It’s one of the best investments you can make in preventative health: a basic but brawny collection of quality UPF50+ clothes ready to deliver unbeatable sun protection at a moment’s notice.
From sporting kids and their spectator parents to adventure-loving adults and recreational green thumbs, effective sun protection is essential, and almost everyone needs it every day to stay truly safe.
As the popularity of UPF wear continues to grow, so too does the range of sizes, shapes and styles available.
So, to help you and your family start your UPF journey, let’s take a better look at the core protective clothing from the sun that every Australian should be using to safeguard their skin today, tomorrow and years into the future.
At SParms, we believe that everyone should invest in five key sun protection products (at a minimum) to reduce the risks of skin cancer and premature aging.
- At least one pair of quality arm sleeves. Available in a range of sizes, colours and styles, arm sleevesare the cornerstone of a UPF50+ wardrobe. If this is your first foray into sun protection wear, arm sleeves are a great place to start as they are smallest, most versatile and easiest to apply.
Perfect for pulling on during unexpected exposure, arm sleeves are your go-anywhere, protection-in-one-moment defense. As easy to store as they are to wear, these sleek slip-ons are made of innovative, patented Italian fabric and provide a physical shield that blocks 98% of the sun’s rays from the forearm, wrist and upper arm area.
Due to their streamlined design, arm sleeves are easy to wear for sports, a day at the beach, a swim or a stroll with the dog. Simply roll them on and slide them under the sleeves of your favourite tee for the ultimate peace of mind. Those who regularly spend days in the sun may like to up the ante with a pair of thumbhole sleeves, which securely extend down over the back of the hand to provide additional protection.
- An all-in-one shirt. On days where fun in the sun is planned, your best bet is to have a light-as-air base layershirt on hand. Made of high-tech fabric, a base layer shirt features sun-smart features such as a high collar for protecting the neck, zips to ensure a great fit around the decolletage and long sleeves for maximum coverage.
If providing wide-reaching protection is your goal, the base layer shirt delivers with minimal fuss. Unlike your other long sleeved shirts, specifically-designed UPF wear is made from a tight weave that is almost impenetrable by the sun’s rays, yet extremely breathable. Inbuilt cooling agents make for extreme comfort in hot conditions, reducing the perceived temperature by as many as five degrees for the wearer!
Of course, this level of sun protection is not limited to hot weather situations. In cooler climates, you can layer your cool shirt beneath an overshirt, or enjoy the same level of sunsmart satisfaction from a warm base layer shirt. In fact, your cold weather experiences can feel up to 20% warmer in a base layer shirt, thanks to the innovative nylon and polyurethane yarn!
- A face shield. If you’re taking the time to protect yourself from respiratory illness with a face mask, you may as well be shielding your face from sun damage too.
A UPF50+ face mask goes on exactly the same as any other fabric mask on the market, but has the added benefit of protecting your nose, lips and chin from potentially life-threatening sun damage. There is no tradeoff when it comes to comfort either; SParms face masks are more breathable than many of their competitors and simply wash in your regular laundry cycle for up to 30 washes.
UPF50+ face masks are a great choice for children too, since the range of sizes suits everyone from 18 months of age!
- A skin-smart sunscreen. While technically not a “UPF” product, it goes without saying that a high quality sunscreenwill always play a key role in any sun defence kit. Best applied to the face, ears, backs of hands and any other sun exposed area daily, a broad prectrum SPF will shield in water and on land for up to two hours.
With sensitive, sports and kids options on the market, sunscreen is a great choice for the whole family no matter the day or weather. Our dermatologically tested organic sunscreens dry clear on the skin, are gentle on young eyes, are vegan and combat not only UVA and UVB rays, but also the damaging blue light emitted from screens (known as UVC).
- A broad-brimmed hat. A hat is the icing on the cake when it comes to dressing for the outdoors. After slapping on the sunscreen and donning arm sleeves or a shirt, it’s vital to pull on a secure hat for shade, ear protection and enhanced facial protection.
Building on the basics
Depending on your lifestyle, there are some very welcome additions that may deserve a place in your sun protection wardrobe.
- Sun protective face shields(neck gaiters). If you spend time on the water, cricket pitch, golf course or bitumen, a neck gaiter is by far the most effective way to protect the lower face and neck from harm.
Covering some otherwise neglected and hard-to-protect areas, such as the lower hairline, chin and neck, these handy tubes of fabric are comfortable and convenient. They are even great for brief activities like mowing the lawn! Unlike many on the market, SParm’s gaiter is constructed with ear loops for a secure fit and a breathable mesh section over the nose and mouth.
Shoulder wrap sleeves. These are another wonderful wardrobe extension for action lovers who want a little more security from their sun sleeves. Rather than two separate sleeves, the shoulder wrap is one item that stays in place to protect the arms, shoulders and back of the neck.
- Leg sleeves. Finally, it’s important not to neglect the lower half of your body. Australians commonly wear shorts and skirts most of the year, leaving the legs exposed and often without sunscreen. So much so, that the legs are currently one of the most likely sites for skin cancer.
Much like their arm counterparts, leg sleeves are easy to pull on, and are super lightweight and comfortable. Simply pull them on beneath shorts, sports uniforms, or skirts for all-day peace of mind.