get tan in water

Could you also get a tan in water?

Many people wonder whether they can get a tan in and under water, or whether they can get a tan faster in water than if they are lying on the beach or next to the pool. In this article, we would like to look at the topic "Can you get a tan under water" with you and clarify whether it is possible to get a tan in water.

UV radiation under water – why do we get a tan?

Before you think about whether you can tan underwater, or even tan faster, you should be clear about how you can tan in the first place. So-called ultraviolet radiation (UV radiation) is responsible for tanning. This is divided into UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. UV-A radiation causes a short-term tan on the skin, but this does not last long. It also does not increase the skin's own protection.

UV-B radiation, on the other hand, produces a permanent tan on the skin. However, this type of UV radiation is also responsible for the formation of erythema (reddening of the skin). We can ignore the short-wave UV-C because it is filtered out by the earth's atmosphere and the ozone layer and never reaches the earth's surface.

Factors for tanning in water

The measure of the UV radiation that causes sunburn and therefore the question of whether you can tan underwater is the UV Index (UVI). It depends on the following factors:

  • Geographical location: Places close to the equator have stronger sunlight and are even more effective for tanning in water.
  • atmospheric conditions such as ozone layer and air pollution
  • the altitude: Especially in mountains the sun is usually stronger because there is no air pollution like in the city.
  • Time of day: The sun is at its highest at midday. The sunlight is more direct than in the morning.
  • Cloud cover: You can tan in the shade, but you will tan faster on clear days.
  • indirect radiation through scattering in the atmosphere and reflection from the ground: the water reflects the sun's rays. This makes it ideal to stay in the water for tanning.

A good example of the last point is the situation in high mountains and by the sea. Since there are generally no dust or haze particles here that could absorb UV radiation, and water, sand and snow also reflect the UV rays, the intensity is significantly increased here. This is why you tan more quickly.

Turning brown by reflection from water
Due to the reflections of the water, the sun's rays on the skin are particularly strong near the water. Therefore, it is ideal for tanning to stand in or near the water. Because the water reflects very strongly, sometimes the sensitive face is exposed to too much sun. The body could tolerate more sun, but the face is already starting to feel tight and burn. We therefore recommend wearing a sun hat, especially for people with sensitive and very light facial skin. Don't worry, the reflections of the water will still make you tan! When tanning in the water, make sure to change position regularly. If you do sports in the water, you're automatically in the clear. However, if you're standing in the pool or sea chatting with a cocktail in your hand, you need to be careful. Because just like on land, not just one part of the body should be exposed to excessive sun. And anyway, you want to get an even tan all over. Especially at the beginning of your vacation, it is advisable not to expose your body directly to the full sun. We therefore recommend wearing a TanMeOn shirt when walking on the beach or tanning by the water. TanMeOn shirts have an SPF of 5. This means you can be sure to get a tan despite wearing a shirt.

Do you get a tan underwater too?

Depending on the wavelength range, UV rays can penetrate water to different depths. This is calculated using the so-called attenuation coefficient. The UVA rays responsible for premature skin aging penetrate much deeper into the water than the shorter-wave UVB rays. Because the UV rays break through the water surface and thus also have an effect under water, you can also get a tan under water. The depth of penetration of the sun's rays varies considerably from body of water to body of water. The penetration depth is the point at which 90 percent of the surface radiation is absorbed. This depth varies between a few meters in very clear high mountain lakes and just a few centimeters in brown water lakes rich in humic substances.
It is clear, however, that swimming in normal water - clean and without clouding material - will also get a tan. If the water is of good quality, snorkeling and diving are no obstacle to getting a tan.
In addition, the UV radiation is also intensified by reflection from the water. In the case of salt water, the light is then concentrated by the salt crystals. This means that a maximum tanning effect is achieved when you stand in the water.

Sun rays under water
Is it healthier to tan underwater?

If you want to get a tan quickly and comfortably, water is the best place for you. However, you have to pay attention to a few things, because ultimately you want to get a healthy, regular and long-lasting tan. We'll tell you what you should definitely look out for. Here is a summary of the risks of sunbathing in water:
Sunbathing underwater - an overview of the dangers

  • In the water, you generally don't feel the outside temperature. Your body is kept pleasantly cool and fresh. That's why you can stay in the sun much longer than on land.
  • The water breaks up the rays and intensifies them: This means you can get a tan very quickly in the water. Be careful: the face in particular gets a lot of reflections. This can lead to skin irritations caused by the sun.
  • The water surface reflects the rays and also increases the effect on the skin.
  • The salt crystals in sea water concentrate the rays and cause the skin to burn faster.
  • Sun protection is lost more quickly, even if the sunscreen is waterproof. Salt water in particular is quite aggressive.

Getting a healthy tan means first of all that you absolutely have to avoid sunburn. It doesn't hurt and means that you can't go out in the sun for a few days. It also causes serious damage to the skin and causes it to age faster. The sunburned skin peels after a while and the complexion can become spotty and uneven. In short: avoid unsightly, embarrassing and painful sunburn at all costs. Here we have put together some tips for treating sunburn.

How to tan underwater without burning?

In order to get a tan underwater and avoid skin irritation from the sun, the following must be observed: The first commandment is of course to apply a high-quality and, above all, waterproof sunscreen. It is an absolute myth that using a high sun protection factor will not get you a tan, so please don't worry about it (see also: tanning myths).

Even though sunscreen is waterproof, cream is still lost in the water. Salt water in particular is aggressive, and lots of waves washing over the body do the rest. When tanning in the water, go ashore every now and then, dry yourself off and reapply sunscreen. Depending on your skin tone, the intensity of the sun's rays, etc., this can be a good idea every 20 minutes, especially at the start of your vacation. Please also remember that you are only renewing the protection. The sun protection factor remains the same even if you reapply the sunscreen and does not increase.

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Could you also get a tan in water?