Can You Tan When It’s Cloudy or Get Sunburned When It’s Cloudy?

It is indeed feasible to acquire a tan even on cloudy days. However, one must be wary of the possibility of getting sunburned. 

The UV index levels can be amplified if the clouds are thin since the light is dispersed by them.

Even on cloudy days, up to 80% of UV radiation can still reach the Earth’s surface.

It is important to remember that even in the shade. It is possible to get a tan and the environment can greatly affect the results.

Grass, soil and water tend to absorb up to 90% of UV radiation. Whereas sand generally reflects around 15% and seafoam up to 25%.

Even when it’s cloudy, it is still possible to get a tan. For more information on how to achieve and maintain tanning results, read on.

The Tanning Process

The initial step is the oxidation of the melanin in our skin caused by the UVA radiation. The amount of melanin stays the same. But it is activated in order to guard the skin against sunburn.

The subsequent step occurs when UVB radiation prompts the melanocytes in the skin to produce melanin. Which can take a few days before your skin begins to show a tan.

Sadly, a lot of people who tan are not cognizant of the process and consequently. They end up exposing their skin to too much sun too rapidly. Not recognizing that it takes time for the tan to become visible.

The correct time of day is essential to prevent sunburn.

At The Right Time, Tan

It is essential to remember that it is not the visible light that makes our skin tan – rather. This darkening occurs due to two processes.

Although it may appear that mid-morning to late afternoon are the best times to tan, this is not the case. 

These time periods, whether it is overcast or not, hold a high probability of leading to sunburns.

If you’re looking to get a tan, it is best to avoid the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Since the sun’s rays are most intense during this time and may cause sunburn. Which can be uncomfortable, irritating, and cause your tan to fade.

For how long should I tan?

Depending on the weather and your skin type. A sensible time frame to stay in the sun would be between 10-30 minutes. This will help preserve your tan and provide your body with the vitamin D it needs.

This article provides a detailed explanation of different skin types and can help you determine yours.

Use sunscreen

To achieve a beautiful, sun-kissed tan, you should always use sunscreen. Even when it’s cloudy outside. The sun’s rays can still penetrate clouds and be dangerous to your skin.

Sunscreen does not prevent tanning, which is a common misunderstanding.

The FDA mandates that a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher should be used before sun exposure and reapplied at least every two hours. It is important to apply sunscreen 15 minutes prior to sun exposure.

Tanning while moving around

Even though the sky is overcast, only a brief period in the sunlight is required to start the tanning process previously discussed.

For an even tan with no patches or streaks. It is important to regularly shift your position so that all areas of your skin are exposed to the sun.

Extend your limbs, alternating between extending your arms and legs.

Tanning Accelerators

Tanning accelerators are a blessing for people who tan. As they hasten the natural tanning process of the skin owing to the active components that augment the formation of melanin.

No matter the weather, these [items] are beneficial because they help decrease the amount of time one needs to be in the sun, thereby lessening the potential for harm.

In addition, tanning boosters are often available as an SPF formula or hydrating after-sun lotion. These products are beneficial for all skin types. And particularly beneficial for those who have difficulty gaining a tan.

Both prior to and after tanning, these methods can be used to get your skin ready for the sun’s rays and extend the results.

Before and after tanning, prepare your skin

The way you look after your skin before and during tanning can have a major effect on the quality and longevity of your tan. 

Taking proper care of your skin can help make your tan more vibrant and help it to last longer.

Before tanning, it is important to exfoliate and moisturize the skin. After tanning, it is also beneficial to continue exfoliating and moisturizing.

Exfoliating is beneficial before tanning as it helps to slough away dead skin cells, creating a clean base for new skin cells to emerge with pigment. 

This allows you to start with a fresh canvas when tanning, providing you with the best possible outcome.

It is essential to hydrate your skin with a moisturizer always, prior to and after tanning, so that it remains soft and supple. 

This not only keeps your skin healthy in the long run but also ensures that your tan won’t be marred by patches of dryness.

You may want to consider using oil for tanning

Exposure to UV radiation from tanning oils causes melanocytes in the skin to create more melanin, leading to a darker tan.

If you’re having difficulty acquiring a tan on cloudy, overcast days, look into utilizing coconut oil, olive oil, baby oil, or creating your own DIY tanning oil.


How do I make my own DIY tanning oil?

You can make your own tanning oil at home by combining coconut oil, olive oil, and baby oil in a bowl and mixing it together. Make sure to apply the mixture to your skin evenly and liberally.

How often should I apply DIY tanning oil?

You should apply the tanning oil every few days in order to maintain your tan. Be sure to apply sunscreen in between applications of the tanning oil. 

Are there any side effects of using DIY tanning oil?

While there are no serious side effects associated with using the tanning oil, it is important to remember to apply sunscreen before and after using the oil. 

Additionally, some people may experience mild skin irritation due to the oils in the DIY tanning oil.


The tanning process is a complex one, involving both UVA and UVB radiation, and it is important to be aware of the time of day and the amount of exposure you have.  

In order to ensure that you don’t end up with sunburn. With the correct knowledge of the process, it is possible to have a beautiful and healthy tan.

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