Cloudy weather is very peaceful and has a calming aesthetic. There is no doubt that we all love to head out of our homes and enjoy the stunning cloudy weather. But do you think wearing sunscreen is not essential in cloudy weather?
Most people believe that since clouds have covered the sun, the harmful sunrays won’t harm the skin anymore. However, on the contrary, sunrays are equally harmful, whether it’s a cloudy day or a sunny day.
So, the answer to ‘can you tan through clouds’ is YES.
Still Get A Tan from Clouds
How Can You Develop Tan Through Clouds?
It is a common myth that you cannot tan through clouds. In fact, not just tan, you can also get sunburned if you are not careful enough in the cloudy weather.
UV index levels enhance when there are thin clouds and light in the sky. The cumulative effect of these two causes UV rays to scatter and reach the earth’s surface more intensely.
Around 80% of UV radiations transmit to the earth’s surface, even on cloudy days. Therefore, the chances of developing a tan or sunburn still remain high.
Here, it is essential to know that you can’t escape tanning even while sitting under the shade. It is your surroundings that make all the difference. Snow, sand, soil, grass, water- everything reflects around 10-25% of UV radiation, making the skin prone to sun damage.
Continue reading to know more about tanning, why you can tan when it’s cloudy, and tips on getting and maintaining the tan.
How Does Tanning Work?
Tanning is a gradual process in which the skin tone turns dark. People sit under the sun for hours and use other ways (self-tanners, tanning beds, etc.) to develop a tan to get a gorgeous bronze skin tone.
The process of tanning undergoes two steps-
- As the skin absorbs UVA radiation, melanin (the compound responsible for the pigment or color of your skin) starts oxidizing. It happens to protect your skin from sunburn. It develops base tan.
- Next, as the skin is kept exposed to sun rays, the UVB radiation triggers melanocytes (cells responsible for producing melanin) to produce more melanin. It takes a few days for the skin to develop tan; therefore, it is not an overnight process.
Often people misunderstand the process of tanning and how it works. They overexpose the skin with the intent to develop tan on the same day. It makes skin vulnerable to sun damage.
At the same time, it is essential to know the right times and ways to tan. It will prevent the chances of sunburn and helps to get the perfect tanned skin tone.
What Is The Right Time To Develop A Tan?
Sun is at its peak from 10 AM to 4 PM. Here, it is essential to know that it is not the visible light that causes our skin to tan. In fact, it can lead to sunburns.
Therefore, avoiding direct sunlight and also sitting under the sun when the sun’s rays are at their peak is the best. It will ensure that your skin will only tan and not burn.
Since sun tan results from two processes, you need to give time for your skin to darken. Overexposure will only cause sunburn, which is painful, irritating, and ruins tanning.
How Long Should I Sit Under The Sun?
It is one of the most common questions that ponder the mind. The time you need to spend under the sun to develop a tan depends upon-
- Your skin type- People with darker skin will tan faster because they have more melanin in their skin.
- Climate- The sun’s rays are stronger at higher altitudes, making tanning and burning happen more quickly.
Depending upon these two circumstances, anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes is the ideal and safe time to spend under the sun. It will help to maintain the tan and, at the same time, give enough time to the body to absorb Vitamin D.
How To Tan Through The Clouds Safely?
Cloudy weather doesn’t mean you can escape sun protection- be its sunscreen or your gears. Here are the ways you can tan through clouds safely.
1. Wear Your Sunscreen
The result of sun rays penetrating your skin is the development of a lovely bronze suntan. However, these rays could be harmful if you do not wear broad-spectrum sunscreen. You need to protect your skin from sun damage or sunburn that, in severe cases, may lead to skin cancer.
Sunscreen only protects your skin from sun damage. It doesn’t hamper the process of suntan as some UVA and UVB rays still penetrate through the skin. Apply sunscreen at least SPF more than 15 for 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply no less than every two hours.
2. Change Positions
Move around while tanning. Do not sit in the same position for more than 15 minutes. It will allow all the body parts to get exposed to the sunrays and prevent the development of tan patches and streaks.
Despite the clouds, they sit only for a short time to activate melanin and trigger melanocyte production.
3. Prepare Your Skin Before And After Tanning
Preparing the skin by exfoliating, shaving, and moisturizing helps to develop a better tan. Likewise, keeping the skin well-hydrated and moisturized after tanning also ensures that your tan will look good and long last.
Clouds don’t completely block out UV rays, just like sunscreen cannot filter them all out and fully protect your skin. So while it is still possible to get sunburned when it’s cloudy, the chances are not higher. However, you can develop tan easily.
Irrespective of clouds or the sun, it doesn’t take more than 15-20 minutes a day to trigger the process of melanin oxidation and develop a tan. However, you need to sit under the sun for a few more days to get visible results.
Make sure you wear all your protective gear to keep the skin healthy and safe from sun damage.
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