What is UPF? Why should I wear sun protection clothing?

What is UPF? Why should I wear sun protection clothing?

It’s easy to understand why there is so much confusion swirling around SPF and UPF when it comes to sun protection. Understanding the meaning behind SPF vs UPF, along with the recommended guidelines for your sun protection, will help you determine what’s best for you skin. 

What is SPF?

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a daily application of broad-spectrum SPF 30 (or above) sunblock. SPF is the acronym for Sun Protection Factor (SPF), which is indicates how much UV radiation (sunscreen) lotions, sprays or liquids allow to reach your skin.

What is UPF?

UPF is the acronym for Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), which indicates how much UV radiation (both UVB and UVA) a fabric allows to reach your skin. To qualify for The Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation, fabrics must provide a minimum of UPF 30 (or above) sunblock.


It may be easier to understand your probability of UV overexposure, or sunburn, when the sun is shining brightly on a warm summer day. Most people equate vacation, summer and sunshine with the need to wear sunscreen or sun protection clothing. Did you know your skin may be exposed to harmful UVA rays on a cloudy day, in the snow, or through an airplane window? Environmental factors play an important role when it comes to UV exposure and your skin health. 


Even though dermatologists and medical experts recommend daily application, many people find sunscreen uncomfortable or unappealing to wear. The greasy, sticky feel on your skin, coupled with the need to cover all-of-your exposed skin, then reapply with frequency for proper sun coverage, is easily forgotten or missed. But the truth is, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, and these numbers are increasing. Protecting your skin from sun exposure is essential.

Wearing sun protection clothing is the easiest and most effective form of sun protection. Wearing sun protection clothing reduces the amount of exposed skin on your body, making sunscreen application easier and less time consuming. Sun50 fabrics provide chemical-free, broad-spectrum UPF 50+ sun protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Our fabrics have been granted the prestigious Skin Cancer Seal of Recommendation for meeting UV testing criteria which indicates safe and effective sun protection. Even better, every Sun50 fabric is eco-friendly, sustainably sourced, and super lightweight. Customer’s rave about how light and soft our fabrics feel to the touch. It’s very hard to believe our easy-to-wear and long-lasting fabrics are really a superior shield of trusted sun protection, but we 3rd party UV test them just to be sure. Sun50 sun protection clothing and sunscreen are the winning combination for your skin health.

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