It can be easy, however, in the country known for its terrible weather, to completely forget about sun cream. But as it happens, not only should you be lathering up when you’re working in the direct sunlight, but also when you’re sheltering in the shade. Contrary to what you might expect, you can actually catch a tan in the shade. Which means, yep, you can also get sunburnt in the shade.
Wait, you can tan in the shade? | Sun cream should be your bestie
“Pfft, you can tan in the shade? Yeah right”, I hear you say. But it’s genuinely true, here’s how.
When your skin is exposed to the UVA rays of the sun, it triggers our skin to produce melanin, which is the pigment that when activated gradually develops into a tan. Something it does to protect our skin. These tanning-rays aren’t to be confused with UVB rays, which are the ones that cause sunburn.
But while the UVA rays don’t necessarily cause sunburn, that doesn’t mean they’re not harmful, particularly as the UVA rays actually penetrate below the surface of our skin.
And this is where shade-induced tans come in. Yes, you’re more likely to be exposed to those tanning (and burning) rays when you’re in direct sunlight. However, even when you’re sat in the shade, UVA rays can still reach you if they’re reflected onto you.
This means that technically, your skin can be exposed to UVA rays anywhere. You could be studying in a snow blizzard and still be exposed to them.
Which means even if you’re hiding under a parasol during a Zoom call, you’re probably still going to need some protection if you’re wanting to fend off any sunburn and keep your youthful skin.
Ideally, you should be wearing a sun cream that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. And no, this won’t stop you getting a tan if that’s your goal. It just mitigates the potentially harmful impact of rays.
Ultimately, sun cream’s probably gonna save you down the line, so you can thank us later.