Can you still get a tan when it's cloudy?

In the summer months, when the sun is beating down from the cloudless, blue skies, it seems the perfect weather for tanning. However, is it also possible to tan even if it’s cloudy? In this guide, we’ll give you all the information you need, and we will explain why SPF still needs to be applied.

Can you tan through clouds?

A cloudy sky may not seem like the best choice for tanning, but it is still possible to tan! According to research and studies, around 90% of UV rays penetrate clouds, therefore reaching your skin. Even if you can’t feel the sun on your skin, the UV rays that lead to tanning are still present. However, it is important to note that different types of clouds allow for different amounts of UV rays to pass through. Thick, grey, stormy clouds will absorb and block more rays than white, fluffy clouds.

It is essential to remember that the visible sunlight is not what causes you to tan, but the UV rays that you can’t physically see. So even if it doesn’t look like the most picturesque, summer day outside, there’s no reason why you can’t grab a bottle of sunscreen and head for the sun loungers!

Are cloudy days better for tanning?

Although clouds still allow you to tan, they don’t necessarily improve or quicken the tanning process. Tanning on a cloudy day requires just as many safety precautions as tanning on a sunny day. It may appear safer to sunbathe when there isn’t a visible, scorching sun, but as previously mentioned, almost the same amount of UV rays are able to reach your skin. This is why it is still important to wear SPF protection on cloudy, stormy, hazy or misty days.

Can you get sunburned when it's cloudy?

Whilst it does feature the word “sun” in the name, sunscreen is not only for the summer months. In fact, it’s recommended that you wear sunscreen all year round to protect you from those damaging UV rays. If the temperatures aren’t particularly high, it can be easy to assume that you are safe from sunburn. However, as previously mentioned, you can still get sunburned when it's cloudy. Some may even say you are at greater risk of sunburn on cloudy days, as you may not be aware of your exposure to UV rays.

It is beneficial to your health to get into the habit of applying sunscreen on a daily basis, especially on the more sensitive areas, such as your face. It is so important to protect your skin to help lower your risk of skin damage, skin cancer, premature ageing and to maintain an even skin tone. If you’re not a fan of sunscreen, why not try one of our moisturising, skin-loving lotions or sprays — packed full of ingredients to help make your skin come alive.

Do you need to wear SPF in the winter?

Winter comes with particular risks of sunburn due to snowfall. Snow reflects and even intensifies sunlight, making you more at risk of harmful UV rays. However, even if there is no snow, the sun is closer to the earth during the winter months, which greatly increases the risk. In addition, studies show that UV radiation actually increases by around 5% with every thousand feet you are above sea level. For this reason, if you’re planning on going skiing or snowboarding anytime soon, be sure to pack your sunscreen! Don’t get caught out by the colder weather — sunscreen is still a necessity.