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What is the UV Index and why is it important?

What does the UV Index mean anyway, and why is it so important to people in general? Most people know about sun protection through SPF sunscreens and UPF clothing products that are UV rated, and they realize they should use both. But do they understand the medical concerns that go along with exposure to the sun?

 It’s doubtful you’ll turn into Superman with extra sun exposure… most likely you’ll have to deal with super-villains like wrinkles and cataracts.

On that note, let’s get familiar with the UV Index and the type of UPF products that help you enjoy the outdoors without eye and skin damage.

Ultraviolet (UV)

Ultraviolet (UV) is invisible solar radiation. I’m not a scientist but that sounds – what’s the technical term – real bad! It is a band of light with a certain frequency that goes beyond the violet end of the spectrum, which can be more dangerous than Lex Luther on a bender.

In simpler terms, UV radiation is energy produced by the sun and artificial means. It differs from the heat or light of the sun, which can be seen and felt. It’s impossible to sense or detect UV radiation or its detrimental effects until the damage is done. There are three types of UV rays, which cause the following:

  • UVA rays (premature aging and wrinkling – chin models beware)
  • UVB rays (cause sunburn and cataracts)
  • UVC rays (strongest rays that are blocked by the ozone layer – hairspray could kill us all)

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is harmful as it is the chief cause of skin cancer. Plus, it leads to premature aging, tanning damage, eye problems, sunburn, photosensitivity, and other skin-related harm and health issues. Holy moly!

Of course, sun exposure in a limited manner does provide a source of Vitamin D.

UV Index

The UV Index linear scale used in America follows international guidelines for UVI reporting, which was established by the World Health Organization (WHO). Understanding the scale and what it means in relation to avoiding exposure to ultraviolet radiation can save your skin! And we’ll see how UPF clothing gives you that superpower in a sec…

The scale is indexed in levels from 1 to 11+, and the level indicator is affected by different factors in various regions of the country, particularly where the sun is the most intense. Determination of the scale movement is indicated by:

  • Time of day
  • Cloud cover
  • Altitude
  • Reflection / scattering
  • Approximation to the equator

The scale levels are below, each of which we recommend wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, hats, SPF 30+ sunscreen. Fight the wrinkles!

Low Reading 0-2 (Green)

  • Signals low danger from the sun’s UV rays
  • Anticipate brightness/reflection of UV in different surfaces (sand, snow, water). *Same goes for all other levels

Moderate Reading 3-5 (Yellow)

  • Signals moderate risk from sun’s UV rays
  • Remain in the shade during the middle of the day
  • Wear appropriate sun-protective clothing
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on overcast days or after swimming and sweating. *Same for higher levels.

High Reading 6-7 (Orange)

  • Signals high risk from sun’s UV rays (particularly for skin and eyes)
  • Decrease the time in the sun between 10 a.m until 4 p.m. – *same for Level 8-10
  • Wear protective clothing including face masks. *Same for higher levels.
  • Don’t slack on the sunscreen – use generously. *Same for higher UV levels.

High Reading 6-7 (Orange)

  • Signals very high risk from sun’s UV rays (particularly skin and eyes)

Extreme Reading 11+ (Violet) – Sends Batman back to his cave

  • Signals very high risk from sun’s UV rays (particularly concerning skin and eyes)
  • Decrease the time in the sun between 10 a.m until 4 p.m. and seek shade
  • The sun has become your mortal enemy at this level so shields up!

UPF Protection

Protective clothing is your super-suit against UV harm. It’s true! Clothing designed with enhanced UPF is one of the best ways to deter skin damage from ultraviolet rays. A UPF factor determines just how effective a clothing item can be in protecting you from the ravages of the sun’s rays, and a Hoo-rag bandana is a fast and easy way to sun protection. Stylish too – could make Clark Kent less boring.

Bonus points for not having to put 8 layers of greasy sunscreen on anymore. 9 out of 14 guys strike out with the ladies on the lake due to faces looking like a Noxzema commercial. Just a heads up, plus:

  • Sunscreen can’t help with sweat.
  • Hoo-rags don’t stop working when wet.
  • No SPF does double duty by protecting you from dust like a Hoo-rag.

A Hoo-rag is an innovative bandana type headgear piece that can be worn in a number of fresh ways. Its fabric content is 100% polyester microfiber made to pull moisture away from the head and other areas, such as the neck and face. It provides quick evaporation, plus it’s rated at 30 UPF! It can be maneuvered and shaped in countless ways to provide protection and relief from heat. This balling bandana is one multifaceted piece of fabric that fights off UV attacks.

But how solid is our 30 UPF?

UPF = Ultraviolet Protection Factor

The UPF factor stands for “Ultraviolet Protection Factor.” It is a standard rating system that measures the effectiveness of blocking the sun’s rays in clothing and other types of specifically made UPF or UV gear. The items are designed to screen out both nasty UVA and UVB rays that wrinkles feed on.

The UPF categories under the American rating system include:

  • Good UPF = 15-24
  • Very Good UPF = 25-39
  • Excellent UPF = 40-50+

As always, we aim to please and protect our peeps. We carry versatile bandanas that fit in the top two categories above. 30 UPF and 50 UPF are now available.

Sun protection is crucial to your health, and the UV Index is one of the best indicators as to what the intensity and effect of the sun’s rays are going to be on any given day. It enables individuals planning on spending time outdoors to be prepared with adequate UPF protection through the right UV-rated clothing items they choose to wear. Don’t worry, you can stay safe and rock your own style with what a Hoo-rag offers. Now there’s no limit to your fun in the sun.

*Please send critical comments to our writing team if you feel too many superhero references were used. Or too few. Criticism is encouraged either way. Gotta keep them humble, lest they become emboldened and form their own Legion of Doom.

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