UV protection sun sleeves are made from UPF50+ fabrics that block out harmful UV rays and help to keep your skin cooler at the same time. Here’s your guide to choosing and using the right sun-protective arm sleeves.
Why arm sleeves are crucial in Australia
Australia has a particularly hot climate where radiation levels are frequently high. According to the Cancer Council Australia, over 13,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year, as well as 800,000 non-melanoma skin cancers. It’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country, and it starts as sun damage – and it’s happening even when you can’t see red skin or sunburn.
Contrary to popular opinion, your t-shirt can’t give you the same defence against skin damage, sunburn and cancers as specially-designed UV protection clothing. That’s because standard cotton shirts have a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of around 5, which allow 1/5th (about 20%) of harmful UV rays through to your skin.
However, a UPF50+ fabric will protect you from up to 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. UPF50+ fabrics are generally made from microfibre, which has a tight weave but is still lightweight and breathable.
We’ve sourced and patented a specialised Italian fabric for our sun-protective clothing that not only blocks 98% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays but also cools your skin by up to 5 degrees Celsius.
How do you use UV protection arm sleeves?
Arm sleeves are simple to use and cost very little. Over time, they’re much more cost effective than buying sunscreen, and better for the environment and your skin. You simply slip the sleeves onto your arms, and they’re held securely in place by soft elastic below your armpit. Arm sleeves can reach to your wrist, or you can choose longer sleeves that cover the back of your hand, secured by a thumb hole.
Who should use sun sleeves?
UV protection arm sleeves really are for everyone. They’re great for sports, riding, playing with kids outside, gardening and outdoor jobs. You won’t need to apply more sunscreen and you can easily remove them when you’re done. They wash easily and just need to be hung out to dry.
Sun sleeves come in a huge range of sizes to suit men, women and children. Just check the sizing chart to find the one that suits you, and choose your favourite colour or design.
Our sun sleeves are UPF50+ accredited by ARPANSA (the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency). ARPANSA says that sun-protective clothing is extremely important for people with fair skin, a history of skin cancer, or those taking medications that make them more sensitive to the sun.
What are the benefits of UV protection arm sleeves?
Besides being better for your skin and providing uninterrupted protection from the sun, arm sleeves can help in a variety of other ways:
- Keeps skin cooler. Plenty of sportspeople tell us that arm sleeves make playing more enjoyable because of the way UV-protective clothing cools their skin (which includes leg sleeves, base layer shirts and neck gaiters). This is especially true when compared to sunscreen which can run or turn greasy on sweaty skin.
- Moisture-wicking. UPF fabric like our SParms arm sleeves draw moisture away from your skin, helping you stay more sweat-free.
- Helps prevent skin aging. Premature aging like fine lines and wrinkles happens when skin is damaged by UV rays. The areas most exposed to the sun are your face, ears, neck, arms and hands, especially if you work outdoors or spend a lot of time playing sports outside. Covering your skin as much as possible helps stop premature aging.
Choosing the right UV protection arm sleeves
Here’s what to look for when you’re buying sun protection sleeves:
- Brand and price: you’ll find lots of types of sun protective gear online, but we know for a fact that quality varies a lot. Cheap clothing often stretches and wears out faster, which means you’ll replace it more often and you’ll get far less protection from the sun. Look for brands that have been accredited by ARPANSA or the Cancer Council.
- Material: the best UPF50+ clothing is made from breathable, lightweight fabric, so you don’t overheat or feel uncomfortable during your activities. We use microfibre because of its comfortable stretch and softness.
- Size and fit: Sleeves should be snug enough to sit correctly on your arms, but not too tight. You should have full range of movement and the sleeves should stay up while you move around. You can use our sizing guide to help you choose the size that will fit you.
- Sun protection: make sure you choose sun protection with a certified UPF50+ rating for the best skin protection. Just because an item says it’s ‘sun smart’ or ‘sun protective’ doesn’t mean it’s giving you 98% protection the way UPF50+ defence.
- Trust and recognition: some brands are endorsed by sportspeople because of the quality of the products. Look for awards, partnerships and sponsorships to make sure the brand you choose is a trusted one.