A Wash of Protection

Laundry aid could keep UV rays at bay.

Jim Williams

HealthKey.com contributor

April 30, 2010


All the sunscreen in the world is only as good as its SPF rating and how long it's effective on your skin. However, clothes are a different story. What you wear can protect your skin against the sun's vicious ultraviolet (UV) rays. Of course, there are other factors to consider, such as the tightness of the weave, the weight, type of fiber, color and amount of skin the clothing cover.

That stated, your washing machine could be the first line of defense against the harsh rays of the sun, especially with the right kind of detergent.

Wash-and-Wear Sun Protection

A few detergent products on the market, such as SunGuard, actually transform your clothing fabric into sun-protective gear. Include the detergent additive in a load of laundry and it provides UV protection to the tune of SPF 30. SunGuard, which is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, was developed in Europe and uses a process that absorbs UV rays rather than allowing them to pass through the fabric.

SunGuard helps block more than 96 percent of the sun's harmful rays from reaching your skin, boosting the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) protection of a white cotton T-shirt from SPF 5 to SPF 30.

Quick Facts

For more information on sun-protective clothing visit The Skin Cancer Foundation or go to Sun Guard.