Once the warmer weather arrives, many people like to head out in the sun in an attempt to bronze themselves and get a nice tan.
However, once the sun settles in behind a thick blanket of clouds. They think they are safe from the power of the sun, and there is little chance of them getting a tan, or facing any issues from too much sun exposure.
Unfortunately, there is a lot more to it than saying you are safe on a cloudy day because the sub is behind thick layers of cloud cover.
Here, you can learn all you need to know about the power of the sun, from protecting yourself and how to know when it is the best time to tan.
What About UV Rays?
As we see, there is a group of individuals, who think it is sunny, or it isn’t. Yet, another group such as campers, kayaker’s and backpackers understand the issues from the sun’s rays.
These rays are the ones that make you tan, and they are the ones man has managed to duplicate these for use on a tanning bed.
While the sun is good for us in small amounts, such as delivering vitamin D, too much can be harmful, and it doesn’t take too much exposure from these rays to have issues such as skin damage, skin cancer, or simpler sunburn.
The problem is, these rays are not visible, and half the reason you see people tanning on a cloudy day when they weren’t expecting it.
What Types of UV Rays are There?
You can find three kinds of radiation from the sun as follows:
- UVB rays strike the upper layer of the skin and are the primary source of sunburn and skin cancers. Moreover, they damage the DNA in the skin. UVB can burn naked skin in just fifteen minutes!
- UVA rays represent about 95% of the entire radiation created from the sun. These rays penetrate the skin’s surface through the epidermis to the bottom of the skin. These rays cause wrinkles and premature aging.
- UVC rays are absorbed by the atmosphere and do not reach the earth’s surface. Consequently, they are not considered a danger to your skin. UVC rays are not plentiful and are mainly noticeable between 10 am and 4 pm.
How Long Does it Take to Tan in the sun?
Times for tanning can vary depending on the person; however, a regular person who doesn’t have a fair skin can tan in far less time than they think.
Average individuals can have a tan in less than 2-hours, while others can burn in around ten minutes of heavy sun.
For this reason, it is best to follow some guidelines if you are looking for a tan, or you want to understand the best ways of protecting yourself.
The best time of day to tan, is before 10.am or after 4.pm as this can help avoid sunburn. At these times, the UVA and UVB rays are at their lowest.
You may ask do clouds block UV rays. While on an overcast day, you can find that clouds filter out between 70 and 90% of the UVB, they can still let enough through to cause issues. Hence, the reason you can tan when it’s cloudy.
Can You Tan Through a Window?
You may think it a strange question, yet think of those long car trips when your arm is resting on the side, and the sun shines through the glass.
Do you ever see your arm is darker on the day after, and you wonder why? UV quickly penetrates glass, although it may take longer to tan you than if you were outside.
Therefore, it shows you need to protect your skin if on the other side of a window. Likewise, many ask, can you get a tan in the shade?
You find the answer to this is the same as tanning through clothes. Here is why you see so many hikers pick their clothes correctly to stop UV passing through, although some are better than others are.
The majority of clothing offers an SPF of between 4 and 7, thus depending on your shade; you may be looking at the same number. Skin tone will also have an impact here as well as if you get the sun through clouds.
You can find most types of clothes stop UVB, yet they don’t prevent UVA.
When exposed to the sun, the body produces Melanin, and it is this that gives us color. It also offers some protection of the deep layers under the skin against UV.
Even when it’s cloudy, every person outdoors, be it on a hike, on the beach, or riding a bike, ought to apply sunscreen.
Even if you have a skin type that can handle more sun than a fair person can, you need to use a broad-spectrum tanning lotion of SPF 15 or above.
Lighter skinned individuals need a much higher rating than this, as the burn time is far shorter. SPF 30 should be a minimum, applied before venturing outside, and reapplied every two hours.
If your activity makes you sweat, then this time drops to an hour for adequate protection.
Other things often overlooked when tanning or taking part in outdoor activities is the inclusion of a hat.
These ought to be wide-brimmed, and you can find these with high UV ratings, which is advisable. Sunstroke is no fun, so keeping as much off your head is desirable.
The final area for tanners or anyone outdoors is to protect your eyes. Most people never consider the effects of UV rays, and it is more about how bright the light is.
Dark lenses may block light, yet they don’t prevent UV from hitting your eyes. A good pair that provides UVB and UVA protection is a wise recommendation.