Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)

 

The protection offered by clothing is measured by ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation is absorbed.6,16

As a rule, light-colored, lightweight and loosely-woven fabrics do not offer much protection from the sun. In general, clothing made of tightly-woven fabric best protects skin from the sun. The color of the fabric also plays a role as darker-colored fabrics are more effective than lighter at blocking out the sun.16

Only clothes with a UPF of 15-50+ may be labeled as sun-protective. A fabric with a rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. This means the fabric will reduce your skin’s UV radiation exposure significantly, because only 2 percent of the UV rays will get through.16