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No matter where your summer adventures take you—whether it’s hiking excursions, pool or beach days, or amusement park fun—your skin is at risk of sun damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Even on cloudy days, up to 80% of the sun’s harmful rays can penetrate your skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. And UV damage may lead to skin cancer.
Experts at Huntsman Cancer Institute recommend avoiding the sun as much as possible. Sun exposure should be especially limited between the peak hours of 10 am and 4 pm when the sun’s rays are strongest. If you can’t do that, the next best thing is to cover your skin with clothing. In fact, clothing is the most effective form of sun protection. But what type of clothing is best? Choose clothing with these seven traits for protection against the sun.
Fabric thickness is a key factor. Pick tightly woven or knitted fabrics that have smaller holes. Dense fabrics allow fewer UV rays to get through.
Dark or bright colors
Darker colors, such as blue or black, absorb more UV rays than lighter shades like whites and pastels. This means the UV rays are less likely to reach your skin. But bright colors, like red, can also absorb UV rays. The more vivid the color, the greater the protection—a bright yellow shirt is more protective than a pale one.
Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating
Many outdoor retailers offer UPF-rated clothing, meaning it shields the sun’s harmful rays. While the Skin Cancer Foundation notes that clothing with this rating is effective, these items can be expensive.
Along with clothing, follow these five tips to protect yourself from the sun:
Learn more about protecting your skin.