Harvard Health Tips

Clothing as sunscreen

Clothing is a more reliable way to protect your skin than sunscreen. But the value of covering up depends on the weave, color, and type of fabric. A typical white T-shirt has an SPF of only five ? and if it?s wet, considerably less. Not surprisingly, the looser the weave, the less protection, because sunlight gets through the holes. Dark colors are better than light ones because they absorb more sunlight. Polyester garments are…

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