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Sun Safety Facts

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ultraviolet radiation from the sun is a proven human carcinogen. Furthermore, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that more people develop skin cancer from tanning than develop lung cancer from smoking. 

Here are some other frightening facts from the Skin Cancer Foundation (

  • More than 9,500 new skin cancer cases are diagnosed DAILY in U.S. - more than combined total of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers
  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer at some time during their lives
  • One American dies every 30 minutes from skin cancer
  • 98% of skin cancers are directly related to exposure to the sun
  • 5 or more sunburns during youth doubles lifetime melanoma risk

However there is also some good news from the Skin Cancer Foundation - skin cancer can be prevented by following the few simple precautions below.

Doctor Recommended Regimen to Prevent Skin Cancer

1.  Wear clothing with UPF rating of 30+

2.  Wear a wide brimmed (minimum 3" brim) hat

3.  Wear UV-protective sunglasses

4.  Apply sunscreen to all unprotected areas (1 oz. every 2 hours)

Doctors consider skin cancer to be a pediatric disease, because just one severe sunburn as a child dramatically increases melanoma risk later in life.


 Sun Safety Frequently Asked Questions:

What is UPF?

Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is a rating system used for apparel and indicates how effectively a fabric shields the skin from the sun's UV rays. The higher the UPF number, the greater level of UV protection it offers; a shirt with a UPF of 50 will let just 1/50th of the UV rays reach the skin. (The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a UPF of 30 or higher.) Many of these fabrics, like most of those offered by Sun Protection Zone, are also designed to wick sweat and water away from your skin, so you'll stay cool and dry as well as sun-protected while being active. UPF 50+ is the highest protection rating for clothing, and most of the clothing, hats, and accessories offered by Sun Protection Zone have this rating.

Why choose UPF rated sun protective clothing?

UPF clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. It does not rinse off, it cannot be diluted, it does not need to be reapplied and it can’t be applied incorrectly, with too thin a layer or missed spots, like sunscreen lotions. Sun protective clothing is an actual physical barrier between the sun and skin and blocks not only UVB, but also UVA rays, both of which are responsible for aging the skin (wrinkles, brown spots and sagging).
Sun Protection Zone offers a wide range of sun protective clothing and accessory options for men, women and children.

Some children may even be more agreeable about wearing sun protective clothing over multiple applications of sunscreen throughout the day.

I already wear a tee shirt, why do I need UPF rated product and how is UPF-rated clothing better than garments without a UPF rating?

You might get some UV protection from a regular piece of clothing, but the density of the fabric weave, color of the fabric and the conditions in which you are wearing it can also affect how much protection the garment may have. A basic cotton tee shirt provides only 9 UPF protection when dry, and besides being clingy and uncomfortable when wet, the protection decreases to only 5 UPF, leaving the wearer at increased risk for sunburn. With a UPF-rated garment, you know you are protected and safe; SPZ clothing is the equivalent of wearing a 100 SPF sunscreen.

How does laundering affect UPF fabric?

Studies have shown that repeated home laundering does not reduce the UPF rating of a woven or knitted fabric of cotton, polyester or nylon. And, in actuality, UPF ratings may be enhanced the more you wash it.

Why choose the Sun Protection Zone brand over other UPF rated clothing?

Sun Protection Zone is one of the leading innovators of sun protective clothing and products since 2005. Over the past several years we have come out with multiple lines of 100% UVA & UVB maximum protection apparel and accessories for children and adults. Each year we unveil new products, some are unlike anything else on the market. We are always evolving the colors and designs of our classic lines to keep our customers looking and feeling fashionable while protecting themselves from the sun. Most of the products on our website are priced noticeably lower than our competitors, giving us the opportunity to sell affordable sun protective products of great quality and unique design.

What is the difference between SPF and UPF?

“SPF” is the sun protection rating system used for sunscreens, and “UPF” is the sun protection rating system that is used for clothing. The maximum rating you can claim for clothing is 50+. Sun Protection Zone’s clothing far exceeds that, and provides broad spectrum protection (protection against both UVA and UVB rays).

What are UVA and UVB rays?

The sunlight that reaches earth has ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. These ultraviolet rays are the main causes of damage to the skin from the sun. UVA and UVB rays affect the skin’s sensitivity to sun exposure in different ways, but both cause melanoma, and other types of skin cancer.

What makes the clothing sun protective?

The loft of the yarn, weight per square meter and tightness of the weave all contribute to the high SPF rating. 

Some companies use chemicals to boost the UPF rating which diminish over time. As long as SPZ clothing is cared for properly, the protection will last for the life of the garment. You also want to make sure the clothing fits properly; if the garment stretches too much, it may hinder its full protection capabilities.

Is the clothing comfortable to wear?

The fabric allows four-way stretch, and is breathable, as well as lightweight. Our clothing is designed to keep you cool in the heat, and warmer as the sun goes down.

Can I wear my Sun Protection Zone clothing in the pool or ocean?

Yes, our clothing is designed to stand up well to chlorine and salt water. We do recommend washing the garment as soon as you are done swimming for the day.

What are the washing instructions?

We recommend hand washing, or machine wash on delicate cycle using cold water, and a mild detergent. Do not wring, or do any other type of action that could cause the garment to stretch, and hang dry only. Do not iron or dry clean, and do not use bleach, solvents, or fabric softener.

Do I still need to apply sunscreen?

Absolutely! Sunscreen should definitely be applied to any skin that is not covered by a sun protective garment (face, ears, hands, feet, etc.).

Is sun protective clothing expensive?

You will actually save money by not having to apply, and reapply sunscreen. Sun Protection Zone is able to sell our clothing at these very low prices in Sam's Club, and even our online prices are very competitive. 

I’m young, why do I need sun protective clothing?

Most skin cancer in adults develops from sunburns that occurred in childhood; however, melanoma can develop in children, adolescents, and young adults as well. Everyone is at risk, as skin cancer does not discriminate against age, sex, or race. Kids especially should be encouraged at a young age to cover up and be conscience about sun safety, since those are the years in which the most damage is done. The risk of developing skin cancer is 80% more likely if you had even one major sunburn under the age of 18.

I am interested in these products for myself, but will my kid’s wear this type of clothing?

Kid’s like wearing the clothing because it means instant protection, and less fighting about applying, and reapplying sunscreen. It is sun protection that does not wash off, and Sun Protection Zone comes out with new products, style changes, and color/pattern choices every year, which keeps kids feeling they have the “cool” factor going on summer after summer.

How about sizing?

Size charts are can be viewed on our website, and are located on each product page, just below the product photos and descriptions. For Kid's One-Piece items, be sure to go mainly by the length when choosing your size. If in doubt on sizing, buy the larger size. Wearing items that are too small causes unnecessary stretching and premature breakdown of the fabric which diminishes the UPF rating.