One of the most common questions that we get asked is what is it that makes the womens rash vests sun protective. Also, what does UPF stand for and what exactly are UV rays? Hopefully in this post we will try and demystify these questions and give you good, useful information so that you can make the right choice for you when buying a womens rashie.
So, let’s look first at the sun and the UV rays. Why are these UV rays so damaging to us? It is because they can penetrate our skin and cause all sorts of damage and harm. There are two types of UV rays that are particularly worrying and these you may have heard of before. UVA and UVB rays are the ones which can cause us the most harm and cause cancers as well as premature aging.
UVA rays are the ones that are primarily responsible for the premature aging of our skin. These rays penetrate quite deeply into our skin layer and wreak havoc. The worst part about these rays is that they are there for the whole time the sun is up in the sky – from dusk till dawn as they say. This is why they are particularly nasty as there is no time that you are not exposed to them except for when it is night. Wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen on exposed areas of your face and body when you are outdoors is a really good way to protect yourself, as well as sun protective clothing including hats and sun glasses.
The UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn and can ultimately lead to sun spots and skin cancers. These are the ones that most people know about and are conscious of. The UVB rays are strongest when the sun is high up in the sky which is usually around the middle of the day. This is why the Cancer Foundation suggests staying indoors or wearing sun protection between the hours of 10am and 4pm. These rays penetrate not as deeply as the UVA rays but do cause a lot of damage.
Another thing to seriously consider wearing sun protection is out in alpine areas, especially if you are a skier or a snowboarder. Yes, the air is cooler up there and have snow around but the snow can actually reflect the UV rays back at you. So, as well as having the UV rays come down directly onto you, you get the reflection too. A double whammy!
Let’s now look at why the rash vests are sun protective and this is to do with the fabric. The fabric that is used is tested to see what the UPF rating is and this determines how much of the sun is filtered through the fabric. Similar to the SPF rating for sunscreen, the UPF is a rating that is used specifically for clothing. The higher the UPF, the more the UV rays are filtered out. For example, a UPF rating of 50+ will filter out up to 98% of both the UVA and the UVB rays. This is why clothing that is sun protective is such a great barrier for protecting you from the sun.
Sun protective clothing is not just in the form of women’s rash vests, but you can get other clothing in it too. Things like coverups, pants, hats and gloves are all areas in which you can find and wear to give you added sun protection when outdoors. When looking for a piece of clothing to give you protection, have an idea of what you are specifically after as there are so many variations out there of different styles and designs. Consider whether you want a high neckline or a neckline that you can open slightly? Long or short sleeves? Everyone is different in what they require and what they are going to be using the rash vests for. But very importantly, cover up any exposed skin with a high SPF sunscreen to ensure that you don’t potentially expose yourself to damage from the sun.