As we grow more conscious about the dangers of excessive UV exposure, more of us are turning to the shade during summer. Staying out of the sun and getting into the shade means that we can cut our direct UV exposure, but some people still manage to get sunburnt- why?
“Even if the umbrella is made of fabric that blocks 100 per cent of UV, and you manage to stay completely out of direct sunlight, the UV dose is cut by only about half. This is because the umbrella blocks only the direct UV (plus a very small amount of the indirect UV). This means it is about as effective as a sunscreen with an SPF of 2.”
So even though it is recommended to keep out of the sun during the danger times, it also wise to cover up with sunscreen and protective clothing in the shade. This may be even more important at the beach where the sand and the sea are even more reflective. It is estimated that the SPF rating of an umbrella at the beach is even half that of full shade elsewhere.
Though umbrellas might not be the best option, igloos and tents for shade shade are a recommended way to enjoy the beach: “Or better still, consider a beach ‘tent’ or igloo rather than a brolly as the side walls of the tent provide more protection. “
Feeling confused about shade and where to head during the daytime hours? The article teaches you how to work out how much UV exposure you will still be getting in the shade:
“You can get an idea of the amount of indirect UV you’re being exposed to by the amount of open sky you can see from the shaded area…”
So basically whilst shade is a potentially valuable means of protection from the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays, not all shade is equally protective. This is because UVB rays, which are the most harmful part of sunlight, can reach the skin indirectly. So you can still receive quite a lot of UV exposure and risk skin damage while in the shade.
Image source: DeviantArt