What is UPF?

What is UPF?

UPF sunlight

You are more than likely aware of how harmful the sun's UV rays can be, which is why sun protection should be included on the packing list for any excursion that takes place outside in the sun. We often protect ourselves from skin burning and sun damage such as skin cancers by donning sun hats and loose-fitting apparel. But you probably were not aware that not all clothing is the same—not all colors provide equal protection, and not all fabrics are created the same.

Sun-protective clothing offers varying degrees of protection against skin cancer from the sun's potentially harmful UV rays. Here, we will explain what all those sun-related acronyms mean, including UV, UPF, and SPF, what is considered UV protective, as well as how to select the appropriate level of protection.

What is ultraviolet protection factor (UPF)?

UPF is the textile rating system that rates the amount of ultraviolet radiation blocked by sun protective clothing.  "UPF" stands for "ultraviolet protection factor." These UPF ratings are applied to clothing rather than sun protection being applied directly to the skin.

What is the difference between UPF and SPF?

The term "sun protection factor" (SPF) refers to sunscreen, while "ultraviolet protection factor" (UPF) refers to fabrics. Products containing SPF are often applied to the skin directly.

SPF values, in most cases, only apply to UVB rays, which impact the top layer of the skin and are the cause of sunburns as well as various forms of cancer that occur on the surface of the skin.

UPF clothing, on the other hand, is able to block both UVA rays and UVB rays, both of which have the potential to reach deeper layers of the skin. If you wear sunscreen and UV-protective clothing, you will have superb protection against the sun's UV radiation.

How to choose the best sun protective clothing?

The UPF rating of garments is affected by a variety of factors, including the fabric construction the fibers used, the weave, the density, and the color.  Cotton, for instance, can keep you cool in the summer heat, but is made from natural fibers, so if left untreated, offers the least amount of protection against ultraviolet radiation. Polyester, nylon, and other specifically engineered fabric on the other hand, frequently have a chemical composition that improves their sun protection.

Do darker colors offer a higher sun protection factor?

Darker fabrics require more dye, which allows them to absorb more UV radiation and hence offer superior protection. Dark colors do not reflect the light back out; instead, they take in more of the light and energy that the sun gives forth. White and other light colors, such as beige and yellow, reflect light back toward the body, which means they offer less protection than darker colored fabrics.

Sun Ninja beach tent

Sun Ninja tent

It is not just UPF clothing that can protect you from the sun's rays. The Sun Ninja tent also offers UV protection of UPF 50. It looks great on the beach or at the festival and gives you hours of uninterrupted fun while reducing the risks of skin cancer and protecting against UVB and UVA rays. It is made from high-quality sun protective fabrics which stop UV light from causing sunburn. Sun Ninja's beach tent is specifically designed to be set up in minutes, while protecting you and your family against the sun, and being able to withstand wind and water.

Shop Sun Ninja Beach Tent


What is UPF and how does it protect against harmful UV rays?

UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, measures how well fabric blocks harmful UV radiation. Higher UPF ratings offer greater protection against both UVA and UVB rays, reducing the risk of sunburn, skin damage, and skin cancer. Unlike sunscreen, UPF protection remains effective as long as the fabric is worn.

Why is UPF protection important for skin health and preventing skin aging?

UPF protection is crucial for skin health and preventing skin aging because it shields the skin from harmful UV radiation. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays can lead to sunburn, premature aging (such as wrinkles and age spots), and an increased risk of skin cancer. By wearing UPF-rated products, and using UPF-rated beach tents, individuals can protect their skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation