Like sunscreen, sun-protective clothing is a product used to prevent sunburn. Unlike normal summer clothing -- which typically includes light-colored fabrics and loosely fitting cotton -- the fabrics used for blocking sun are tightly woven, which makes them more difficult for harmful rays to penetrate. Certain companies treat the fabric with chemicals that help absorb ultraviolet (UV) light. Sun-protective clothing is generally marked with a UV protection factor (UPF), which lets you know the strength of its protection. For example, if you wanted to protect yourself from 1/40th of the sun's rays, you'd pick a shirt with a UPF rating of 40. Higher UPF labels mean more protection for your skin [source: Federal Trade Commission, Gibson].
Although sun-protective clothing is a useful tool in the fight against sunburn, it can lose some of its effectiveness if it gets stretched or is repeatedly washed -- another reason to go with a higher UPF in the first place. Another option is to make your own sun blocking clothes. Certain laundry ingredients contain UV-absorbing chemicals and claim to give even regular fabrics a significant UPF rating [source: Gibson]. A product called SunGuard falls into this category.
Clothing specifically designed for sunburn prevention can be a bit expensive, but there are plenty of options already in your closet that also can be effective. Whenever going out in direct sunlight, you can wear something loose fitting that covers as much skin as possible. Also, wide-brimmed hats will help block sunlight from your head and neck area [source: Family Doctor].
Read on to discover the different types of food that help prevent sunburn.