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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Aug;26(8):1026-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04139.x. Epub 2011 Jun 4.

Interest of external photoprotection by means of clothing and sunscreen products in young children.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Universités, Nantes, France.



Protecting young children is a major public health issue.


We tested children's clothing and sunscreen products that are specially designed for children.


The effectiveness of the different types of clothing and sunscreen products was determined using spectrophotometer equipped with an integrating sphere A measure of transmittance carried out, respectively, between 290 and 400 nm and between 320 and 400 nm, allowed us to assess the photoprotective properties in the UVB and UVA range respectively.


Although the photoprotective effect varies according to the type of clothing (UV-protection factor [UPF] of approximately 10 for a cotton T-shirt and 500 for a pair of jeans), the effect is constant for any one type of clothing. Placing fabrics in layers is essential and this enables the protective effect to be greatly increased. Moreover, the authors wished to answer the question, 'what makes a good sun cream?' by analysing the formula of each product tested. It turns out that only creams containing both organic filters and inorganic filters have an sun protection factor (SPF) that is the same as the one stated on the product.


Concerning townwear, the jeans, tracksuits, sweatshirts, pullovers and tights turned out to be very photoprotective. They enable, in effect, to reach a UPF higher than 500. The mere presence of titanium dioxide and/or zinc dioxide does not mean that the product will have a high SPF. Products containing alcohol can be eliminated from the possible choices by carefully reading the label.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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