UPF vs. SPF
UPF is an abbreviation for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. This rating system is used to measure the effectiveness of fabric to protect skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation. For example, a UPF rating of 40 will allow only 1/40th of the sun's harmful rays to penetrate the textile. A rating of 40 or higher is considered excellent, blocking 97 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.
SPF, typically associated with sunscreen, is short for Sun Protection Factor. This measurement determines the length of time it takes for redness to occur as result of sun exposure. If applied correctly, a sunscreen rated at SPF 15 will protect 15 times longer than unprotected skin. This amounts to approximately 93 percent of UVB rays. Some experts believe that no sunscreen should be expected to stay effective longer than two hours without reapplication. Sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB radiation is preferred.
UVA and UVB
Simply stated, UVA exposure contributes to premature aging by damaging the skin's elasticity. Perhaps 90 percent of wrinkles, age spots, and visible signs of aging occur as result of the sun's harmful UVA rays which penetrates the skin more deeply. The carcinogenic effects of UVB rays are believed to cause tanning which is the skin's natural defense against the sun. Unfortunately, it is believed that UVB contributes to the development of skin cancer.
|Protection||UPF Ratings||Approximate UV Blocked|
|Good UV Protection||15 - 24||93 - 96%|
|Very Good UV Protection||25 - 39||96 - 97%|
|Excellent UV Protection||40 - 50+||97 - 99%|
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