Every day over 9,000 Americans receive a skin cancer diagnosis. Skin cancer is more common than any other form of cancer.

One of the biggest risk factors for skin cancer is ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure. Ultraviolet rays emanate from sunlight. Limiting your UV exposure is a good way to reduce your chances of getting skin cancer.

UPF clothing is a great way of reducing UV exposure to your skin, and it's a great addition to any wardrobe.

What Is UPF Clothing?

UPF is the ultraviolet protection factor much like the sun protection factor (SPF) rating of sunscreen. UPF clothing protects your skin from harmful UV rays.

UPF ratings take into account both UVA and UVB light. The higher the UPF rating, the better the protection. Ratings start around 15 and go up to 50+.

A rating of 15 is good, and 40 and above is excellent. Between 25-35 is "very good."

Anything under 15 doesn't offer much UV protection. Keep in mind that an average white cotton t-shirt rates about a 5.

Densely woven fabrics that are dark in color offer more UV protection than light, loose-weave fabrics. When ordering UPF clothing, order a size up. A tight fit stretches the fabric which reduces its ability to disrupt UV light from getting through the clothes.

Also, look for UV protection that doesn't wash out of the clothes. Here are 8 benefits of UPF clothing.

1. Sun-Sensitive People

Redheads, light-skinned, and light-eyed people are especially sun-sensitive. Some people have sensitivities to the sun that present as a sun allergy.

Certain medications also make skin sensitive to the sun. UPF clothing is great for people with sun sensitivities. When traveling, if there's no sunscreen available, UPF clothing is extra helpful.

For sun-sensitive people, UPF clothing is great all the time.

2. Traveling to Equatorial Regions

Equatorial regions have a higher sun intensity and more exposure to UV rays. There are 13 countries in the equatorial region, including Ecuador, Columbia, and Brazil.

These countries are hot, humid, and tropical in climate. If you're traveling in the equatorial region, you'll appreciate having UPF clothing in your suitcase.

3. Traveling to High Altitudes

Do you love traveling to the mountains? Traveling to peak elevations also puts you at risk for more intense sun exposure.

Do you live at a high elevation, such as Boulder County in Colorado? Your UV exposure is 25% higher than someone living at sea level. UPF clothing along with sunscreen is a must when you're traveling or living in high altitude areas.

4. The Perfect Beach Wear

Do you love the beach? Most people love the sun and surf but definitely not the sunburn! As few as 5 sunburns between the ages of 15-20 increase your chances of melanoma by 80% if you have fair skin.

Traveling to the beach? Even people with dark skin need sun protection from the sun's powerful UV rays.

Slather on plenty of sunscreen and wear a hat, sunglasses, and UPF clothing while out in the sun. Don't worry about being too hot since UPF clothing is lightweight and temperature regulating.

5. Wrinkle-Resistant

UPF clothing is wrinkle-resistant for an added plus when traveling. It's also fashionable.

Spending a day on the beach and then heading off for a cocktail? A UPF coverup is the perfect solution. Side ruching converts the coverup from short beachwear to the perfect shift dress.

Roll up UPF clothing in your suitcase. It only takes a little bit of room, and when it's unrolled, it's wrinkle-free. UPF clothing also comes in lots of beautiful vibrant colors.

Most UPF clothing is machine washable in cold water. Remember to look for UPF clothing with UV protection that doesn't come out with washing.

6. Anti-Microbial

UPF clothing also has anti-microbial properties. This means your wet clothing is odor-resistant. No more worries about smelling like a wet rag when you're having fun in the sun and water at the beach!

Although the fabric doesn't kill germs on contact, it stops bacteria from multiplying unchecked. Most non-UPF clothing gets smelly fast when it's wet due to fast-growing bacteria and fungi.

7. Quick Drying Materials

Looking for outdoor clothing that's moisture-resistant and quick-drying? UPF fits the bill. This is a great reason for bringing your UPF clothing when you're traveling.

If your clothes get wet or dirty, the drying time is quick. It's also good when you're in the sun hiking and sweating a lot. The fabric wicks moisture away from your body and dries fast.

8. Chemical-Free Sun Protection

It's best to use sunscreens in tandem with your UPF clothing but that's not always possible. Some people have sunscreen allergies. There may be times when you run out of sunscreen and can't find a store while traveling.

UPF clothing offers chemical-free sun protection for those with sunscreen sensitivities or allergies.

Beyond UPF Clothing

UPF clothing is a great addition to your travel wardrobe but don't forget to pack your sunscreen. Use a hat for head protection. Your hair doesn't protect you from getting skin cancer on your scalp.

Sunglasses reduce UV light into your eyes. Make sure the glasses have 100% UV-ray protection. If it doesn't say that on the sunglasses, don't buy them.

Many people think they're safe to be out unprotected on a cloudy day. You may not see the sun, but it's always there. Harmful UV rays come through the clouds every day, so always go out protected.

Avoid peak daylight hours if possible. Those hours are different depending on where you are, but they're roughly between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Keep Your Skin Safe with UPF Clothing

UPF clothing offers serious benefits when it comes to traveling. It keeps your skin safe while you're out enjoying your life.

It's chemical-free UV-ray protection that's fashionable and wrinkle-resistant. Even after a day playing at the beach, it won't smell because it's antimicrobial. It dries quickly so you'll feel comfortable all day even if you're sweating.

If you're traveling to equatorial regions or high altitudes, UPF clothing has you covered!

Are you ready for some UPF clothing of your own? Take a look here

January 13, 2023 — Gabriella Lowell