My great-grandmother was a big proponent of wearing dark-colored, long-sleeved shirts in the middle of North Carolina’s scalding summers. Her reply whenever I’d ask her why she’d chosen that gardening outfit on a 95-degree day was always the same: “What keeps out the cold will keep out the sun.”
Her ancestral wisdom was spot on. Ultraviolet radiation, of which the sun is a primary source, is thought to be a leading cause of skin problems in people—including wrinkles, sunburn, decreased immune function, irritation, and certain forms of cancer. Historically, humans have found ways to protect themselves from the sun. Indigenous populations in Alaska constructed snow goggles out of bone or wood to protect their eyes from UV rays reflecting off the snow. In Myanmar, thanaka, a paste of crushed tree bark, is still used.
Consumer-wise, today there are two primary sun protectants on the market: sunscreens and UPF materials. The second is designed using “various weaving methods, dyes, and photo-protecting chemicals to impede ultraviolet light from penetrating through the fabric and damaging the skin,” says Travis W. Blalock, an associate professor of dermatology at Emory University School of Medicine.
[Related: Your summer guide to sunscreen, from SPF to not-so-magic pills]
Basically, UPF is a grade given to clothing and other textiles specially designed to block UV rays from reaching the skin. According to outdoor retailer REI, even a plain white t-shirt provides a UPF rating of around 5, which isn’t much, but is better than your birthday suit.
While SPF and UPF products will defend your body from the sun, their levels of protection are not determined in the same way, explains Shadi Kourosh, the director of community health for the department of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital. A product’s SPF rating is based on how long someone can be in the sun with sunscreen on before their skin starts to redden, relative to how long they can be in the sun without it. For instance, if someone can be in the sun for 30 minutes before they start to burn, properly applied SPF 30 would allow them to stay outside for 30 times longer.
In comparison, UPF ratings are established by the percentage of UV rays that penetrate the material. If a shirt has a rating of UPF 50, it is thought to block 98 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from reaching someone’s skin. (SPF only measures protection against UVB rays.) Officially rated UPF products range from 15 up to 50+.
I asked both Kourosh and Blalock about the benefits of UPF, how to tell if a product will offer good sun defense, and if SPF ratings serve as an effective guide for choosing the proper level of protection. Both interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Blalock: UPF is just one component of protecting the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. It does an amazing job of protecting the skin that it covers—however, I recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF greater than 30 to apply to areas not covered by UPF clothing. As a parent and a doctor, I am acutely aware of the benefit of UPF clothing, which does not have to be reapplied and doesn’t wash off during swimming. Sunscreen does have to be reapplied after a designated period, and spots could be missed if it is not applied uniformly.
Kourosh: Even if you’re wearing a UPF fabric that blocks 99 percent of the sun’s rays, if you’re out for long enough, some of those rays still might get through. One concept discussed in the medical community, especially among dermatologists, is the percentage of body surface area covered by a garment and the weight of the garment itself. So it’s about how good the fabric is at blocking the sun, and how much of the body it covers. And there are other factors that affect its effectiveness—like the clothing should be loose rather than tight, and it should not be wet.
Blalock: I don’t typically think of SPF as being superior given that UPF and SPF focus on different aspects of photoprotection. I think of these concepts and measurements as complementary instead of comparative. However, as a practical matter, it is generally believed that UPF clothing may block out UVA more effectively than some sunscreens.
Kourosh: While national and international health agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organizations recommend UPF as one of the pillars of sun prediction, there is no global standardization. Australia and New Zealand have done the best job of establishing guidelines and standards and having agencies for enforcement. But in the US, it’s not enforced, so that’s another reason why it’s a good idea to go for the maximum protection, because that gives you the best chance of getting the protection you’re hoping for. Australia and New Zealand also have a protection rating system corresponding to the percentage of rays that make it through the fabric.
Kourosh: Usually, the protection we’re getting from either rating is less than we think. The estimate of SPF or UPF protection is based on the perfect world of lab settings. We’re probably outside for longer periods or in situations where the sun exposure is very intense, like at the beach. So we cannot assume that the conditions in which the testing was done are the same as what we are encountering in the real world. This is why I recommend that people get the maximum levels they can find on a product.
Blalock: My general advice to patients starts with an understanding that we know the negative impacts of the sun on your skin. Ultraviolet light can increase your risk of skin cancer, cause sunburns, and accelerate signs of aging, like wrinkles and spots. Thus, the more informed you are, the more likely you can make educated choices about protecting your skin. I recommend selecting sun protection that you are willing to use consistently. The skin is not protected by sunscreens or UPF clothing that aren’t used.
Blalock: The easiest way for consumers to know is to purchase from a manufacturer that clearly indicates a UPF designation on the label. While certain types of fabrics are better at preventing ultraviolet light from getting to the skin—dark or bright colored clothing, densely woven fabrics, and loose-fitting clothing—there are no reliable ways for the consumer to know this unless they’re labeled as having a confirmed UPF. Companies that place this label on their clothing commonly do laboratory testing to evaluate sun- protective capabilities. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation for consumers.
Blalock: Minimizing UV damage to your skin is advised when sun exposure is likely to be high. You can monitor the UV index through your local weather report, or just be aware that the time with the most exposure is typically from mid-morning around 9 am to late afternoon around 4 pm. And there’s little downside to wearing or using sun protection outside of these times. Thankfully, as UPF clothing has become more mainstream and fashionable, I’m hoping we’ll see more of them worn at all times.
Blalock: The big concern I hear most commonly regarding sunscreen is the need for reapplication. That might be common as people focus on their specific activities, like swimming in the ocean, engaging in athletics, or even going on a long hike. UPF clothing that is comfortable and not too uncomfortable provides the ability to engage in meaningful life activities without worrying about the reapplication requirements of sunscreen.
Kourosh: Another issue that’s becoming increasingly important in the medical community is occupational exposure—so people who work in certain professions where they’re chronically exposed to heat and sunlight. Sunlight and heat are capable of causing certain skin problems, and that puts workers at risk. Some countries, like Germany, now have regulations around what we could call personal protective equipment against UV exposure, which employers must provide.
There are also people who work in environments with snow, open water, white sand, asphalt concrete, or polished metal. These are reflective surfaces that intensify a person’s exposure to UV rays. They should opt for maximum-protection clothing and sunscreen, and seek shade as often as possible.
Like a screen protector for your entire car, a new protective coating developed by researchers at the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology could actually go one step further than the plastic films you apply to your smartphone’s display. When exposed to the sun, it’s able to heal itself, making scratches completely disappear in as little as half an hour.
Unless you keep it parked in a garage all the time, getting a scratch on your vehicle is inevitable; be it from another vehicle in a parking lot, or a rock kicked up while driving down the road. Protective coatings exist that help protect a vehicle’s finish and minimize the risk of a scratch going deep enough to damage paint, expose the underlying metal panel, and increase the risk of rusting, but even a protective coating will show scratch marks that either need to be buffed out or remedied by a professional with the right tools.
For those wanting to keep their vehicle looking as pristine as it did the day it rolled off the dealership’s lot, but without putting any effort or money into its upkeep, self-healing protective coatings have been in development for a few years, but with some challenges that have been hard to overcome. Materials that exhibit malleable properties to facilitate the repair of scratch damage are also not very durable, so a vehicle would actually be more prone to scratches more frequently, while harder materials that are less prone to being damaged also exhibit less effective self-healing tendencies when a physical impact is strong enough to produce a visible scratch.
Researchers from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology came up with a best of both worlds approach. They upgraded a highly durable protective resin coating with a reversible polymer network material based on acryl polyol, as well as introducing a photothermal dye. The dye absorbs infrared light from the sun and turns it into thermal energy, which increases the surface temperature of the protective coating. The chemical bonds of the coating’s polymer structure react to the increased heat by dissociating and then recombining again, slowly rebuilding the damaged polymer structure where a scratch occurred until it’s completely repaired and gone.
The healing process can be accelerated using a high-intensity light source like a laser or by going old school with a magnifying glass, but testing with a small model car treated with the coating found that simply leaving the vehicle with visible damage out in the bright midday sun for about 30 minutes generated enough heat to completely heal the scratches.
The effectiveness and speed of the healing process depends on several factors, including the intensity of the exposure to the sun, but the researchers are confident it could not only be used on full-sized cars, but also as a way to protect other vehicles like boats and planes while minimizing maintenance demands. And yes, it could even be applied to devices like smartphones, so the next time your device takes a tumble onto pavement and walks away with scars reminding you of your clumsiness, you could just leave it on a windowsill for a while and come back to a device that looks as good as new.
A CHEF has revealed how you can make cheap meals look expensive by adding three items under $10.
Frozen grocery store meals can resemble Michelin-starred fine dining with the three additions recommended by TikTok chef Zoe Barrie.
To transform any meal, Zoe recommends adding a sauce or finishing oil, a textural element, and a pop of color.
The chef demonstrated the process with an "average-looking pasta dish" - the corn and burrata ravioli from Trader Joe's with a brown butter corn sauce.
The chef said in her video that even though the dish is delicious, it resembles vomit - which is where the meal makeover comes in.
"Ideally the sauce or the finishing oil is a relevant or nicely-paired taste to whatever it is that you're eating," Zoe said as she added a shallot-infused oil to her pasta.
The chef drizzled one or two circles around the meal for decorative design before adding a textural element.
For her specific dish, Zoe added homemade garlic bread crumbs.
"These bread crumbs are not only going to provide added flavor, but they're also going to add a different texture to that soft ravioli," she said.
Finally, the chef recommends that amateur cooks top their dishes off with a pop of color - either an edible flower or if possible, an herb.
"One thing that separates home cooks from restaurants is the use of fresh herbs," Zoe said while using fresh basil as her pop of color to complete the pasta dish.
To go even further, Zoe uses Maldon flaky sea salt to "add that last minute taste and crunch - so again, more texture."
"If I was served this in a restaurant, I would be very excited to eat this dish. Before - not so much," she said.
She concludes her demonstration with a taste test, saying that the heightened meal is the best version of that ravioli that she's ever had.
Another home chef shared six tips to help amateur cooks - including how to cook rice and keep yourself from crying while slicing onions.
The Sun also shared four kitchen hacks to keep your space clean as you cook.
Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.
This afternoon will be sunny with a high near 90 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low near 76. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 92, followed by showers and thunderstorms.
Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.
DNA testing and other newly unearthed evidence shows Chester Weger, who was convicted of the infamous 1960 Starved Rock State Park killings, is innocent, his lawyer told a LaSalle County judge yesterday.
Weger, 83, confessed to killing three suburban women found bludgeoned in the park southwest of Chicago. But he soon recanted and has maintained his innocence ever since.
The Illinois Prisoner Review Board paroled Weger in 2020 after a board member argued he was a model prisoner.
Last year, LaSalle County Judge Michael Jansz granted Weger’s request to test hairs found on the victims. Microtrace, an Elgin forensics lab whose work helped identify serial killers in Seattle and Atlanta, is part of Weger’s legal team.
Yesterday, Weger’s attorney Andrew Hale told Jansz that testing on a hair found on the left index finger of one of the victims, Frances Murphy, developed a DNA profile of an unidentified man who isn’t Weger.
“I’m making the case this exonerates him,” Hale said. “And when you take it with all the other evidence, for sure it exonerates him.
“All the other evidence, we didn’t get enough genetic material to test,” he said.
Frank Mainhas more on the latest developments in Weger’s case here.
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Last week, as thousands of music fans descended on the downtown area for another iteration of Lollapalooza, I was there covering the first two days of the festival for the Sun-Times. It was a busy — but rewarding —experience that gave me a chance to see some great artists.
Now that the dust has settled the park’s getting put back together, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite sets that I saw last Thursday and Friday.
Philadelphia R&B talent Jazmine Sullivan delivered an absolutely stellar set on Thursday that wove in her latest releases, along with early-career fan favorites and a few covers. Complete with powerhouse vocal performances, skillful crowd participation, monologues and tasteful choreography, it was a consummate set from a true professional.
Set highlights included “Put It Down” from last year’s Grammy-winning “Heaux Tales,” “Let it Burn,” from her 2015 album “Reality Show,” and last year’s single, “Tragic.” A rousing cover of Fuggees’ “Killing Me Softly” also sent the crowd into a full-throated singalong.
Sampa the Great
As festivalgoers slowly streamed into Lollapalooza on Thursday afternoon, rapper Sampa the Great stepped onto the Coinbase Stage with a burst of energy. The Zambia-born, Melbourne, Australia-based artist took her early — and arguably unenviable — timeslot in stride, electing to blaze through her opening number, “Energy,” with her band helping her set a high-energy tone for the weekend ahead.
It was her Lollapalooza debut and Sampa and her band worked as a tight unit emanating electricity as they jammed through a setlist that spanned her nearly seven-year career. The rapper commanded the stage, often putting the mic on its stand to use both of her hands for extra emphasis, making the spoken-word nature of some of her verses hit even harder.
When Dua Lipa stepped onto the T-Mobile Stage Friday to begin her headlining set, thousands of Lollapalooza fans had already seized just about every square inch of Grant Park perceivable, hoping to catch a glimpse of the English superstar.
Clad in a glistening, 1970s-glamour jumpsuit, Lipa kicked things off with “Physical,” from her 2020 album “Future Nostalgia” — a record filled with stylistic homages to 1970s disco, with a dash of 1980s electronic pop.
Lipa and her four-piece band, four background singers and several dancers welcomed the massive crowd to her “Future Nostalgia” experience amid an air of celebration, as fans sang and danced along to songs they’ve gotten to know well by now. It was a show that was heavy on the nostalgia, with Lipa working hard to sing and deliver disco-influenced choreography that turned the park into a club.
You can find my full reviews, reviews from the rest of the weekend, and photo galleries of all four days here.
What makes someone a real Chicagoan?
Send us an email at email@example.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you: Where’s your favorite place to look at flowers in the Chicago area?
Here’s what some of you said…
“The Chicago Botanic Gardens is my happy place.” —Johnna PK
“Garfield Park Conservatory where I spent many hours with my beloved Dad.” —Bernadette Eva Tilger
“Sunflowers in northwest Illinois — McHenry, Jo Davies, Carroll counties.” — Evelyn Bemis Dubbs
“The Morton Arboretum.” —Beverly Bartlett Calvert
“Downtown. They have such pretty flowers planted all over the place.” —Renee Haddon Verone
“Lincoln Park Conservatory.” —Fran Poniatowski
“Millennial Park. They are in their natural state of beauty.” —Judy Dziedzic Mascolino
“In the Forest Preserves for wildflowers.” —Mike Rogan
“Rose Gardens near Buckingham Fountain and the flower beds.” —Melanie O’Brien
“The prairie restoration area on South DLSD.” —Alexei Gaidamak
Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.
Online accommodation platform Hotels.com is searching for a lucky traveller to test out the best and most unique hotel sun options in Europe. It is inviting applications for the dream job of ‘Sun Lounger’ for those who fancy seeking out the best summer set-ups in the coming months.
Research from Hotels.com ‘The Sun-ner Travel’ survey found that eight in ten of holidaymakers polled believe basking in the sun or lounging around the pool is a great way to relax and escape reality. Some 56 per cent claimed it was important to come back from a trip with a sun-kissed glow and 45 per cent thought they looked better with a tan.
The study also showed the average person spent more than two hours a day sunbathing whilst on holiday. The biggest holiday hate was “space invader” guests reserving beds with their towels. Even though four in ten admit to doing this, 84 per cent stated they found it most annoying.
Other personality types when it comes to sunbathing, according to body language expert Judi James, include the introverted “sleeping beauty” type, who will fall asleep under an umbrella for hours at a time to get some peace and quiet, and the “chill and refill” type, who is likely to have the most stressful life at home and is therefore using their holiday to relax.
Research showed German holidaymakers ranked as most likely to reserve sunbeds (44 per cent), followed by Britons (32 per cent), Americans (20 per cent), French (19 per cent) and Italians (15 per cent).
The first ever Hotels.com ‘Sun Lounger’ will get £15,000 to spend on accommodation, where they can test out the best sun-bathing experiences. Candidates can apply here before July 31 and share three reasons why they’re perfect for the role. All entries can apply to get 30 per cent discount from Hotels.com by signing up as a member.
Emma Tagg, Hotels.com brand spokesperson, said: "We’re all about finding your perfect somewhere and sunbathing is a great way to really switch off from your daily worries and focus on relaxing. Who wouldn’t want the job as a professional sunbather?
"We’ve seen searches increase by 25 per cent for July and August compared to 2021, so it’s clear that Brits are ready to go abroad and lounge around the pool. Popular spots such as Spain, USA, France and Italy remain the most searched for this summer.
"However, we found that Turkey is rocketing in popularity with searches up 260 per cent compared to last year. If you’re heading poolside this summer, you can book your perfect stay, with 30 per cent off in our members only sale.”
THE MAIN SUNBATHING STYLES:
For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.
Many people click within seconds with each another, while others might take some time to find the real connection. Bonding with all fellow human beings is difficult, as there might be some personality traits that don’t match. Let’s look what are the compatibility matches for Leo according to astrological predictions.
Which Zodiac makes a perfect companion for Leo?
Leo and Aries: Both the zodiacs are fire sun signs and make a great pair in most life activities. They are devoted and passionately faithful to their companions. They are highly similar in both their attitudes and actions, making it easy for them to comprehend one another. They could accomplish everything together if they had the stamina, but the issue is that they don't truly require the same daily schedule. Leadership qualities come in from both ends and can be a point of disagreement for the zodiacs.
Leo and Taurus: Leo is a fire sign and Taurus is an earth sign, have very less compatibility levels between them. Leo enjoys the spotlight of an audience, while Taurus generally chooses a comfortable place with family and friends. One characteristic that both zodiacs connect on is dedication and determination for all tasks they do.
Leo and Gemini: Some Leos are aggressive while most Geminis are gentle, this extreme difference in attitude might not work well in their bond. Whereas all the other qualities of both the zodiacs attract each other very well. Leo and Gemini both are very supportive and always help each other to move forward with confidence. These signs value their freedom; therefore they could be hesitant about the chance of being married.
Leo and Cancer: Leos and Cancers are very distinct signs. They don't share many interests, so their compatibility isn't outstanding. Leos enjoy being the centre of attention for their partners and demand their undivided attention. Cancer, with its compassionate outlook on all aspects of life, easily satisfies these criteria. The Leo-Cancer partnership needs some preparation before it can take off, but once it does, it's likely to overwhelm all other pairings.
Leo and Leo: Any pair with the same sun sign will no doubt have an immense number of personality traits in common. They might get along in day-to-day life activities. Trust factor lies in a pair with both Leo’s and might act as a brick in the mall. Commitment should be strong from both ends, as this helps in building the relationship.
Leo and Virgo: When both Leo and Virgo come together as a pair, they make extremely productive. With great understanding, and quality both make wonderful career decisions. Virgo’s attitude of always being critical of decisions might pull Leos to take a step back. By astrological predictions, this might not be the best pair but their quality of working hard on a partnership helps them to make the connection strong.
Leo and Libra: Two of the zodiac's most devoted signs are Libra and Leo. Once they make the decision to work together, they will do everything in their power to make it work and will go to whatever lengths necessary to see the job through to completion. Due to their intense devotion to one another, Leo and Libra will develop a strong feeling of safety and confidence in their partnership.
Leo and Scorpio: They always support and motivate their peers on the work front as they are both extremely ambitious to succeed in life. As a result of their intense focus on their goals, they constantly encourage one another anytime one of them starts to lose steam or feels uneasy. Romantically the zodiacs don’t make a great pair according to astrology. Inflexibility between them might act as a point of argument and discomfort.
Leo and Sagittarius: Sagittarius and Leo get along well. They make great partners. However, their chemistry will be slightly complicated when they start dating seriously. If they wish their work partnership to endure for a long time, they can't be too intransigent and unwilling to make concessions. These zodiacs believe in long-term partnerships both in love and work, hence they look forward to making things work from both ends.
Leo and Capricorn: Leo and Capricorn are inseparable friends. When it comes to a tough phase in the other’s life, they are extremely supportive and do anything to bring the other out of that situation. Leo and Capricorn must set aside their conflicts and begin focusing on their common goals in order for their partnership to grow and blossom over time. They are similar enough to one another to develop a lasting rapport. Additionally, their differences will undoubtedly be advantageous for both their personal development and the progress of their relationship.
Leo and Aquarius: It can be stated that these zodiacs make a very powerful and one of the best connections according to astrological predictions. Both the zodiacs respect each other's space as well as praise the other’s successful achievements. Aquarius has the power to push Leo's passion to its utmost intensity. Leo is extremely supportive and helps Aquarius reach great professional heights.
Leo and Pisces: They are completely, and extremely incompatible with one another when it comes to love compatibility. Actually, it would be best to abstain from this romantic pairing. Despite having a respectable connection, Leo and Pisces will frequently disagree. For both parties, this partnership is a great test of their patience. While it is challenging to create the ideal melody for their partnership to work smoothly, the result, if the ideal harmony is struck, will be extremely profitable!