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Can You Sunburn In the Shade?

Spring is finally here in the California Bay Area, and the sun shines again on this golden coast. Laying out in the sun, and soaking up natural vitamin D, can positively impact your mental health. Increased exposure to vitamin D can be linked to improved mood by boosting serotonin.



But with all good things come risks. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Sunshine is a good example. Too much sun leads to radiation burns on the skin, resulting from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation resulting in a sunburn.


Can the sun still get you if you're in the shade?

It's impossible to avoid the sun totally. You might have thought you were making the safe choice by seeking out a covered area but sitting in the shade is not total protection. Did you also choose not to wear sunscreen because you decided to sit in the shade? You still risk burning by not taking the proper precautions to be outdoors.


You can burn while in the shade. But it's better than being in direct sunlight.


How is that possible sitting in the shade? It's because you are getting indirectly exposed due to the rays bouncing around and reflecting off surfaces onto your skin. UV rays can be reflected off water, concrete, sand, and snow!



How can you prevent sunburn in the shade?

Preventing sunburn should be one of your top priorities when heading outdoors. To protect your skin from most of the sun's rays, you should avoid using sunscreens that contain less than 30 SPF. 30 SPF and greater should be the sunscreen you are buying.


Also, pro-tip, reapplying the sunscreen every 50 to 80 minutes will set your skin up for success. This timing is recommended only depending on the water resistance level of the sunscreen you're using.



Another way you can prevent sunburning your skin in the shade is layering up if the weather permits. If it's not too hot temperature-wise, consider wearing long sleeves or pants to have a protective barrier. A hat could be a perfect addition to your outfit, and protective gear to help shield your face.


If you have fair skin, you are even more susceptible to sunburns, so you must take steps to protect yourself.


How long would it take to burn in the shade?

Your specific skin type determines the amount of time it would take for your skin to burn in the shade.


Looking at the UV Index Scale before stepping out into the sun is excellent. The sun's rays are the strongest at midday. Typically this would be between 10 am and 3 pm.


What is the UV Index Scale?

The ultraviolet index, or UV index, is an international standard measurement of the strength of sunburn-producing ultraviolet radiation at a particular place and time.


The UV Index Scale is an excellent way to go before exposing your skin to direct or indirect sunlight.


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