Summer is the season of fun at the beach and there is plenty of sunlight making it imperative to put on sun protective swimwear . Whilst the great pastime time during this period is sun bathing, the greatest danger lurking along beaches and swimming pools is ultra violet rays from the sun.
Ultra violet rays are emissions from the sun that has the potential of causing damage to unprotected skin surface.
Sun protective swimwear are clothing that we put on to fend off the negative effects that these radiations can have on the body.
The manufacture of sun protective swimwear is an elaborate process. Although the clothes themselves are made up of ordinary, everyday fabrics, it is the lining and the special treatment of the clothes that turn them into sun protective swimwear.
One technology is to use durable, breathable, lightweight, and very comfortable fabric with a 4-way stretch. The inner part of the fabric is lined with the ultra violet light protective coating. If the sun protective swimwear is going to be used for swimming in a pool, then it is made from chlorine resistant swim fabric.
For people who are highly sensitive to sunrays or photosensitive skin or skin cancer, the choice is high-SPF clothing. These contain containing colorless compounds, and treated resins that absorb ultra violet light.
The essence of sun protective swimwear is to reflect as much as possible, the dangerous ultra violet rays from the sun as much as possible. This means, shiny, silky or reflective clothing are the best.
Another technique is to use tightly woven micro fiber containing enhanced titanium dioxide which diffuses ultra violet light and CoolMax mesh to ensure ventilation and moisture management.
There are several types of sun protective swimwear available. There are some for babies, some for men and some for women. Between these we have ordinary and high end designer swimwear. Although all of them have the protection against the sun, there are vast differences in quality of fabric, design and appearance.
There are some sun protective swimwear that cover the entire body and some that are just top wear, shorts or pants.
With the high end fashion, you can have two, three and even sometimes four piece sun protective swimwear with a hat or sunglasses to match.
Of increasing popularity are men’s sun protective swimwear comprising of a shirt, shorts and matching glasses. These products are both in the regular version and high end fashion.
Before we get on to why we need sun protective swimwear , it may be helpful to look at ultra violet rays. Ultraviolet rays (UV) or radiation is the invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. UV radiation can damage the skin, cause melanoma and other types of skin cancer. There are two types of UV rays – there is the UVA which causes ordinary sun burn and the UVB which penetrate deeper into the skin to cause melanoma and other types of skin cancer.
Physiologically, overexposure to UV radiation can disturb the body’s immune system and the skin’s natural defenses.
Sun protective swimwear offers you a kind of filtering against these harmful rays. People most susceptible to these rays are those with light clothing and in areas where there is no overhead protection like the beach. Sun protective swimwear is also needed during summer when the sun shines a lot and consequently emits more ultra violet rays.
If you are interested in the stats,
• 1.3 million New cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year.
• One in five Americans will contract skin cancer.
• Malignant melanoma, the worst form of skin cancer, has increased 1,800% since 1930
It is likely that many patients can save themselves the discomfort of these illnesses by putting on some sun protective swimwear .
You need to exercise a lot of discretion in buying protective swimwear.
Sun protective swimwear is categorized per UPF rating. UPF is the amount of radiation that can pass through the clothing. For example, a fabric with a UPF rating of 15 will permit one fifteenth of the UVR to pass through it and a UPF 20 fabric, one twentieth of the UVR to pass through it. What this mean is, depending your skin sensitivity, you will go for the clothing that suits your skin type, and of course, how long you will be exposed to the sun.
It is also important to consider weave type. Generally, the tighter the weave or knit, the better the protection against the sun.
The less the light that can pass through the clothing, the better. To test porosity, you can hold the sun protective swimwear against the sun and see how much light comes through.
Darker clothes should also be preferred against lighter clothes.
The price of a sun protective swimwear ranges from $49.95 upwards and there are several shops offering regular and high end fashion sun protective swimwear.
Sun protective swimwear can be pretty expensive and therefore need a lot of care to prolong their life. Here are a few tips on how to care for them:
Avoid oil-based suntan lotions which can stain the fabric and cause it to stretch. Stretching increases porosity and consequently permits more UV light to come through.
Soak clothes in vinegar to prevent fading which permits more light to come through the clothes.
Chlorine can interact with the sun protective swimwear and damage it. Try to soak your body wet before jumping into the pool to minimize the chemical reaction with the chlorine in the pool.
Enjoy the sun, tan as you want but be mindful of the danger of UV – put on your sun protective swimwear and save your beautiful skin.