Can You Tan When It’s Cloudy?

Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by Janie Wilson

I would like to answer this question first. Yes, you can definitely get a tan when it’s cloudy. But I strongly advise you to use a genuine tanning oil to enhance your tan.

can you tan on a cloudy dayObviously, it should also be super affordable because you need to use it almost on a daily basis if you are a habitual tanner. You may take a look at the tanning oil below that we have selected for our readers:

Dark Tanning Oil for the Hawaiian Tropics, Spray Pump, SPF 6 8 oz (packaging may vary)

  • The exotic botany of the islands, a rare blend of nature’s rich oils.
  • Protected by UVA or UVB broad spectrum sunscreens, which keeps your skin soft and radiant.
  • Enhanced by nourishing antioxidants

In early summer, everyone is eager to find the perfect place to sunbathe. However, it is a fact that many people don’t want to get a tan on a cloudy day.

They assume that it is not possible to get a tan on a cloudy day. Medical experts, however, have a different view about it. They say that it is always possible to get a tan on a cloudy day because some of the UV rays can penetrate the clouds and reach the skin.

When UV rays penetrate the skin, they increase melanin production, which gives the skin the desired tan. Since it is possible to get a tan when it is cloudy, you should not spend much time outdoors to avoid burns.

To understand how tanning works on cloudy days, you need to know more about UV rays in relation to your skin. Keep reading!

How does tanning work in cloudy weather?

Just because the sun doesn’t seem to be appearing, doesn’t mean you can’t get radiant skin. Even if the day is cloudy, your skin is still exposed to UV rays. Research has shown that about 90% of these rays penetrate the clouds and reach the earth’s surface.

This means that tanning hours, even on a cloudy day, can put your skin at risk of serious problems.

All the UV rays responsible for tanning your skin can reach you even on cloudy or foggy days. Some people also think that tanning is impossible in winter because the sun is not strong enough.

Experts tend to disagree with this because UV radiation can still penetrate through the clouds even when the surface is icy. So it is not visible light that tans the skin, but UV radiation.

This means that you should take the same precautions when tanning on cloudy days as you do on hot, sunny days.

Thick clouds may not let many UV rays through, but they can still give you a nice tan if you don’t spend too much time under them. To get a tanned look on cloudy days, you need to follow the proper tanning procedure.

Tips for a beautiful tan on cloudy days

Choosing the right time to tan

To avoid exposure to excessive harmful rays, you must be careful when you want to tan, even if it is cloudy. It is advisable to tan early in the morning before 10 a.m. or in the afternoon after 4 p.m. These periods are perfect for your tanning sessions, as the UV rays are not as intense as the morning tan. If you tan during these periods, you will reduce the risk of burning yourself. If you have pale skin, you should be careful, as you’re more likely to get red spots when you tan with intense UV rays than for a darker complexion.

Choosing the Right Place

Even when it is cloudy, it is easy to see where the cloudiness is minimal. Although UV rays can penetrate the clouds, tanning under less cloudy areas will help you quickly achieve the desired effects. However, you should shorten the duration of your tanning session to avoid burning your skin.

Avoid sunbathing in the shade of a fence, a building or even trees.

Be sure to use a tanning lotion before your session.

You can promote the development of a tanned appearance by applying an effective and safe tanning lotion. It can also help you tan and moisturize your skin more quickly. Make sure you get a tanning lotion that matches your skin tone and then apply it all over your body.

If you have dry skin, you should use the right oil instead of a lotion to moisturize your skin. Consider buying a low SPF tanning lotion because it can provide maximum protection.

It is not recommended to apply baby oil even on cloudy days, as it can trigger the tanning process and damage the skin.

Use sunscreen for extra protection

Remember that a sunscreen product not only slows down the tanning process, but can also provide your skin with excellent protection against UVA and UVB rays.

Read the instructions to find out how long sunscreen products last on your skin. If you sweat a lot, you should use it more regularly. Make sure you cover your ears and all parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.

Use a beach tent or an umbrella

Another way to protect yourself from the sun is to find shade or wear sunscreen. If you are going to the beach, bring your beach tent and prepare it in case you need to take shelter. An awning or beach umbrella can also be a good way to provide shade.  Don’t be tempted to sit under trees, regardless of the size of the leaves. Leaves may look like a great alternative to a tent or umbrella, but there are often gaps between them through which UV rays can pass.

Wear protective clothing

Be sure to bring basic equipment for clothing. Always have something for your head, for example. A wide-brimmed hat will be your best choice. This will protect not only your head, but also your face and neck. A beach shirt, a long dress and beach shorts will also help protect against UV rays.

Get a good pair of hiking pants and shirts for hiking and backpacking. There are hats designed for hiking, and these will also make a great complement to your sunscreen.

Sunglasses are also a must

Polarized sunglasses are also a must. They prevent UV rays from damaging your eyes and exposing you to the risk of becoming a surfer. Make sure you do your homework before you buy a pair so you get something that really blocks UV rays.

Also pay special attention to your feet. If you’re on the beach, put on your water shoes. If you are going to wear sandals or flip-flops, make sure you put sunscreen on your feet to prevent sunburn.

Find a comfortable chair or towel

You need to find the most comfortable thing to wear when you’re tanning. Spread your entire body out while you tan so that spots don’t develop unevenly in certain areas.

Spread your legs and arms out to expose them completely to the rays. The idea is not to leave some parts of the body pale while the rest becomes dark. You should also avoid staying in one position for too long. Continue to turn on your back and sides so that all areas are tanned.

Make sure you tan in each size at least 10 minutes before turning. You can even use a timer to avoid tanning an area longer than recommended.

If your skin is pale, consider tanning briefly for a few cloudy days. This will allow you to tan gradually without risk of damage. Keep the same time for all your tanning sessions.

Skin care after your tanning session

Once you’ve spent some time under the clouds, you need to take a bath to get rid of any dirt, sweat or lotion on the surface of your skin.

After tanning, take a cold shower instead of a hot one to prevent your skin from drying out. You should also avoid peeling your skin after tanning, as this can make it look lighter and affect your tan. You can apply a moisturizer when your skin is clean and dry.

Be sure to use a product made from natural oils. Vaseline should not be applied after tanning as it tends to trap excess heat.

Wrapping up

So, can you get a tan when it’s cloudy? The answer is an emphatic Yes. Whether the weather is sunny or cloudy, an attractive tan is possible thanks to UV rays. However, you should avoid overexposing your skin when sunbathing on overcast days. The above tips can surely help you achieve your coveted results fast. There is no point in avoiding those cloudy days thinking that it is not possible to get a tan. Get yourself a healthy tan now without waiting unnecessarily for a bright and sunny day!





Janie Wilson
Janie Wilson

Janie Wilson, a former fashion model and photographer, dedicated beauty expert and prolific writer on all topics related to fashion, beauty, hair and skin care. I started this website a few years ago when I felt that I have had enough of a hectic lifestyle and need to settle down. Presently, I live with my loving-and-caring husband in New York, but I travel around the world pretty often to derive inspiration for my fashion blog. Yes, let me admit that I am fairly obsessed with anything related to fashion and style. All things from fashion to grooming are things I study all the time whenever I get an opportunity, and my biggest joy in life is to help men and women look their best!