rating, but the higher the better. In fact, certain fabrics, such as plain cotton, offer a false sense of security with little in the way of actual UV protection. As a result, anything without a UPF rating should be avoided.

MYTH“Lighter colored clothing, such as yellow, offers better sun protection.”
FACT: All else equal, darker colors (such as black, blue or red) absorb more UV rays, and therefore typically protect better than lighter colors like white or yellow.

MYTH“Beach umbrellas offer adequate UV protection.”
FACT: In fact, umbrellas only block direct UV rays from above. Meanwhile, they do little to shield you from indirect UV rays bouncing or reflecting off other surfaces, such as water or sand.

Beach Lounging with Umbrella

Final Sun Safety Myths vs Facts:

MYTH“It’s ok to get sunburn every now and then.”
FACT: Sun damage is cumulative. That is to say, every additional exposure leads to a greater risk of melanoma and skin cancer. Therefore, each case of sunburn is increasingly unhealthy.

MYTH“Unless you get sunburn, then you’re not damaging your skin.”
FACT: In reality, the sun’s UVA rays are already damaging your skin well before any indications of sunburn.

MYTH“It is safe to sun tan in short intervals. For example, just to get a ‘base.'”
FACT: Firstly, there is no such thing as a healthy tan. In fact, UVA rays, the ones which cause skin tanning, directly contribute to the development of skin cancer.

MYTH“Tanning and sunbathing help prevent skin cancer in the future.”
FACT: The tanning effect is your skin’s direct response to being damaged by UVA rays, and does not prevent skin cancer.

Now that you’re informed, it’s time to get protected, and that’s where Rayward Apparel really shines with our exclusive focus on UPF 50+ apparel. We specialize in UV protection shirts that are as protective as they are comfortable, so shop Rayward Apparel today!

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation, Skincancer.org

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