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What to wear to protect your skin from the sun

Did you know that what you wear can make a big difference when it comes to protecting yourself from the sun?


Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory – they protect your eyes from damage by blocking UV rays. This is important for kids too! Look for the kind that have both UVA and UVB protection. The label might say UV 400 or 100% UV protection.

Wide-brimmed hatHats

Many skin cancers develop on the face and neck. These areas need extra protection. Wear a hat with a wide brim that covers your head, face, ears and neck. Hats like baseball caps won’t give you enough protection.

Long sleeve shirt

UV protective clothing

Look for clothing that’s specially made to protect you from UV rays. The label shows the UV protection factor (UPF). UPF measures a fabric’s ability to block UV rays from passing through and reaching the skin. The fabrics are classified into categories based on their UPF.

Like a sunscreen’s SPF, the higher the UPF, the less UV radiation reaches the skin and the better the protection. The fabrics used for this clothing are often lightweight, and some may be treated with ingredients to help them block UV rays. Look for UPF 15 or higher. UPF 50+ blocks most UV rays.

Tightly woven clothing

Clothing doesn’t have to be labelled with a UPF to protect you from UV rays. Any tightly woven clothing prevents the rays of light from passing through to your skin. If you hold the fabric up to the light, the tighter and closer together the fibres, the less the rays of light can pass through. Tightly woven clothing doesn’t have to cost a lot to protect you from the sun.

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