Exploring the Psychology of Sun Protection: How UPF Clothing Can Change Your Sun Protection Habits

Rayward Apparel

How UPF Clothing Can Change Your Sun Protection Habits

We've all heard it before: "Slather on that sunscreen before you head out the door." But even with the best sunscreen, it's hard to guarantee you've provided yourself with the highest level of sun protection possible. That's where UPF clothing comes in.

UPF clothing, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor clothing, is made from specially designed fabric that blocks out most of the sun's harmful UV rays. But how does it work, and how can it be used to change your sun protection habits for the better? 

In this content, you'll find the answers to these questions. Read on to learn how UPF clothing can change your sun protection habits. 

What is UPF Clothing?

UPF clothing, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor clothing, is a type of sun-protection apparel. It is made from fabrics that have been tightly woven or treated with special UV-blocking chemicals to protect the skin from harmful UV radiation. 

It offers extra protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) and B (UVB) rays, which are both known to contribute to cancer and premature skin aging. Compared to sunscreen, UPF prevents most rays from even reaching the skin’s surface, making it a safer and more effective form of sun protection.

While many people already recognize the benefits of UPF clothing for personal health and safety, there are some debates regarding wearing UPF clothing in everyday situations, especially in hot weather climates. 

Some argue that long sleeves can create an uncomfortable feeling on sunny days as well as cause excessive sweating, leading to discomfort and even potential skin irritation, while others point out that having coverage can prevent burns and reduce sweating overall due to more efficient heat dissipation than lighter-weight clothing.

How UPF Clothing Affects Our Behavior in the Sun

UPF clothing can affect our behavior in the sun, as it assures us that we are protected when out and about. This sense of security can entice people to engage in activities in the sun that they would otherwise avoid due to fear of skin damage or burning

It typically takes between 10-20 minutes for unprotected skin to redden from the sun’s UV rays, so even a short time outside wearing UPF clothing could make a huge difference in protecting skin from long-term sun damage.

People are not perfect and there is always a chance of them not utilizing SPF sunscreen while wearing their clothes with UPF protection, especially after they have been out in the sun for an extended period of time. 

This can be especially true for children, who may forget whether their parents put sunscreen on them or not. Therefore, there should always be an additional layer of caution when wearing UPF clothing as your primary means of protection against the sun.

At the same time, wearing UPF clothing also brings about its own risks. People who become overconfident and assume they are safe from sunburn because of their clothing may think that it is okay to stay out in the sun for longer periods or neglect to wear a hat and other protective gear designed to shield them from the sun’s rays

While this type of behavior is still better than not wearing any protective gear at all, it does increase the overall risk of skin damage and does need to be managed by practicing good habits such as applying sunscreen frequently and limiting time spent outdoors during peak sunlight hours.

UPF clothing provides a great way to manage both awareness and risk as we try to balance our needs for Vitamin D with our concerns over overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. 

Research on the Influence of UPF Clothing on Your Sun Protection Habits

Athlete training in sun protection athletic wear

As research into the effectiveness of UPF clothing has grown, so too has the evidence for its influence on wearers that are exposed to harsh ultraviolet rays from the sun. 

Studies have examined both physical effects and attitudes towards the sun’s harmful radiation for those wearing UPF clothing. However, there remains some debate as to what level of protection UPF items can offer.

On one hand, some studies suggest that UPF clothing can reduce the amount of intense ultraviolet radiation that reaches the skin by up to 90%, providing strong evidence that it is an effective form of sun protection.

Despite this disagreement among experts, what is clear is that UPF clothing provides an important addition to traditional skin protection strategies such as sunscreen application. 

This additional layer of defense could provide further benefits in terms of reducing the risks associated with overexposure to UV radiation and allowing people to enjoy recreational activities without having to apply sunscreen every half hour. 


In conclusion, exploring the psychology of sun protection reveals the significant impact of personal beliefs and attitudes on sun protection habits. The study highlights the effectiveness of UPF clothing in changing sun protection habits, particularly for individuals who may have negative beliefs about the use of sunscreen. 

By providing a physical barrier against harmful UV radiation, UPF clothing offers a practical and convenient solution for maintaining adequate sun protection. 

Rayward Apparel's commitment to promoting sun safety through the production of high-quality UPF clothing is a step towards encouraging healthy and sustainable sun protection habits. With continued education and awareness, individuals can make informed choices about sun protection and enjoy the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Contact us today for more information!