How amazing would it be if we could tan through the glass while sitting at our desk next to the window at work? Or tan sitting on a comfortable chair near a window on a sunny day enjoying the cool aircon inside?
It would be really great to enjoy the best of both worlds – staying cool inside and avoid the sweltering heat, but still being able to catch a bronze summer tan.
Being stuck inside when it is sunny outside can be a downer, but could you actually tan sitting next to a window?
Unfortunately, it really is not worth your time trying to catch a tan through a window. While you can technically tan through a standard glass, the type used in windows, it would take quite a substantial amount of time for the tan to develop, and you could be sitting there for ages.
Why Tanning Through Glass Isn’t Ideal
Standard glass, such as the type used in homes and offices, absorbs around 97% of UVB rays from the sun. UVB rays are responsible for tanning and skin damage, being the cause of skin cancer in many cases. On the other hand, the glass will only absorb around 37% of UVA rays, which can also help to tan the skin.
UVB rays trigger melanin production in the skin, which is what results in the darkening of the skin. UVB rays penetrate deep into the skin, which is why they are able to cause such lasting damage.
UVA rays have a longer wavelength than UVB rays, which is why they can penetrate glass more. These rays damage the collagen in the skin and can cause premature aging of the skin.
Sitting next to a window which prevents this amount of UV rays from reaching through would be the equivalent of wearing an SPF30 sunscreen outdoors. So while you might be able to tan, it will take a considerable amount of time before you notice a difference.
Tanning In The Car
Windscreens and windows on cars offer more protection to the sun than ordinary glass. Most car windscreens have a plastic layer between two layers of glass, which blocks out all UVB rays and around 80% of UVA rays. Due to this, it is pretty impossible to get any sort of tan driving around.
While it would be convenient to catch a tan on the way to the shops, it is ultimately for the best. Imagine being at the risk of being sunburned every time you drove around on a sunny day? You would have to be constantly slathered in sunscreen to protect your skin from just driving around alone.
Can I Get Enough Vitamin D Through Glass?
Sunlight is actually good for your skin when your skin is exposed to it for moderate amounts of time. In contact with sunlight, our body produces vitamin D.
Vitamin D is essential to help absorb calcium and to promote bone growth. Too little vitamin D in the body can lead to fragile and misshapen bones. Along with this, vitamin D is also important for many other bodily functions.
Ordinary windows block a large portion of UVB rays, which help create vitamin D. This means that the amount of these rays absorbed and used to create vitamin D is limited as well when sitting next to a window.
You will still need to spend some time out in the actual sun in order to allow for the correct amount of vitamin D to be produced.
Wearing Sunscreen Indoors
The damage the sun can do to the skin can never be over-emphasized. From sever sunburn to skin cancer, there are so many negatives to overexposure to the sun, which is why it is so important to protect your skin whenever possible, even when you think it might be safe from the sun.
Glass blocks most of the UVB rays but does not block too many UVA rays. UVA rays can cause damage to your skin, even if you cannot notice the damage happening immediately.
Because of this, it is important to still protect your skin when sitting indoors near a window, as your skin will still be exposed to UVA rays.
You might not be aware, but the damage might build up over time from exposure to UVA rays from windows, and this could lead to premature aging of the skin, sun spots, and possible skin cancer in severe cases.
You don’t need to wear an SPF50 sunscreen if you know you will be sitting indoors all day, but you could instead choose to wear a moisturizer or foundation that has built-in SPF protection.
This should be enough to protect your skin while sitting indoors and is a great way to give your skin some extra hydration and nourishment as well while you’re at it.
Alternative Ways To Tan
So tanning through a window can happen, but timewise, it is not the best way to get a golden glow. You will have to sit next to a window for ages, and you probably won’t notice the effect as it will happen so slowly over an extended period of time.
Instead, why not look at one of the below options on how to tan?
Tanning beds are really convenient, and it should not be difficult to find a tanning salon near you. Visiting a tanning bed twice a week will help you build and maintain a healthy-looking tan, without having to spend any time outdoors.
Just be sure to limit your time in a tanning bed so you don’t end up burning your skin, and use a tanning bed lotion to give your skin enough hydration and nourishment to keep it healthy and prevent it from drying out in the tanning bed. Tanning bed lotions also help to maintain a tan for a longer period.
Tanning outdoors is the most traditional method around. For decades, people have been hitting the outdoors and spending hours lounged in the sun to build up a gorgeous summer glow. While this is an effective and natural way to tan, you have to be very careful when doing so.
Overexposure to the sun can do more damage than good, so you need to give your skin a light SPF protection when tanning out in the sun, and give it a few days to rest before heading back outside to tan.
Self-tanners are fast growing in popularity due to their effectiveness and formula which doesn’t require any sunlight. It is possibly the safest way to tan, without any sun damage to the skin.
You may already know that our favorite self-tanner is Beauty by Earth. We talk about it all the time only because we love it so much.
However, self-tanners can be hard to master, but with the right product and the correct technique, they can offer a flawless bronze tan from the comfort of your own home. Self-tanners do not last as long as natural tans, but they can be easily re-applied and maintained at home.
If the idea of applying self-tanner to your own body at home sounds a bit daunting, there is the option of spray tanning. Spray tans are offered at tanning salons, where professionals will evenly spray tan your body with a formula that darkens the skin.
Tanning at a salon ensures you have a streak and patch-free tan from head to toe, and helps tan all those hard-to-reach places that are often missed with self-tanners at home.
Can you tan in the shade?
It might not seem possible, as you are actually out of direct sunlight, but you can tan in the shade. Your skin does not need to be exposed to direct sunlight to tan, but there are secondary radiations bouncing off from the environment around you that can tan your skin.
UV reflection from sand, snow, and water can all reach and darken the skin, so it is important to wear protection even if you are spending your day in the shade.
Are there UV rays at night?
There are some UV rays at nighttime but in very low quantities. There are not nearly enough to tan your skin, even if you spend the whole night outdoors.
Can I tan in the evening?
Tanning in the evening is actually recommended. You won’t tan as fast as you will during peak sunlight hours during the day, but you also won’t be exposing your skin to as much damage from UV rays as during the day either.
There are still enough UV rays in the evening to slowly tan the skin but without the risks of sunburn that usually comes with tanning outdoors.
Tanning Through Glass
It is completely possible to tan through the glass if you are prepared to spend countless hours sitting next to a window. Even if you do happen to do this, you probably won’t notice the darkening of the skin because it will be so slow and gradual.
To be safe, you should wear sunscreen when indoors sitting next to the window. This way you get to enjoy the sunlight through the glass, the cool aircon inside and still protect your skin from any sun damage.