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Do Long Sleeve Shirts Protect From Sun?

It’s no secret that the sun can be brutal. Each day, it blazes down on us with unrelenting force, threatening to fry our skin and turn our days into a never-ending nightmare. And, of course, the beautiful beaches and lakes we love to visit can quickly turn into scorching infernos if we’re not careful. To avoid this fate, it’s important to wear sunscreen and protective clothing when out in the sun.

Long Sleeve Vs Short Sleeve Shirts In Hot Weather

When it comes to choosing a shirt for summer weather, there are two main types to consider: long sleeve and short sleeve. Long sleeves protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays while short sleeves allow you more ventilation. However, what if you’re not sure which style will be best for you?

If you find yourself spending more time outdoors in the summertime than you would like, it is important to take precautions to prevent sunburn. One way to do this is to wear long sleeve shirts whenever possible.

Long sleeve shirts protect against both UVA and UVB radiation. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than UVB rays and are known to cause more skin damage. Long-sleeved shirts not only protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays but also help keep you cooler in temperatures that can become too hot.

The American Cancer Society recommends that people wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. By wearing a long sleeve shirt, you’re taking one small step towards reducing your risk of skin cancer. They’re also perfect for people who are sensitive to the sun or who have skin that is prone to burning.

Sun Safety Tips: What To Look For In A Nice Shirt

Wearing a shirt that covers your skin when outside is one of the best ways to avoid getting sunburn. However, there are some things to look for in a nice shirt so you can be sure it will protect you from the sun’s rays.

Fabrics: When considering the fabric, look for something that will not be too heavy or hot. Some fabrics that work well for this are organic cotton and linen. Linen is also cool in summer, so it can be good for both hot and cold days. If you’re going to be working out regularly, opt for a sports-type shirt that’s made from synthetic materials like polyester or nylon.

Coverage: Some people prefer long sleeve shirts because they provide more coverage. It is important to find a shirt that fits snugly and has sleeves that reach your wrists. It is also important to find a shirt that does not ride up when you bend over.

Ventilation: When you’re searching for a shirt to wear in the sun, ventilation is key. A good shirt will have plenty of air holes or vents to allow your body to breathe and avoid becoming overheated. Some good options include lightweight fabrics and mesh panels at the sides and back of the shirt.

Which Fabrics Keep You Safe From the Sun?

The fabric of a long sleeve shirt acts as a barrier between the skin and the sun, preventing sunburn and other skin damage. There are a variety of materials that can be used for a long sleeve shirt, including cotton, linen, polyester, spandex, and other synthetic fabrics. These fabrics absorb sunlight and then release it slowly over time, which helps prevent overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Different types of fabric have different abilities to block UV radiation. The type of fabric and the thickness of the material will determine how much protection the shirt provides from the sun.

When purchasing clothing, it is important to consider the sun protection factor (SPF). Sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen against UVB radiation. The higher the SPF, the more protection the sunscreen provides.

So, what type of shirt will provide the best protection?


Cotton is one of the most common materials used for clothing because it is affordable and comfortable to wear. For general purposes, a cotton shirt’s SPF will typically be around 3-5. This means that it will help to reduce the amount of sun exposure that you get, but it won’t offer complete protection.

A cotton shirt will be more comfortable and less irritating against the skin but it is not recommended for activities in direct sunlight such as swimming or playing sports. So it is important to wear additional sunscreen when wearing a cotton shirt outdoors.


Linen is a woven fabric made from cotton and linen thread. Linen has a natural resistance to dirt, water and soap. Linen comes in many different weights and textures, so it provides a variety of coverage and comfort. Linen also wrings out water better than other fabrics, meaning it can absorb more sweat and stay dry.

Linen’s natural resistance to dirt, water, and soap means that it typically has a higher SPF. A 100% cotton linen typically has an SPF of about 18-24. This means that it provides some protection from the sun’s harmful rays. However, because linen is made of cotton fibers, it does not offer the same level of protection as sunscreen products.


Polyester is a synthetic fiber made from multiple polymers. It is a popular fabric for clothing, as it is lightweight, breathable, and does not cling to the skin. Polyester is also heat-resistant and water-repellent, so it’s a good choice for hot weather wear.

In recent years, many people have switched to wearing polyester clothing because of its durability and affordability. Besides, Polyester shirts have been specifically designed to be resistant to sunlight. A shirt made of 100% polyester would typically have an SPF rating of 30. Some brands of Polyester shirts have SPF ratings as high as 50+, which can help protect you from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Thicker polyester fabrics offer more coverage and are generally considered to be more protective than thinner fabrics.


Spandex, also known as elastane and Lycra, is a synthetic fiber that is often used to make athletic clothing, such as workout clothes and athletic gear. It is often used to make clothes stretchy and resistant to tearing. Spandex can be made from different colors and patterns and can be used for a variety of fabrics, including pants, shirts, skirts, and even suits.

Spandex typically has at least 30 SPF, which makes it a great choice for people who are looking for protection from the sun. This high level of protection makes it an excellent choice for people who are frequent consumers of the sun, such as athletes or those who work outdoors. Additionally, Spandex is effective at blocking both UVA and UVB rays, so it is a good option for people who want to protect their skin from both types of damage.

When choosing a shirt to wear in the sun, be sure to consider the level of UV protection it provides. A shirt with an SPF rating of 30 or higher will offer good protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Additionally, choose a shirt that is lightweight and flowy so that you can move easily and avoid becoming too hot.

Should You Wear Sunscreen Under Your Shirts?

Wearing sunscreen under your shirts is a great way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s also recommended that you apply it to your arms and legs as well since these areas are more exposed to the sun. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when wearing sunscreen under your shirts.

  1. Make sure that the sunscreen you’re using is broad-spectrum and PABA-free. These types of sunscreens help protect against both UVA and UVB rays, which are the two types of radiation that cause most skin damage.
  1. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours if you’re outside for more than an hour. And remember to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when outdoors if possible!
  1. Sunscreen should be applied evenly and liberally to all exposed skin, including the face, neck, hands, and arms. Avoid spraying the sunscreen directly onto your skin. Instead, spray it into the palm of your hand and then apply it to your skin.

So whether you’re planning on spending hours outdoors or just hitting the beach for a day, remember to put on some sunscreen and stay safe!


In conclusion, long sleeve shirts do offer some level of sun protection. However, it is important to apply sunscreen as well, as the shirt will not provide complete coverage. Additionally, it is still important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of sun exposure, and take necessary precautions such as using sunscreen with a high SPF value and wearing sunglasses when outside.