Sun Protection Shade Vs Sunscreen

Sun Protection Shade Vs Sunscreen

Shade VS Sunscreen: An Overview

We all know how important it is to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of UV Radiation. Many people are still a little confused about the different ratings for sunscreens and fabrics. Here is a brief explanation about the difference between SPF and UPF.

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB rays, the kind of radiation that causes sunburn, damages skin, and can contribute to skin cancer.  The higher the SPF factor, the higher the protection it will give.

  • SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays

SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays


UPF or Ultraviolet Protection Factor is a measure of how well a fabric will protect a person against sunburn-causing UV rays. The higher the number – up to 50, the better the protection. A fabric with a UPF of 50 means out of 50 UV units only 1 will penetrate the clothing. This means 49 units of ultraviolet rays are reflect, absorbed or blocked. This means less than 2% of UV passing through the fabric. This is a 98% rate.  Any fabric which can block more than 98% of the UV rays will get the 50+ rating, as there is no higher way to rate the UPF protectiveness level.

To make it simple, ratings are broken into categories being Good, Very Good or Excellent. 

UPF Rating

Protection Category

 % UV radiation Blocked

UPF 15 – 24


93.3 – 95.9

UPF 25 – 39

Very Good

96.0 – 97.4

UPF 40 – 50+


97.5 – 98+


Bottom line; when it comes to choosing the right type of shade is to make sure that the fabric you’re buying for your umbrella or sun-shade has a high UPF. Typically shade cloths have a 95-97% UV block which puts them in the Good to Very Good. Fabrics such as Spuncrylic, O’bravia and Sunbrella which are widely used on high quality market and cantilever umbrellas. 

This umbrella has uses a high protective acrylic canvas which has a UPF 50+. The umbrella can be rotated 360 Degrees so that the shade moved to where it’s needed during different times of the day.

For more high quality shade products and advice contact Shade Australia on 1800 155 233 or visit 

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