Can You Tan Through Clouds

Can You Tan Through Clouds? Tips for Cloudy Days

No matter how much you wish, the weather sometimes doesn’t comply with your plans! You would naturally be upset if you planned to spend some time outside tanning in the sun, and you realise it is gloomy upon going outside. But before you abandon your tanning plans, remember that you may still get a golden glow even if the sun isn’t blazing down on you.  The question which usually arises is, can you tan through clouds? We will have to look at all the aspects to answer this question.

Can you tan through clouds?

How long to tan on a cloudy day

The answer is yes! You can tan through clouds, and over 90% of the sun’s UV rays still make it through, so you can create a tan even if it doesn’t seem like you’re in direct sunshine. However, this also means you might be sunburned when least expect it. To explore in-depth, keep reading to learn more about tanning through the clouds, measures, and some advice on building a lovely tan even when the sun is hiding!

How long to tan on a cloudy day?

Is sunbathing while lying on the sand your dream beach day? While the notion is appealing, you will need more than the desired tan! It may appear like tanning on a cloudy day is impossible, but how long does it take to tan on a cloudy day? As previously said, tanning is possible even when it is cloudy outside. However, obtaining a tan through clouds will take far longer than on a sunny day with greater sun exposure.

Even if there is a high cloud cover and UV rays are difficult to see, they may penetrate and cause your skin to tan. The process is relatively gradual. To avoid scorching your skin, limit your time in the sun to shorter periods or apply sunscreen. It is feasible to tan on a cloudy day with UVB and UVA rays present, but the process is slower than in full sunshine. You may need 2-3 times as long as usual to acquire a nice tan through clouds.

Wearing sunscreen even on cloudy days is essential because UVA radiation can cause harm to your skin. Reduced incidence levels of UVB radiation can give tans by modifying the melanin levels in the skin. While it is possible to tan even when it is overcast outside, we recommend limiting exposure durations, especially during the midday hours, because UV strength increases dramatically regardless of whether it is cloudy or sunny.

Do you tan better with clouds?

Do you tan better with clouds?

Tanning is the process through which your skin darkens due to sun exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Whether or not you can do better with clouds is determined by various factors, including:

Thick clouds: The thick clouds can obscure a considerable part of UV rays, decreasing your tanning ability. Thin clouds, on the other hand, may allow some UV rays to slip through.

UV Index: The UV index measures the intensity of UV radiation emitted by the sun. The UV index may be relatively high even on gloomy days, especially if the clouds are thin. You can still acquire a sunburn and tan in these situations.

Skin Type: Different types of skin will respond differently to UV exposure. Some people naturally tan quicker than others, while others may burn faster.

Sunscreen: Using sunscreen can dramatically diminish your ability to tan since it inhibits or absorbs UV light to protect your skin.

Time of Day: The sun’s angle in the sky might alter how much UV radiation you get. Tanning is generally more effective when the sun is higher in the sky, as it is during the noon hours.

While it is possible to tan on overcast days, the process will be slower and less intense than on bright days with clear skies. Extended sun exposure without protection can cause sunburn and raise the risk of skin damage and cancer. When spending time outside, regardless of the weather, it is required to use sunscreen, wear protective gear, and take proper measures.

Sunburn On Cloudy Days

UV radiation from the sun is a form of natural energy source that we cannot see. We can, however, feel the sun’s UV radiation. This is why bare skin feels hot or heated throughout the day while the sun shines. UV radiation becomes more assertive and possibly harmful during the summer because the Earth tilts towards the sun (in the winter, it lists away).

Because this portion of the Earth is closest to the sun, UV light from the sun is high all year round if you reside near the equator. People who live, work, or play at high elevations are similarly subjected to excessive sun exposure for similar reasons. When UV radiation from the sun strikes reflective surfaces such as water, cement, sand, and snow, it is amplified and causes more significant damage.

As a result, it’s especially vital to wear proper sun protection when you’re in places or circumstances where certain sun-magnifying variables will be present, such as when:

  • swimming
  • at the seashore
  • strolling down a concrete sidewalk
  • shovelling or having fun in the snow

Clouds do block some UV rays. On mildly cloudy days, however, more than 90% of the sun’s UV energy can still travel through clouds and induce sunburn.

Do You Need Sunscreen On Cloudy Days?

Do You Need Sunscreen On Cloudy Days

Yes, even on overcast days, you should wear sunscreen. Clouds can lessen the intensity of direct sunlight, but they do not completely obscure the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Even on gloomy days, UV radiation may penetrate cloud cover and cause sunburn and skin damage.

Here are a few reasons why you should wear sunscreen on overcast days:

UV light: While clouds may screen part of the UVB (shortwave) light that causes sunburn, UVA (longwave) radiation can still travel through clouds. UVA radiation can cause premature skin ageing and raise the risk of skin cancer.

Unpredictable Weather: Weather can change quickly, and what begins as a cloudy day may turn sunny later. Being prepared and protected with sunscreen is preferable, especially if you want to spend time outside.

Cumulative Exposure: Sun exposure has cumulative effects over time. Even if you don’t get sunburn on a cloudy day, unprotected sun exposure can cause skin deterioration and an increased risk of skin cancer in the long run.

Select a sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 or higher. It is greater when wearing sunscreen on overcast days. Apply it to your whole exposed skin, including your face, neck, ears, and other regions not covered by clothes. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, more frequently if swimming or exercising. Wearing protective clothes, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats can give additional UV radiation protection on overcast days.


To summarise, tanning through clouds is feasible because some ultraviolet (UV) energy from the sun may penetrate cloud cover. However, the procedure is slower and less severe than sun tanning. It’s vital to wear sunscreen and exercise caution even on overcast days since UV radiation can still hurt your skin, causing sunburn and potential long-term skin damage. On cloudy days, the UV index, cloud thickness, skin type, and time of day all impact how successful tanning is. Remember that unprotected, extended, or repetitive exposure to UV radiation can raise the risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Taking the required measures, such as applying sunscreen and wearing protective clothes, is crucial to enjoy the outdoors safely and minimise the hazards of UV exposure, whether sunny or gloomy.