Sun Protective Clothing vs Sunscreen :  7 Advantages of Wearing the Clothes

While your Mom may have told you, "Remember to put on your sunscreen," there are many reasons why sunscreens don't protect you all that well from the sun. A much more effective solution is wearing sun protective clothing like a  sun shirt and a sun hat! Below, we discuss seven major advantages to wearing UV protection clothing over sunscreen.

1. Many Sunscreens Don't Protect You Against UVA Radiation

When purchasing sunscreens, many consumers primarily consider the SPF rating when determining which sunscreen to buy. However, they don't realize that this rating is for UVB radiation only, the short wave portion of UV radiation that is mostly responsible for sunburn. The SPF rating tells you NOTHING about whether or not the sunscreen you are purchasing protects you from the long wave UVA portion of UV radiation, the type of UV that causes skin cancer and aging! 

On the other hand, if you cover up with sun protective clothing with a UPF 50+ rating (like we sell), you'll get protection from more than ninety-eight percent of BOTH UVA and UVB radiation. Only "full spectrum" sun screen of the very highest quality will even approach this much protection, and in most cases, it is not going to protect you as well as a sun shirt or other UV protection clothing. See below for more detail on this.

2. Many People Do Not Put On Enough Sunscreen

Even if you use the highest quality full spectrum sunscreen, many people don't put on enough sunscreen to protect as much as the label suggests! In a 2015 study published in JAMA Dermatology, a Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago conducted a study aimed at learning how well consumers actually understand sunscreen labels and apply it correctly. Out of 114 volunteers, only 55.3% of them were able to correctly identify how much sunscreen they needed to use!

With sun protective clothing, you don't need to know "how much" to apply. You simply put on the sun shirt as you would put on any other piece of clothing and you're ready to go and fully protected!

3. You Don't Have To "Reapply" Sun Protective Clothing

For sunscreen to actually work as advertised, you have to keep reapplying it as directed (or even more often than directed). This is because people sweat and or they get wet and the sunscreen comes off! Most people, especially kids, never reapply sunscreen. If they do, they rarely do so often enough or apply enough when they do.

With UV protection clothing, there's no need to "reapply" it. Even if you sweat or get wet, sun protective clothing like a sun shirt, will continue to work their magic and block both UVA and UVB rays from hitting your skin!

4. Most People Miss Spots When They Apply Sunscreen

In addition to not applying enough sunscreen, many people simply miss spots as they apply it. They may also apply too thin a layer to some spots while they apply thicker layers to other spots. This is partly because it just takes too much time and patience to spread out a nice thick layer to absolutely all spots on your skin.

With a sun shirt and other UV protection clothing, it only takes a few seconds to put them on and you don't have to worry about whether or not you're missing spots or not applying it equally to all areas! When you're excited about getting out into the great outdoors, it helps for your sun protection to be really fast and simple to put on!

5. Sunscreen Is REALLY Messy

Most sunscreens have an oily base that feels icky and can stain your clothes permanently. It also stains papers and furniture! This is a major problem if, for example, you want to take a nice walk at lunchtime but don't want to mess up your clothes for work! Furthermore, you almost need to shower and use soap to remove all the oily residues of sunscreen before you change your clothes!

With Sun Protective Clothing, all you need to do is throw on your sun shirt over your other clothes or dash into the bathroom and change your shirt! You certainly don't need to take a shower or spend time trying to wash off the sunscreen before you change.

6. Sunscreen Can Really Burn Your Eyes

It's hard to put sunscreen on your cheeks and forehead (and eyelids that can also get sun scorched) without getting it in your eyes. Furthermore, when you start to sweat, the sunscreen often rolls into your eyes. This can be very painful and nearly impossible to stop from happening. This is even more of a problem for kids.

With a sun hat, you simply throw it on and you're ready to go. Plus, there's nothing to get into your eyes and burn them. Remember this too, while kids HATE to have sunscreen applied to their cute little faces, most kids LOVE to play "dress up" and wear a cool hat!

7. A Sun Shirt Is Great For Inside Use Too

You may not realize this but you may be getting a heavy does of cancer causing UVA rays when you are inside! If you have a lot of sunlight coming through your window(s)! UVA rays can easily penetrate glass unless it has been specially engineered to block UVA radiation (most window glass has not been)! Therefore, if you have your desk near a window, you may be getting several hours of UVA exposure!

No one wants to wear sunscreen inside and get it all over their fingers while typing on the computer! If you work in a place with a lot of windows, or you want your desk or table at home to be near a window, an easier solution to blocking the UVA radiation is simply to wear a sun shirt and or sun hat!

Final Thoughts

As you can see from these comparisons, sun protective clothing offers numerous advantages over sunscreen. Not only is UV protection  clothing easier to use and less messy, it is also a far more effective sun block, particularly for UVA radiation that causes cancer and premature wrinkles.

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