Although Amy Yan lost the US Women’s Open with a bogey on # 18, I was still most impressed – not just by her play but also by her outfit – she wore long sleeves and pants below the knee. So what is it with the golfers wearing sleeves? They know that sun protective shirts are the best way to protect your skin from sun damage. Sun protection for your skin is much more than just using a sun block lotion. Sun protection should also include sun protective clothing and hats, seeking shade and avoiding sun during the peak hours of the day. I often get crazy looks when I suggest wearing long sleeves in the sun but there are really great options out there.
There are great shirts made with icefil® fabric – a very lightweight material that provides SPF 50 while actually reducing the body temperature. They actually keep you cooler as the fabric cools the skin 5 degrees. A number of companies make these shirts geared toward outdoor activities such as golf, tennis and horseback riding. I love these shirts and have a whole drawer full . I am such a believer in them that Charlotte Skin & Laser now offers a line of sun shirts by Kastel. These shirts are even more lightweight than other brands and provide an SPF 30 that does not wash or wear off. I encourage to try one – you will love them!!
What about the tee shirts you have at home? Generally, light-colored, lightweight and loosely-woven fabrics do not offer much protection from the sun. That white T-shirt you slip on at the beach when you feel your skin burning provides only an SPF of 5-7. A long-sleeved dark denim shirt offers basically complete sun block but would be very hot on the beach and is not good for sports. Rule of thumb – if you can see light through your shirt, then UV radiation can penetrate it – and your skin.
There are laundry additives that give your clothes sun protection. SunGuard, a product made by the Rit Dye people, is a laundry additive that gives your clothing protection rated at UPF 30. The protection lasts more than 20 washings. SunGuard costs about $2 to $4 per load of laundry.
$60 (reg $75) UV Protective Sun Shirts @ Charlotte Skin & Laser – 130 Providence Rd. Suite 100|Charlotte, NC 28207| P:704.333.9113 F: 704.333.9757