Can You Get Sunburned After 4:00 PM?

health, sunburn
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Stay out of the sun until you know these sunburn facts!

It's officially summertime, which means you might be spending a lot more time outdoors in the sun. This increased time in the sun means you're more at risk for getting sunburned. But many people skip the sunscreen or forget to reapply it throughout the day. After 4 P.M., some people stop applying sunscreen altogether.

Can I get sunburned after 4:00 P.M.?

It turns out the answer is more complex than you might think.

Any person can get sunburned after 4 in the afternoon , so be careful!

Not having to apply sunscreen after 4 P.M. and before 10 A.M. is a skin question that is frequently asked when going outside for recreational, work, or health purposes. It is a myth that you will not get sunburned after 4 in the afternoon or before 10 in the morning. That specific 6 hour time frame is when the sun has the highest amount of rays hitting the Earth and is the hottest time of the day. After the time frame it is still possible to get too much sun exposure because the sun is still out.

The chance of you getting a sunburn also depends on where you live.

If you are in closer proximity to the equator or a place that receives more sun, you are more likely to need prevention from sunburn. A wonderful way to help prevent sunburn is applying sunscreen. Using sunscreen when going outside is a great thing for everyone because it helps to avoid getting too much sun. Applying sunscreen after 4 in the afternoon applies to every person and is highly recommended to reduce your chance of getting skin cancer.

The stronger the sun's rays are depends on where you live. So, someone who lives in a place like the Dominican Republic may want to continue applying sunscreen throughout the day until the sun has set. This is a place that is closer to the equator which makes a location hotter and brighter.

The UV (ultraviolet) ray strength also depends on the day's weather and how strong the sun is that day.

A useful way to gauge the UV strength for the day is the standard UV Index Scale. Created by the EPA, the scale applies to anywhere and tells you what precautions to take when the UV rays vary. It provides you with different steps and tells you what times apply.

Your local forecast should tell you the UV strength for that day, the amount of clouds, and how hot it is going to be. If you do not have access to a weather program or a computer, there is another way to tell if the UV rays are going to be high for the day. The UV Index scale has something called the "Shadow Rule". If you walk outside in the morning and your shadow is taller than you, the UV rays are not as strong and you can continue on with your day. If your shadow is shorter than your person around 12 P.M., the UV rays are stronger and you are more likely to hurt your skin and eyes.


Getting sunburned is both dangerous and painful. If you feel like tanning outside may harm your skin too much or is nearly impossible, you should try to use natural self-tanners. This would lessen your chance of skin cancer from the sun along with making it almost impossible to get sun poisoning from too much exposure. A big concern with self-tanners is that they make you look orange or that people can tell the tan is fake.

These self tanning options are easy to work with and don't make you look like you just sprayed yourself with a orange paint. They are different shades to adhere to your skin tone and blend in with your skin to make it look naturally done. There are natural options that don't have harmful chemicals in them and you can view the top 5 options here.


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