How Do Sun Shirts Work?

How Do Sun Shirts Work?

When it comes to just laying on the beach under your umbrella, sunscreen is probably enough. You’re not moving around too much or doing anything that could damage your sun protection’s integrity.

However, when it comes to watersports, it is a very different story. Sunscreen can only do so much, and if you’re constantly coming in and out of the water, and rubbing up against your surfboard or kayak, you’re going to end up having to reapply every hour or risk getting burnt. That is where sun shirts come into play.

Sun shirts can protect you from the sun just as well as sunscreen, and the best part is, you don’t have to keep reapplying or worry it rubbing off. Sounds great, right? They’re awesome, but the question remains, how do sun shirts work?

Sunscreen vs. Sun Shirts

Of course, there are obvious differences between sunscreen and sun shirts. For one, sunscreen comes in a bottle, and it’s in a liquid or solid form that you have to apply to your skin before going into the sun. With a sun shirt, you just have to put it on, and that’s that. However, there are a lot more differences than just the delivery method. They greatly vary in the way that they can protect you from the sun. 

Sunscreen works in two ways—it blocks UV rays and/or absorbs them. On the other hand, sun shirts manage to do both these things. The fabric blocks the sun, the chemical treatment absorbs the UV rays, and they reflect the sun’s rays thanks to their color. This allows them to provide more thorough sun protection than sunscreen can, if used properly.

What Makes Sun Shirts Special?

So you may be thinking, “can’t I just wear a regular shirt to protect me from the sun?” Well, you technically can, and you’ll still be receiving some measure of protection, but sun shirts are actually created differently than regular t-shirts in a few ways. 

A regular cotton t-shirt typically provides a UPF rating of about 5, which is pretty low. This is largely because regular shirts aren’t treated with any chemicals to absorb UV rays, and because they’re woven very loosely which allows the rays to penetrate more easily.

To protect your skin from UV rays, sun shirts typically have a much higher thread count, preventing most UV rays from filtering through the material. They’re also usually treated with some sort of chemical coating that further absorbs UV rays.

Who Are Sun Shirts Good For?

Sun protective clothing, like sun shirts along with hats and visors, are a great option in many different situations. For example, we’ve already mentioned that they’re a great option for water sports because you don’t have to worry about reapplying every time you get out of the water. Another group they’re ideal for is kids.

It can be pretty difficult to get your kid to hold still to get sunscreen rubbed on them for the third time in a day. An easy solution to this is a sun shirt. You won’t have to worry about rubbing sunscreen all over them and making sure they stay out of the sand and water for the next 20 minutes while it dries. Just pop the shirt on, and they’re good to go. 

If you’re interested in adding a sun shirt to your wardrobe, we offer adult and youth sun shirts that will help keep your skin protected with a UPF rating of 50. Shop our extensive selection of sun protective clothing to find the perfect gear.


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