Many people aks themselves: Do I get tanned on cloudy days as well? There are a lot of people that believe that they can only get tanned or sunburned on sunny days but actually there is also the tendency for you to get tanned on cloudy days. While it is normally to associate a tan or sunburn with a hot sunny day, it is also possible for you get a tan and in fact serious sunburns during cloudy days and even during the months of winter because about 85% of the rays from the sun actually pass through the clouds, mist or fog.
UV radiation emitted from the sun is the main reason for the changes in the color of our skin. These changes lead to a tan occurring as well as a burn mainly due to overexposure to the sun.
The effects of clouds on UV radiation differ and depend on the types of clouds. Skies that are fully overcast usually lead to reductions to the UV radiation that reaches the earth’s surface and there are, also instances where broken or scattered clouds can reduce the level and amount of UV radiation. The little UV radiation that escapes through the clouds can cause an individual to get tanned and if not careful or properly checked can make the individual get sunburned. So yes, you do get tanned on cloudy days
Clouds normally reflect the incoming radiation in different directions due to them being scattered or broken which is why on cloudy days we can have certain areas actually receiving more sunlight than other areas.
If you intend spending time outside on a cloudy day, you have to be mindful of the type of clouds above you in the sky. Different types of clouds restrict or block UV radiation than others. For example, clouds that are grey in nature could allow about 30% of UV radiation to pass through to the earth surface. On the other hand, clouds that are full, soft and white in nature are quite worse because they allow about 85% of radiation to pass through to the earth surface. This makes it very essential for people to protect themselves when out on such days.
Generally people tend to change the way they behave when out on cloudy days. They protect themselves less from UV radiation and do not make use of sunscreen, because they believe they are less likely to get a tan or sunburn on such days. While UV radiation on cloudy day is less than on a clear day, staying under the clouds can still make you have a tan and get sunburn. Even a cloudy sky can still allow a substantial amount of UV radiation to pass through.