What is UVA/UVB? Ultraviolet A (UVA) is considered to be long-wave radiation and Ultraviolet B (UVB) is a shorter wavelength. Much of UVB rays are absorbed by the atmosphere’s ozone layer but the radiation that isn’t absorbed can damage the skin’s more superficial layers as in suntans and sunburns. It plays a significant role in skin cancer. UVA rays are not all absorbed ozone layer and can penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB. This penetration can contribute to the development of skin cancer or may even initiate it. Both UVA and UVB radiation impact premature skin aging, eye damage, including cataracts, and skin cancers. They also suppress the immune system which can reduce our ability to combat these and other assaults on our health.
What is UPF? UPF means Ultraviolet Protection Factor. The UPF specifies what fraction of the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrates the fabric. For example, our fabric has a UPF 50+. This means only 1/50th or less of the sun’s UV radiation reaches the skin. In other words it blocks 98% of UVA and UVB radiation. UPF only applies to clothing; SPF (Sun Protection Factor) only applies to sunscreens. Our UVCoolSun Protection Essentials are accessories that should be added to you outdoor collections and ensembles to add more coverage, color, style and of course protection.
How is the UPF of Your Fabric Determined? Aitex Textile Research Institute, an independent laboratory, conducts the testing on Meryl Skinlife fabric. Aitex follows the standards set by the Australian/NewZealand Standard 4399. This is the original, globally-recognized standard for sun protective clothing. In the US, there is presently no Federal program for sun protection garment safety but you can rest assured that our fabric is held to the highest standards! See more about our Meryl Skinlife fabric and all it’s wonderful properties on the “About Our Fabric” page.
Why is Sun Protection Clothing Important? The National Skin Cancer Foundation tells us, “Clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection. It is our first line of defense against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. While it is important to wear sunscreen, clothing such as long sleeves, as well as head, and neck coverings should be worn to protect the skin. Our UV Cool Shrug, UV Cool Band, and UV Cool Tri-Scarf can be worn while playing sports or just hanging out. Our UV Cool Wrap can be worn to an outdoor affair, while watching sporting events, or just hanging out.
Why is Wearing a Hat Important? The National Cancer Foundation advises us, “Basal and squamous cell carcinomas, which comprise over 90 percent of skin cancer, most often appear on the head and neck”. Wearing a hat with a brim in addition to sunscreen can greatly help to protect these delicate areas. However, many outdoor sports aren’t conducive to wearing a hat with a wide brim that surrounds it 360 degrees. This is why we developed our UV Cool Band and UV Cool Tri-Scarf to be worn with a baseball cap or visor. The UV Cool Band is “multifunctional headwear” that can protect these areas in a variety of ways. The UV Cool Tri-Scarf can be used in a number of ways to protect the head, neck, and decolletage. Please see the product pages for suggested uses.
Would Wearing Sunscreen Enough? The National Skin Cancer Foundation tells us to use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher everyday. A water-resistant broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher should be used when participating in extended outdoor activities. One ounce of sunscreen should be applied to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. It should be reapplied every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
Keeping up with sunscreen applications can be time consuming, costly, and prone to error. Our UVCool Sun Protection Essentials are ready to go at a moment's notice with 50+ UPF protection that blocks 98% UPF UVA/UVB. Just and put them on and you're covered! No reapplications necessary. It is important to wear sunscreen on areas you can't completely cover but our accessories cover the most vulnerable areas that can be exposed to sun: The head, face, neck, decolletage, shoulders and arms. In addition to sunscreen, a baseball cap or visor is recommended during sports activities and a hat with a broad brimmed hat is recommended otherwise.
Would Wearing "Sun Sleeves" be Enough? Wearing "sun sleeves" does protect your arms to the extent of the coverage and UPF level the sleeves provide, however there are drawbacks. One issue is that the sleeves do not go all the way up the arm for use with tank tops and some t-shirts. Another is that they tend to slide down the arm quite readily exposing your skin and making you feel uncomfortable. Our UVCool Shrug is designed to move with you. The fabric is like a second skin but with 50+ UPF! It also wicks perspiration and cools you when you heat up. It can be worn under t-shirts, over tanks, with bathing suits or what ever else you wear in the sun. Protect your shoulders and arms in comfort and style!