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UPF Ratings: Why Does It Matter?

Parasols at the Garden Furniture Centre

UPF Ratings: Why Does It Matter?

With the hot weather fast approaching, you might be wondering how you are going to shade yourself from the blazing sun to enjoy your garden parties or just to relax with friends and family. At the Garden Furniture Centre, we listen to all our customers’ queries about sun and UV protection. So, to ensure we can answer all your questions we have laboratory tested our products to give you the most accurate answers. All our parasol canopies are fitted with a 50+ UPF rating which will give you an excellent protection against harsh UV exposure! In this blog post, we shall explore what exactly is a UPF rating, why it is important, and why you need to take precautions to protect yourself from harsh UV rays in the summer.


What is UPF?

UPF is the acronym for ‘Ultraviolet Protection Factor’ which basically shows how much UV radiation can reach your skin through certain fabrics. For example, a UPF rating of 30 to 49 will give you a very good protection from UV rays, whereas a UPF rating of 50+ is regarded as an excellent protection and can block out 98% of the sun’s rays. Notably, it is a requirement from The Skin Cancer Foundation that fabrics needs to have a UPF rating of at least 30 to meet their Seal of Recommendation.

It is important however that you know the difference between UPF and SPF, as it does become confusing with so many different variations! The main points to know are that UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that can infiltrate the fabric to eventually reach your skin. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) on the other hand actually considers how long it takes for skin that is exposed to UV rays to become red, for example if you begin to have sunburn after 20 minutes exposed to the sun, then a sun cream with an SPF of 15 will protect your skin for 15 times longer than without it!


But what is UV radiation?

UV radiation is the natural energy produced by the sun and is not visible to the naked eye, but your skin can sense it. Ultimately, there are two types of UV radiation that can contribute to the development of skin cancer: Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA is typically associated with the ageing of skin, whereas UVB is linked to skin burning. When you are unprotected and exposed to both these radiations, the damage can be detrimental to your skin as the DNA in your skin cells become damaged, resulting in genetic defects or mutations which can all cause skin cancer.


What is more, severe UV exposure that causes sunburn does have a major role in producing melanoma, which is one of the most well-known types of skin cancer. Consequently, UV radiation is an extremely powerful way to attack your skin and can cause issues that range from just a few wrinkles to possibly a critical case of skin cancer.


So, what can I do to protect myself from harsh UV rays?

In short, it is important that you do everything you can to protect yourself from harsh exposure to UV radiation so you can prevent any harmful developments to your skin in the future. The main way is to wear sun-safe clothing and sun cream to let your skin have the best protection. Notably, you might want to host dinner or summer events in your garden and will need extra shade for your friends or guests to sit under. As previously mentioned, our range of parasols are fitted with canopies that have been laboratory tested and have been approved of having a 50+ UPF rating, meaning that these canopies will prevent 98% of UV rays coming into contact with your skin! Placing any of our parasols in your garden will give you the best defence against the harsh summer sun whilst adding a great element of style to your dining or lounge area.


Why not check out our amazing range of parasols? Click the links below to view them on our website:

Cantilever Parasols

Wall Mounted Parasols

Stand Alone Parasols

Commercial Parasols

LED Parasols

Parasol Canopies and Covers

We would love to see your parasol pictures in your garden, so please share them with us on our socials and you might get featured!


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