You are currently viewing Summer Sun Protection: Which Is Better, Sun Protective Clothing or Sunscreen?

Summer Sun Protection: Which Is Better, Sun Protective Clothing or Sunscreen?

I’ve talked a lot about sunscreen before, and today I’m going to talk about sun-protective clothing.

Is sun protection clothing an IQ tax?
Can ordinary clothing be used instead of sun protection clothing?

Regular sun protection clothing is not IQ tax. If you buy a fake one, the sun protection effect is not good.

Can ordinary clothing replace sun protection clothing? This problem seems to be only a problem in spring and summer, and there is usually no such concern in autumn and winter. Clothing in autumn and winter first has a guaranteed covering range, and secondly has a certain thickness and low light transmittance. But short-sleeved shirts, shorts, skirts, etc. in summer are definitely not enough to cover them.

In addition, thin clothing is refreshing and breathable, and often also transmits light. Studies have shown that summer clothing often does not provide adequate UV protection. A foreign study sampled common summer clothing on the market for ultraviolet transmittance measurements and found that about 1/3 of the clothing had UPF <15. A white T-shirt commonly worn in summer generally has a UPF of only about 5.


UPF: The full name is Ultraviolet Protection Factor, ultraviolet protection factor. Refers to the proportion of ultraviolet rays (including UVA and UVB) that can reach the skin through clothing.

For example, a piece of clothing with a UPF of 50 means that only 2% (1/50) of the UV rays can penetrate the clothing and 98% is filtered.

Therefore, for ordinary clothing worn in summer, you need to consider the coverage and sun protection performance of the clothing. If you are doing outdoor activities for a long time, it often cannot meet the sun protection needs. In this case, it is more reliable to choose a sun protective clothing.

If you are worried about the stuffiness of sun protection clothing, there are currently some sun protection clothing on the market that can provide both sun protection and breathability. You can choose according to the situation.

How to choose sun protective clothing?

According to the current national standard for the evaluation of textile UV protection performance (GB/T18830-2009), when the UPF of sun protection clothing is >40 and the UVA transmittance is <5%, it can be called an “UV protection product.”

Products with UV protection should be labeled with:

●Standard number, namely GB/T 18830-2009;

●When 4050, it is marked as UPF50+;

●The protection provided by this product may be reduced after long-term use and when it is stretched or wet.

Since the current sun protection clothing market is relatively chaotic, when purchasing, you must pay attention to whether the measurement standards for UV protection function comply with national standards.

In addition, I personally think it is important to add one more point when choosing clothing. Regarding the “coverage range”, the greater the range of skin covered, the better the sun protection effect.

Is it recommended to wash sun protection clothing every day?
How to clean it properly?

Frequent cleaning is generally not recommended.

Please read the cleaning instructions on the clothing before washing. Also, pay attention to regularly checking whether the clothing has been worn or stretched, causing fiber gaps to increase, which may affect the sun protection performance of the clothing.

If you don’t want to buy new clothes, laundry products containing sunscreen ingredients are currently sold abroad. After washing the clothes, the sunscreen performance of the clothes is equivalent to UPF30 and can withstand about 20 washes.

Wearing sun protection clothing,
Do I still need to wear sunscreen?

In daily life, there is generally no need to apply sunscreen to areas covered by sun-protective clothing.

But even if some sun protection clothing can meet the standard, the protection against ultraviolet rays cannot be 100%, and there will always be fish that slip through the net. If you are exposed to the sun for a long time, tanning is a high probability event. What’s more, with the use of sun-protective clothing, the sun protection ability will gradually weaken, and sunscreen is needed to make up for the lack of sun-protective clothing.

For parts that may or are easily exposed to the sun, such as hands, feet, face, and neck, it is recommended to apply sunscreen in addition to sun-protective clothing.

Generally speaking, sun-protective clothing has a certain protective ability against ultraviolet rays and is a good sun protection option. However, it cannot be completely relied on for sun protection. It is best to combine sun-protective clothing with sunscreen, especially if you are exposed to the sun for a long time. hour.

Sun protective clothing and sunscreen,
Which one works better?

Neither adults nor children have to make a choice. The best effect is to have both. Except for infants under 6 months old, physical shielding is recommended for sun protection.

In fact, there are many influencing factors on this issue, and there is currently a lack of rigorous controlled experimental research. There are only a few in vitro studies that compare the UV protection capabilities of sun-protective clothing and sunscreen under laboratory conditions. The results show that the four fiber fabrics tested have better UV protection effects than the two sunscreens (SPF) that participated in the test. 30 and 50 respectively).

Because it is an in vitro study, and there is still a big gap between laboratory measurements and scenarios used in real life. So the results are for reference only.

In real life, which method to choose also needs to be considered based on factors such as environment, personal needs, and convenience.

It usually only takes about 1 minute to put on a sun protective clothing, hat, and sunglasses.

For water activities, a swimsuit with adequate coverage and sun protection would be more ideal.

For children who are naturally active, it is often difficult to apply sunscreen in sufficient amounts on exposed skin and reapply it every 2-3 hours.

Especially for children who are unwilling to apply sunscreen, the final result is likely to be that the parents are so tired that they are sweating profusely, and then they are confused about whether to go out with a child with a mottled face… At this time, sun protection clothing, hats, and sun protection Glasses are a good choice.

When there is a need for styling, sun protection clothing may not necessarily match the scene, so you need to take some time to apply sunscreen carefully.

In short, Done is better than perfect! Action is what counts. When there is no choice, even wearing ordinary clothes to cover it is better than using nothing at all.