FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are "SPF" and "UPF"?
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) both measure the rate at which you will be protected from burning by ultraviolet ("UV") radiation. SPF is measured on the skin and will assess the rate of protection of any sunscreen that is applied to it while UPF is the measure of how much UV radiation passes through fabric. Their ratings are essentially the same in terms of effectiveness of slowing down your rate of burning (i.e. a 10 SPF is as effective as a 10 UPF, the higher the better, etc.), however SPF only measures the amount of UVB rays being blocked, while UPF measures both UVA and UVB rays.
2. What does SPF and UPF actually MEAN to me?
If it normally takes 10 minutes for you to get sunburnt, then a SPF or UPF of 10 will extend that by ten times - SPF/UPF 10 x 10 mins = 100 minutes. It is critical to understand, however, that when you are exposed to UV radiation you will start to burn inside the 1st minute and be burnt by the 100th minute in this example.
3. What are the limitations of bottled sunscreen?
- It can be applied too thinly
- It needs to be reapplied regularly
- It can be washed, wiped or sweated off
- Some areas of the body may be missed during the application process
- It has limited ability to protect against UVA radiation
- Some chemicals in sunscreen can irritate the skin
- It addresses all of the shortcomings of bottled sunscreen
- It provides a more effective protection level (minimum standard to be called "sun protective" apparel is UPF 15) while sunscreen has no minimum level.
- It will provide protection against jellyfish in protected areas
- No detrimental side effects
Some brands use standard weight lycra which does not provide the best possible protection, particularly when wet, stretched, close to the skin or worn. This creates some doubt as to the actual level of protection in a garment, especially under these less than ideal conditions.
6. Is sun protective apparel hot to wear?
The fabric, despite its tight weave, breathes nicely so the chances of getting hot are minimized. Over the years (25+) we have never had feedback that they are hot to wear.
7. Why choose Radicool products?
Radicool has developed a unique fabric that combines a special knit and yarn combination that delivers a much higher UPF rating than standard lycra. All Radicool products are tested to ensure that they achieve an SPF/UPF of 100+. The much higher protection level provides a greater level of confidence that the very best protection will be maintained for the life of the garment.