Should Men Wear Sun-Protective Clothing? According to Experts

To keep from getting skin cancer or getting old too quickly, you must avoid sun damage. The right clothes can protect you from the sun all summer long. Should Men Wear Sun-Protective Clothing? Go with Teeanime for all your doubts!

Side effects of sun-bathing

According to a new American Academy of Dermatology survey, Americans are more concerned than ever about sun protection (AAD.) However, the organization discovered that the majority of us are not properly practicing sun safety. Not using enough sunblock to block dangerous rays is a common skincare mistake (King’s College London researchers found the average person barely applies enough sunscreen for 40% skin protection). Cancers research shows that we often overlook sun protective clothing.

Sun-protective clothing is a better barrier than sunscreen, given all the blunders we make with it. The right clothing can help protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage.

Can the sun damage our skin through clothing?

So you’ve applied enough sunscreen to your arms, neck, and hands, all the way up to the hem of your t-shirt. When it comes to the sun, though, not all clothing is created equal—and your favorite top may leave the skin beneath completely exposed to UV harm.

Your skin is now severely damaged by the sun. We expect it to forgive our sun-worshipping transgressions almost entirely on its own, and it can—to a point.

According to Anthony Rossi, MD, a dermatologist and assistant attending physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, your skin is designed to protect your body from external elements such as UV rays.

However, your skin can only withstand so much damage before the sun’s UV light causes alterations and mutations in our DNA. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes.

“Melanin functions as a cap over the skin cells, absorbing UV and protecting the cells,” explains Dr. Rossi. “We all have the same number of melanocytes, regardless of skin type. What differs is the amount of melanin we produce.”

Every time we are exposed to the sun, whether we tan or sunburn, we are causing DNA damage due to the sun’s UV radiation, he claims. (And, while you want to avoid as much damage as possible, dermatologists recommend these basic skincare techniques to save your skin when you’ve had too much sun.)

Remember that UV exposure increases the risk of skin cancer, which is the most frequent cancer in the United States. Skin cancer is so common that two people die from it every hour.

This is where sunscreen and protective gear come in to help keep your skin healthy.

Can clothes protect you from the sun?

Choosing intelligently, yes.

Some shirts, jeans, and hats block more UV radiation than others. UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) is a corollary to SPF (sun protection factor) for sunscreens.

Unbleached, coloured cotton, such as green, brown, and tan, has a higher natural UPF because the fibers contain UV-absorbing pigments, explains Pooja Sodha, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology at George Washington Medical Faculty Associates in Washington, D.C.

Clothing color is simply one UPF factor.

Fabric weight, thickness, and stitch density affect UPF, she explains. This issue is related to fabric tightness and weave, not only type.

How to choose sun-protective clothing


Dark and brilliant color dyes absorb more UV rays than lighter colors like whites and pastels, which helps protect your skin.

A white cotton T-shirt, for example, has a UPF of 10, whereas a long-sleeved denim shirt has a UPF of 1,700.

Of course, the darker hue of the denim shirt is only half of the reason it has a higher UPF. Its thicker fabric also contributes to its high UPF. The UPF of a white denim long-sleeved shirt is higher than that of a white cotton T-shirt.

Fabric construction

When it’s hot outside, a light and breezy clothing seems cooler, but it leaves your skin prone to skin damage.

Hold the fabric up to the light to check its density. If you can see light through your clothing, you should put sunscreen underneath it to protect your skin from the sun.

UV radiation can enter through sheer, thin, or loosely woven clothing. Tightly woven materials, such as woven synthetic fibers, wool, denim, densely woven cloth, and canvas, aid in their exclusion.

Fabric content

Don’t worry, you don’t have to wear heavy denim all summer to stay sun safe.

Because shiny polyester and satiny silk blouses reflect more light than matte textiles, you can still wear them. Nylon, rayon, Lycra, and acrylic are also examples.

“However, UV protection is dependent on a variety of fabric properties. “Thin sheer silk will not be as protective as hefty denim white cotton,” Dr. Sodha cautions.

In sun-drenched Australia, researchers discovered that apparel containing Lycra/elastane—a fabric commonly seen in our beloved leggings and workout wear—had UPFs of 50 or higher.

According to the study, which was published in the journal Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, that high sun protection factor was followed by nylon and polyester.

Another advantage of wearing these textiles is that they help keep you dry as you sweat in the heat.

“Natural materials, such as cotton, help you absorb moisture, but newer synthetic sportswear also helps to wick away moisture and prevent moisture from resting on your skin and irritating it,” Dr. Rossi explains.

It’s also vital to keep sweat at bay since when materials get wet, they become more transparent and lose some of their sun protection efficacy.


We want loose-fitting clothes for another reason, not because we want to save room for dessert.

Not only is tight clothing uncomfortable, but it could also be bad for your skin.

As the threads and fibers pull and stretch, more UV light gets through.

What is UPF clothing?

UPF clothing is designed to provide the best UV protection available.

“There are several methods for producing UV protective clothing, including dyes utilized, materials, and substances that give UV protection, such as UV absorbers and finishes,” Dr. Rossi explains.

Some manufacturers employ UV-absorbing plant extracts that are sustainable, such as anthocyanins, chlorophylls, carotenoids, and flavonoids.

The extracts, dyes, and other components that make up UPF last wash after wash. Some firms even guarantee the UPF rating for the life of the garment.

What’s a good UPF rating?

The label’s UPF rating indicates how much UV radiation goes through the cloth to your skin.

A UPF 50 shirt permits only a small quantity of UV rays to reach your skin (approximately 1/50th).

A UPF 10 white T-shirt lets 1/10th of UV radiation through.

If you want the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation, buy UPF 30 clothing and accessories. UPF 50 is good.

Is UPF clothing heavy and uncomfortable?

Because it’s colder outside in the winter, UPF clothing might seem easier to wear when the sun is shining brightly. (So, here are 12 reasons why you get older faster in the winter.)

In the blazing heat, are you wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and hats? Not really.

Still, most UPF clothing is surprisingly light, comfortable, and good at wicking away moisture. And if you think UPF is more about function than style, you might be surprised by how stylish it is. As an example:

Cover your head

Better to wear a baseball cap than nothing at all. Chris Adigun, MD, a dermatologist at the Dermatology & Laser Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, says that it still doesn’t cover all of the face and neck.

What else should we wear? Dr. Adigun recommends wearing a hat with a wide brim to protect your face, ears, and, if possible, the back of your neck.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a brim circumference of three inches or at least a three-inch bill with a drape that covers the ears and neck that is permanently attached. Some great choices:

  • Wallaroo Hat Company Women’s Scrunchie Sun Hat: “Wallaroo makes great hats,” says Dr. Adigun. “You can literally roll them up into a ball, so they’re easy to pack.” This one has a UPF 50+ rating.
  • Solbari Protective Everyday Sun Hat for Women: “I refer my patients to Coolibar and Solbari for clothing and hats,” says Dr. Sodha. This hat exceeds the recommendations, with a four-inch brim in the front and a six-inch brim in the back for neck protection. It also has a UPF rating of 50+.
  • Coolibar Men’s Beach Comber Sun Hat: An oversized brim of four inches and a cotton-lined crown and sweatband keep your head extra cool on hot days. The UPF 50+ goes a long way toward blocking UV rays.

Protect your feet

When the first hot day comes, everyone is ready to get rid of their hot, uncomfortable shoes and wear flip-flops, sandals, or nothing at all.

On a hot day, these choices are comfortable and cool, but they don’t cover your feet.

Dr. Adigun says, “I’ve seen people get sunburned right through their jelly shoes and other lightweight mesh sandals.”

No matter if you’re wearing flip-flops, mesh athletic shoes, or jelly shoes, you need to put on a waterproof sunscreen.

Dr. Adigun says that you will be protected if you put your toes in the pool or if your feet sweat. Make sure to put on more sunscreen as directed on the bottle.

Shield your hands

Even though our hands are often in the sun, we tend to pay more attention to our faces and other parts of our bodies when we put on sunscreen.

You might unconsciously think you’ve covered your hands, so it’s easy to forget to put sunscreen on the backs of your hands.

Over time, being in the sun makes us more likely to get skin cancer and strips our hands of collagen, which makes our skin thin and wrinkly and gives us little brown spots.

The Skin Cancer Foundation says that the sun is responsible for a huge 90% of skin aging. Cover up with these sun protection gloves to avoid getting old and getting cancer:

Sunscreen vs. UPF clothes

UPF clothing doesn’t require reapplication.

Last time you relied on sunscreen poolside, at the beach, or outdoors all day, did you get lobster-colored arms and legs and a burnt nose? Sun-damaged skin results from not reapplying sunscreen every hour.

Dr. Adigun claims UPF clothing is more effective than sunscreens and doesn’t wear off or need reapplication.

UPF clothing, including rash guards, don’t need sunscreen.

Dr. Adigun recommends UPF 50 clothing for direct sunlight.

You’ll need to apply sunscreen (and reapply as needed) to skin not covered by UPF clothing. Dermatologists utilize these sunscreens.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using soft, light rash guards in or out of the water.

Why UPF clothing is worth the investment

UPF clothes aren’t just for people with fair clothing who burn easily. Too much UV light is bad for everyone.

“People with skin problems that make it sensitive to UV light and a history of skin cancer are clear candidates. But even young children should think about using these products, because UV radiation starts to cause damage as soon as they are born, says Dr. Sodha.

In fact, about 23% of sun damage over a lifetime happens before the age of 18. By age 40, that average goes up to 47 percent.

If your skin has already started to show signs of sun damage, there are products that dermatologists say may help reverse the damage.

Using UPF clothing and sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun lowers your risk of skin cancer, aging, and other problems.

  • prevention of skin cancer
  • prevention of sun-induced aging
  • prevention of flares of autoimmune diseases
  • prevention of flares of sun-induced skin rashes and sun allergies
  • prevention of photosensitivity while using certain medications

In short, investing in some sun-protective clothing is a great idea.