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Old 03-20-2008, 08:48 AM   #1
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Sunblocking swimwear?
So we're starting to see swimwear in stores and this morning on the news they were talking about these new "sunblocking" swimwear pieces and clothing. They claim that they block UV rays so you don't get burned.

Um... ok. Tell me, have you EVER gotten a sunburn UNDER your clothes? Doesn't a plain ol' tee shirt block UV rays too?I've spent many many hours in the hot Florida sun and I swear, I've never ever, even once gotten burned under my clothes.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:04 AM   #2
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I just tried to google around for some info...I'm not sure how it works...I have never gotten burned either or even a tan through my shirt or clothes...I wonder if it reflects it in a way that it protects the arms, face, legs? The suits I seen cover from the neck down to the knees and elbows...some sites I read suggest that with this you don't have to worry about re-applying the sunblock...or on babies ...I think I would still have to lather my kids up cause I wonder how well it works...
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:09 AM   #3
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I have a sunblocking t-shirt for when we go jet skiing. It's great. Regular t-shirts when they get wet will let the sun burn you. I've had skin cancer on/off since 1992 so I have to be careful. I am seeing alot of parents making their kids wear the clothing at the beach, etc. They have shorts, t-shirts and long underwear type stuff for surfers, etc. They have the feel of Under Armour but lighter. They dry quick and the kids don't seem to mind them.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:31 AM   #4
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I remember in the 80's they were selling swimsuits that you could wear and still get tan underneath the suit. I guess that's who they have invented the sun-block suits for.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cdjack View Post
I remember in the 80's they were selling swimsuits that you could wear and still get tan underneath the suit. I guess that's who they have invented the sun-block suits for.


Funny that is what I was going to say that we had those type of bathing suits, never bought one by then I had kids. You did not want to see that.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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A better question is have you ever gotten burned UNDER your swimsuit?! I can honestly say NO! And I'd bet if you talked to a dermatologist that when people get most skin cancer it's not in the swimsuit covered areas. Just another gimmick to sell I guess.

As for getting burned through clothing.. it IS possible. I've burned through a light cotton blouse. I've read that the average light colored T shirt is only SPF 6 or 7, but I imagine only very sun sensitive people would burn through them even at that. The thickness is what helps protect I think.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:51 AM   #7
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I guess there are some people who need "sunblocking" clothes, but it seems soooo gimmicky that it's irritating that they put it right there on my morning news without saying anything like "for super sun sensitive people", not necessary for everyone. But such is the media, I suppose.

To feed my curiosity, I did some googling research and found this:

Quote:
Several factors determine the effectiveness of clothing in blocking harmful UV rays, including fabric construction, fiber content and weave, fabric color, finishing processes and the presence of additives. For example, a basic white cotton T-shirt provides only moderate protection from sunburn, with an average sun protection factor (SPF) of 7. At the other end of the spectrum, a long-sleeve dark denim shirt offers excellent sun protection -- an estimated SPF of 1,700.
I'd have to assume that even a plain white tee and it's SPF 7 is waaaaay better than a lotion of SPF 7 because a tee shirt doesn't rub off, evaporate, sweat or get washed off. Although I have serious questions on whether this "basic white cotton T-shirt" really has an SPF of just 7. Because on days when the burn factor is a 10, an SPF 7 would allow you to stay in the sun for a maximum of 70 minutes. But I've spent HOURS in the sun in a plain white tee and still, never burned under it.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Silver View Post
Although I have serious questions on whether this "basic white cotton T-shirt" really has an SPF of just 7. Because on days when the burn factor is a 10, an SPF 7 would allow you to stay in the sun for a maximum of 70 minutes. But I've spent HOURS in the sun in a plain white tee and still, never burned under it.
Yeah, that's why I was saying it may also be the thickness of the T shirt. I would think only extremely sun sensitive people would have a problem.

Personally think the SPF in swim wear is just a gimmick.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:57 PM   #9
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This is the swimwear I wear, http://www.coolibar.com/women-s-swimwear.html
Yeah, it's not fashionable but it saves me from burning. I think this is what they are talking about when they say UV protectant swimwear, not a t-back or something. I can't understand wearing UV protectant clothing, it would seem that normal clothing if it isn't wet wouldn't be a problem.
As for t-shirts, they're ok, but I find them to be positively gross feeling when they get wet. The swim shirts are silky and dry fast. I guess it's all about whether you burn or not, no lie, I got burned this week just talking to my neighbor when I went out to get the mail. We talked for maybe 15 minutes and I came in red.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stitchwitch View Post
As for t-shirts, they're ok, but I find them to be positively gross feeling when they get wet. The swim shirts are silky and dry fast.
I guess that's what makes the difference, that it's intended to get wet and not feel gross. I agree, a wet tee is not fun, so these make sense in that respect. But they don't generally point that out when trying to sell them. They just say oh, it'll block the sun so your little darling doesn't get fried, you neeeed them if you love your family! It is misleading advertising, IMHO, because if you're staying dry, normal clothes will usually be just fine. They'd be better if they were called "water wear" or something like that.
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