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Sun Care Takes a Sports Approach

Sun Care Takes a Sports Approach

Performance has a new definition is sports apparel. Compression has been the buzz word for several years, but in 2014 Sun Care takes a front seat. Apparel has seen major strides in technology, but today’s newest trend, lightweight, breathable fabrics that offer UPF 30 to 50 protection, has caught the fancy of athletes.

FDA Ruling Creates Confusion.

The confusion generated by the FDA’s updated rules on Sun Screens left Golfers, Tennis Players and Equestrian Riders searching for an alternative to sunscreens. These athletes spend hours in the sun. The FDA’s ruling pointed out the failings of sun screens in sustaining sun protection for the duration of a sport. The FDA pointed to an inability of sun screens to last longer than 40 minutes in water, and remain on the skin through strenuous activities. No sunscreen can claim protection for more than two hours. Sunscreens can-not claim to have instant protection.

Given these restrictions on protection, outdoor athletes began searching for an alternative to lotions and sunscreens. Luckily, technology and ingenuity, were coming together to offer these sportsmen a better alternative. Sun protective apparel entered the market first with a whisper and then a roar, leading a revolution in sports dress that is encompassing the entire country.

Brands Making a Difference.

Companies like SanSoleil… Sun Care You Can Wear… have developed fabrics which are light weight, stretch, wick moisture and offer UPF 50 sun protection. As a fabric designer, SanSoleil exemplifies the ingenuity these new sports apparel makers offer the sports public. SanSoleil’s fabrics are designed with skin care as a primary priority. Yet SanSoleil realizes that without comfort and style, its sun protective tops would never “see the light of day.” It is this balance of fashion and function which separates the focused sun protective apparel developer from the “wanna be.”

Apparel companies have taken two approaches to sun protective apparel. One approach (labeled “non-eternal; this technique less expensive but one which washes off in as little as 10 washes) sprays a polyester cover on fabric to add UPF factor. Companies like SanSoleil have taken a different tact. These companies have developed proprietary fabrics with “eternal” UV protection. This protection is woven into the construction of the garment, and lasts for the life of the fabric. Technology breakthroughs in fabric design have created opportunities for UV protected garments which are light weight, extremely comfortable and offer high levels of sun protection.

Women are Clued In.

Currently, sun protection apparel, is protecting two ends of the age spectrum. The first spectrum; children up to age 12. Here fathers and mothers have realized the importance of protecting their children from the ravages of the sun. Their insistence on long sleeve garments such as rash guards, swim shirts and hats is protecting the youth of the US as never before. A recent survey The second, and fastest growing segment, are women over the age 25. This group has grown up playing golf, tennis, running and other outdoor sports. They understand the importance of protecting their skin and have embraced the new garments with passion. Almost 50% of women athletes, in this age group, report wearing UV protected apparel. Men, sadly, have been slower to pick up on this trend. Yet there is some good news here too. 7% of men golfers now where long sleeve shirts while playing golf and tennis. This is up from 2% only 5 years ago. (Yet men surpass women in wearing sun protective head ware. In a survey by the national cancer institute, baseball caps continue to be donned by the majority of men for sun protection.)

Clubs Leading the Way.

Skin cancer is the number one diagnosed cancer in the world. Over 1 Million people a year are diagnosed with skin cancer. 90% of all skin cancer is directly related to overexposure from the sun. Skin Cancer kills about 1 person per hour in the US. Country Clubs across the country have taken the responsibility to their members health by offering large selections of Sun Protective apparel. Fine clubs such as Trump International, LA Country Club, The Valley Club and Wilshire Country Club now offer their members SanSoleil… Sun Care You Can Wear… . SanSoleil reports over 1000 fine clubs now offer sun protection. These clubs, and the ingenuity of apparel design teams, are leading the way to better health for the outdoor athlete.

By Kevin Alan Skin Care Expert and Technical Fabric Correspondent

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