Can You Get Sunburn Through Clouds? (Of Course…)


There is always an excitement that comes with summer. You are excited when the sun comes up, and you can’t wait to get your tan. Sitting by the pool in your favorite pool wears under a shade and soaking in the sun rays, it just always feels like the perfect thing to do.

On a good day, you take extra care of your skin, apply enough tanning oil and sunscreens to prevent sunburns, and get just the right amount of tan. However, on cloudy days, you worry less about sunburn. It just seems natural that no sun means no sunburn, right?

Thinking that sunburn is caused solely during the summers is a misconception. Although summer is regarded as bad weather in several countries, it doesn’t mean that UV rays damage your skin only during this period of time.

Should you be worried about sunburns even on cloudy days? In this blog post, we will discuss several sun myths, debunk the wrong ones and bring forth facts as you read on. Let’s get started!

Can You Get Sunburn Through Clouds?

Yes, you can get sunburned through clouds! Research has shown us that temperature does not damage the skin; instead, ultraviolet rays do. The ultraviolet rays, the UVA and UVB are responsible for skin damage.

UVB is responsible for sunburns. Generally, UV (ultraviolet) radiations are electromagnetic radiation from the sun. But, the UVB rays, which have more energy than UVA rays, are responsible for sunburn and blistering.

They damage the DNA in skin cells directly by affecting the cells in the top layer of the skin. Long-term effects include skin cancer after long-term exposure.

Hence, even if the sun doesn’t come up on the most cloudy days. You should ensure to protect your skin because clouds do not block UV rays, which puts you at risk of developing skin cancer over time.

Can You Get Tan Through Clouds?

It’s a cloudy day, and you might be wondering if the cloud affects your tan? No, it doesn’t.

The quick answer this that you can get tan through clouds. The UV ray from the sun is what causes tanning. There are times during the day when you don’t actually see the sun but that doesn’t mean that you are not exposed to UV rays. This means you can even get tanning dying foggy, misty or cloudy days.

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At the same time, several technologies have been developed to replicate the UV rays by certain lights, tanning beds, etc., to help you achieve a nice skin tan. Still, the sun is the natural and abundant source of UV. You can get UV rays from the sun on cloudy days even if the clouds hide it and you can’t see it.

The UV rays are not visible to the naked eyes. Thus it is primarily tricky to gauge their intensity. So, while using the UV rays to tan the skin might make you feel good, your body should not absorb too much of it.

It would be best to keep in mind that tanning is still sun damage, and the brown pigment (melanin) is produced due to your skin trying to protect itself from the UV rays.

Absorbing too much on your skin can put you at risk of skin cancer, skin burns, and heatstroke. Therefore, ensure that you use sun protection such as tanning oil, sun hat, sunscreen, to protect your skin at all times.

Can You Get Sunburned Through Thick Clouds?

As mentioned earlier, sunburn is a result of UV rays. Statistics show that about 87% of the sun’s rays penetrate through the clouds. So yes, you can get sunburned through thick clouds.

Clouds do not block UV rays. They only block the sun, making the weather cool and a great day to lounge out. While that sounds tempting, you should put provisions into place to protect your skin because it is at risk of getting sunburned even on the most cloudy days.

There are several types of UV rays, the UVA and UVB being the most detrimental to the skin. Research has shown that thick clouds can strongly reduce UVB rays. Still, you remain at risk of absorbing UVA rays that cause skin wrinkle and premature aging.

Of course, the intensity of the UV rays will vary from its initial depending on the clouds. Still, the clouds cannot filter all the ultraviolet rays. Grey clouds, for instance, are thick and denser than white and fluffy clouds. They allow a third of the UV rays intensity through the surface, while the latter allows about 89%.

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Can I Get Sunburned Through a Car Window?

When simply put. No, you can’t. However, this doesn’t dismiss the probability of absorbing ultraviolet rays through a car window. It is a little complicated than that. Usually, the UVA and UVB rays are the two rays you shouldn’t overexpose your skin.

As mentioned earlier, the UVA rays cause wrinkles and skin aging. In contrast, the UVB rays are the ones responsible for causing sunburn. Glass blocks UVB rays well, and windshields are designed to shield drivers from some UVA and UVB.

However, the other windows in your car aren’t designed to. Thus, your skin can absorb UV rays through the back and side windows. These sun rays coming in from the other side of your car windows can cause damage to your skin and could likely develop skin cancer on the side and face of the body after repeated exposure.

So, if you don’t apply sunscreen for sun protection on your skin every day on your way out, perhaps, you should consider it a healthy habit to learn now. You can also invest in special tinting that offers protection from UVA rays for your car windows to prevent damage to your skin.

Can You Get Sunburned Through a Shirt?

Yes, you can get sunburned through a shirt and other clothing.

The clothing is the first line of defense against the UV rays before it gets to your skin. That is why you should put much thought into your shirt and other clothes every time.

Generally, one would think that putting on a shirt means being protected from UV rays that cause sunburn. You are right; it does protect you from getting sunburned, but the level of protection depends on different shirts.

Reliable sources say that fabrics with tighter knit or weaves are better because the smaller the holes, the more difficult it is for the UV ray to pass through. In addition to this, color and UPF are essential when picking shirts to protect your skin from UV rays.

As a rule of thumb, it is easier to remember that the darker the color, the better protection the clothing. Darker colors absorb more UV rays and dissipate them rather than pass through the clothing to the skin, giving you more protection. On the other hand, lighter colors absorb fewer UV rays leaving your skin at the mercy of the rays.

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Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is specially made in some clothing to provide sun protection against your skin. In every shirt with a UPF rating, a number indicating the fraction of UV rays that can penetrate the shirt can be checked on purchase to further protect your skin against UV damage.

Which Color Clothes are Best For Sun Protection?

Deep down, we all love a little color. Yellow, lilac, pale blue, and oh! White, the best of all. But do you know that these colors absorb fewer UV rays and put your skin at risk of sun damage?

When considering the best color for your clothes to protect your skin from sun damage, you should consider more dark colors.

Whether you are going on a walk, going to work, to the pool, or beach, you should pay more attention to your clothing because you are always at risk of UV rays, whether you are aware of it or not.

Experts advise avoiding the sun between 10 am and 4 pm because the UV rays are more potent at this time. This might prove impossible sometimes, so you should pay as much attention to protecting yourself as possible.

Your clothes are your number one line of defense, so, as stated earlier, more priority should be given to thicker clothes with darker colors. While this might feel uncomfortable due to the ability of darker colors to cause heat, they absorb more UV rays, unlike lighter colors.

Also, if you are a lover of colors, you might want to consider more vivid colors because they are inadvertently more protective than pale light colors.

In addition to these, it is essential to be aware that wet fabric often has a reduced UPF compared to dry ones, so you should try to have on dry clothes when you can. Polyester and nylon materials are also more protective than cotton and rayon.


It is crucial to pay more attention to the skin to prevent sun damage. Although wearing darker clothes can protect you from sun damage, it doesn’t fully protect the skin; hence you shouldn’t neglect using sunscreen every day.

It is advisable to stay away from the sun and UV rays as much as you can, and normalize wearing outfits that protect your skin at all times.

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