5 Things You Didn’t Know About Sun Protection

Sunny Pier for UPF Hats and Shirts

Proper sun protection is essential for making sure you enjoy your time outside. Otherwise, you risk ruining your day with skin damage and sunburn. With our UV-protective apparel and UPF hat styles, we try to keep sun safety simple. That being said, it’s still useful to know how sun damage happens to better understand sun protection. With that goal in mind, here are five things you may not know about sun protection:

1) Skin Damage Occurs Before Any Signs of Sunburn

If left unprotected, your skin can be damaged by as little as 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you are ok as long as you don’t see the signs of a sunburn. Even tan and darker skins that don’t redden are still damaged on a cellular level. Likewise, don’t rest easy at the sight of a “mild” sunburn. Even a light burn is bad and indicates damage to your skin, which ultimately increases your risk of permanent skin damage or even skin cancer. Play it safe and wear a UPF hat and sun shirt even for short periods of sun exposure.

2) The UV Index Shows the Strength of UV Rays Each Day

The first thing you should do on any day you plan on being in the sun is check the day’s UV Index. This is basically a measure of the strength of the sun’s UV rays on a given day, based on solar noon (between 10 AM – 4 PM). The UV Index ranges from 0-12. The higher the UV Index, the higher your risk of skin damage, and the faster you could burn. A UV Index of 3-7, for instance, indicates a “Medium to High” risk. An Index of 8-12 represents a “Very High to Extreme” risk. The higher the UV Index, the more critical your UPF hat and shirt become.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the UV Index, or watch this short video:

3) Many Surfaces Reflect UV Radiation

Did you know that ultraviolet radiation doesn’t just come directly from the sun? In fact, damaging UV rays also reflect off nearby surfaces. By now, most people know that water, snow and ice reflect UV rays, but did you know that sand, cement and even grass reflect enough UV rays to cause skin damage? This makes your UPF hat, UV apparel and broad spectrum sunscreen an important combination. Together they’ll help shield you from both direct and indirect (reflected) UV radiation.

4) Sun Protection is Essential for Every Skin Type & Color

It’s true that people with fairer skin are at a higher risk of sunburn and skin damage, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is off the hook. While some people are more susceptible to sunburn, anyone can get skin damage, sunburn or skin cancer. Whether your skin is black, white, or any shade in between, you need to protect it from UV damage. Start by wearing a UPF 50+ clothing and a UPF hat, followed by sunscreen on any remaining areas of exposed skin.

Woman Needs a UPF Hat on the Beach

5) UPF 50+ Apparel Is the Surest Form of Sun Protection

Sunscreen is essential for sun safety, but UPF apparel is a better bet for sun protection. As great as they are, sunscreens still have several drawbacks. They need to be applied thoroughly, and this needs to be done 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Sunscreen also needs to be reapplied every 2 hours. Plus, and most confusing of all, sunscreen ingredient labels are hard to understand and it’s not clear what is safe for you or coral reefs. The surest sun protection comes from the simplest sun protection: UPF 50+ hats and shirts. UPF-rated apparel is always broad spectrum and doesn’t have any of sunscreen’s drawbacks mentioned above.

Now that you know even more about sun protection, we hope you’re feeling ready for “More Adventure & Less Exposure.” The next time you’re going to be in the sun, we recommend a UPF hat, sun shirt, sunglasses and sunscreen. To shop Rayward Apparel’s UV-protection clothing, visit our online store today.

Sources: World Health Organization; Skin Cancer Foundation

Do I Need A Long Sleeve Sun Shirt?

Long Sleeve UPF Shirt on Woman

The best defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays is a combination of sunscreen and UPF 50+ apparel. The question we get a lot, therefore, is if you’re using sunscreen, do you need a long sleeve sun shirt? Our answer: YES! Continue reading below to find out why we still recommend a long sleeve SPF shirt as your best best for UV protection.

Issues with Sunscreen Application

One of the biggest reasons people get sunburn is because of inadequate or inconsistent sunscreen application. When applying sunscreen, it’s very easy to miss a spot, especially without someone else’s help. Plus, even the best sunscreens need to be reapplied every couple hours. When busy or on the go, it’s easy to lose track of time and let your sunscreen’s protection lapse. This, as you likely know, can be a costly mistake leading to sunburn, or worse. As your dermatologist would agree, with UPF apparel, you know you’re covered. For more sun protection tips, click here.

Also, many sunscreens leave a greasy feeling on your skin, and some even stain your clothes! Worse yet, some contain ingredients that harm coral reefs and marine life. Why put your skin (or environment’s) safety to chance? Trust the always consistent and properly “applied” protection offered by a long sleeve SPF shirt (also referred to as UPF shirts because of their Ultraviolet Protection Factor ratings. You can also learn more about SPF and UPF here).

Additionally, some of the confusion about sunscreen application stems from a misunderstanding of what actually causes sunburn. Check out this video for an entertaining look at what actually causes sunburn:

Cost Savings with a Long Sleeve SPF Shirt

Another benefit of wearing a long sleeve SPF shirt versus a short sleeve shirt and sunscreen is that you’ll save money. This is because you’ll inherently need less sunscreen (which is surprisingly expensive) when more of your skin is covered by UPF apparel that accomplishes what otherwise would have been by sunscreen. Furthermore, the UPF 50+ rating of our shirts is achieved through a special fabric blend featuring viscose from bamboo. As a result of not relying on chemical spray applications that can wear off, our naturally UV blocking fabric holds up wash after wash.

Long Sleeve UPF Shirt from Rayward Apparel

Breathable, Quick-drying and Cool… Even with Long Sleeves

Many people associate long sleeves with warm clothing for cold weather. You may be surprised to learn that long sleeves can actually help you stay cool, even in hot weather. When you sweat or get wet, our fabric pulls this moisture away from your skin where it can dry quickly. This in turn maintains a space for air to flow between your skin and our shirt, which keeps you cooler. As a result, your shirt stays dry, you stay cool, and your skin stays protected with our UPF 50+ rating.

In Conclusion, You Need a Long Sleeve Sun Shirt

For the best long sleeve SPF shirt, look no further than Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound collection. These UPF 50+ long sleeve shirts block over 98% of UV rays, which is the equivalent of wearing SPF 50 sunscreen. Plus, our long sleeve sun shirts are moisture-wicking, breathable, ultra soft, and look great from the beach to the bar. Shop Rayward Apparel’s long sleeve SPF shirts today, available for men and women, both with and without a hood!

NOTE: Do you ALWAYS need to wear our long sleeve shirt? In the hottest of conditions, or when you don’t mine taking the time to properly apply reef-safe sunscreen, then you are also safe with our short sleeve UPF shirt. The goal here is to highlight the advantages of our long sleeve UPF shirts—which do inherently offer more protection than our short sleeve variation—although we know there is a time and place for each version of our Sun Bound shirt. And we absolutely believe that you need a long sleeve UPF shirt in your closet, always at the ready!

Top 5 Questions (and Answers) on Sun Protection

Motorboat with Sun Reflecting on the Water

It’s important, we spend a lot of time in it, and yet there’s still a lot of confusion about how to protect ourselves from it. We’re talking about the sun, of course! Our goal below is to highlight the top five questions regarding sun protection, and in doing so, hopefully clarify a few important sun safety tips. One thing that is clear? Rayward Apparel’s Sun Bound shirts and sun hoodie are your go-to sun protection apparel! Find out why while learning more about sun protection below:

1) What Causes Sunburn and Skin Damage?

Sunburn is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrating your skin. UV damage comes from two forms of UV rays: UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and are what cause wrinkling, early aging and, most critically, skin cancer. UVB rays damage the surface of the skin and are what cause sunburn and reddening. Too much exposure to either UVA or UVB rays will damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.

2) What Affects My Risk of Sun Damage?

Your risk of sun damage, whether permanent or temporary, depends on a few factors, including the amount of time for which you are exposed. The time, environment and weather also play a role in determining how much exposure is too much. The sun’s rays are most powerful between 10 AM – 4 PM, for example. Also, you’ll burn easier at higher altitudes or closer to the equator. Furthermore, consider your surroundings and any surfaces that could reflect UV rays, such as water, ice, sand and concrete, especially onto your face.

Woman at Beach with Sun Protection

3) What Is the Best UPF Rating?

Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) measures the amount of UV radiation that goes through a fabric and reaches the skin. The higher the UPF rating, the better, and the best is UPF 50+. To translate a UPF rating into practical application, a UPF-rated fabric lets a percent of UV rays through equal to one divided by the UPF rating (1 / UPF). For example, a UPF 50+ shirt lets through less than 1/50th, or less than 2%, of UV rays. Additionally, the UPF rating system, unlike the SPF system for sunscreens, measures protection against both UVB and UVA rays.

4) How Do Sun Shirts Block UV Rays?

UPF sun shirts and sun hoodies block UV rays by shielding your skin. This protection can be accomplished a few different ways. Dyeing with darker colors, for instance, will absorb more UV rays, therefore allowing less to reach your skin. Certain fibers, like the blend of viscose from bamboo and cotton used in our sun hoodie, have natural properties and a dense weave that absorbs UV. NOTE: Some companies achieve their UPF ratings through chemical and oil treatments which can be bad for the environment and less durable.

5) What’s the Most Effective Sun Protection?

The most effective sun protection is the one that you wear when you need it. To us, that means the reliable, comfortable and always broad-spectrum UV protection provided by UPF apparel, like our sun hoodie. There are many reasons we like UPF clothing more than just sunscreen for effective sun protection. For starters, with properly worn UPF apparel, you can’t accidentally miss a spot, you don’t have to reapply and it’s easier to remember to put a shirt on! Plus, you’ll save money in the long run and your protection is always broad spectrum.

Men's Sun Bound Hoodie in Blue

If you have additional questions about sun protection, leave us a comment below! To shop our UPF 50+ Sun Bound collection of sun shirts, including a t-shirt, long sleeve shirt and sun hoodie, CLICK HERE.

Sun Protection Myths: Know the Facts to Prevent UV Damage

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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