That the sun is good for us is evident from everything she does for us. For example, she grows our food, creates vitamins in our skin and gives us a nice tan. In fact, without the sun there is no life on earth! This all sounds very positive, but the sun can be very dangerous if you stay in it too long. How long you can stay in the sun depends on several factors.

Different types of skin

The time in which you can go unprotected in the sun without burning, differs per person. Young skin is more prone to burn than old skin. If you have light hair with fair skin, you can often stay shorter in the sun than if you have dark skin and dark hair. So brunettes are more fortunate than blondes.

Soak up the sun

You can safely soak up the sun, and get all its vitamin D benefits, without risking skin cancer. It’s okay to sit in the sun for up to 20 minutes a day without sunscreen protection. On a sunny day in July, four minutes of midday sun on the fairest skin produces 1,000 IUs of vitamin D. The darkest skin will need 11 to 15 minutes for the same.


Self-protection time also depends on where you are in the world. If you are close to the equator, or high in the mountains, you will burn faster.


And of course the weather conditions also play a role. The sun can shine very brightly, but clouds can occasionally float by, which means that the sun is not as strong for a while, and rain can even come from those clouds. You can, of course, stay longer in the sun when it rains at the same time, than when the sky is all blue. But still pay close attention, because in the shade you can also burn!


In order to avoid burning, it is wise to apply sunblock well. You can buy these with different factors. The higher the factor, the better you are protected, though higher than 30 is a sales trick!

You can be in the sun without sunblock for up to 20 minutes a day. When you feel your skin reacting to the sunlight you know you better go in the shade.

The darker and thicker your skin, the longer the sun exposure needed to start sun radiation damage. For light skinned individuals, sun exposure may cause damage very quickly, even in less than 5 minutes. This is why it is very important to protect your skin with sunblock when you are outside.