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UPF? SPF? What's the Difference?


UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and is the rating given to clothing for its protection against solar ultraviolet radiation.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is used to measure sunscreen.


There are two main differences between UPF and SPF.


First, UPF measures both UVA and UVB rays, while SPF only measures UVB.

· Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength and is associated with skin ageing.

· Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning.


Second, UPF and SPF are calculated differently. UPF measures the amount of radiation reaching your skin. SPF measures the time it takes for exposed skin to redden. For example, if used correctly, an SPF 20 sunscreen will protect your skin 20 times longer than it would normally take for your skin to burn.

SPF is used to measure sunscreen & has no relation to the effectiveness of PPE to protect you from the sun.

In contrast, UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate the fabric and reach your skin at all. UPF records the ratio of UV measured with and without the protection of the fabric. For example, a fabric rated UPF 25 means the material allows 1/25th (4 percent) of UV radiation through, and a UPF 40 garment lets through 1/40th (2.5 percent).


The higher the UPF value, the lower the ultraviolet penetration and the better the clothing protects against sunburn.


As Hivizology specialists Leo Workwear have designed a variety of garments offering UPF 40+ protection, including:

From left to right -

The Woolsery long-sleeved polo shirt made from EcoViz recycled polyester

The Watermouth high performance Coolmax long-sleeved t-shirt

The Croyde EcoViz poly/bamboo polo shirt

The Pollyfield long sleeved women's polo shirt made from EcoViz recycled polyester


See Leoworkwear.com/leisurewear for more details.