Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long will it take for me to get a sunburn?

    That will depend upon your skin type and the UV index at the time and place when you are outside.

    The table below shows the risks of sunburn, for unprotected skin, for a fair skinned person (skin type I). A person with skin type V or VI would be at far less risk of sunburn in the same environment.

    Skin type I sunburn risk (UV Index table).

    UV index = 1 to 2:
    Low risk No protection needed.

    UV index = 3 to 4:
    Medium risk Take care around midday and do not spend too long in the sun unprotected.

    UV index = 5 to 6:
    High risk Cover up or seek shade between 11 and 3. Use at least factor 15 sunscreen on exposed skin.

    UV index = 7+:
    Very high risk Be sure to or stay in the shade between 11 and 3. And use at least factor 15 sunscreen.

    The best way to assess your danger is to understand how your skin reacts at home in a known UV environment and then adapt this knowledge to the UV index at your current location.

    For example, if you know you sunburn in half an hour at home in summer when the UV index is ~7, then you are likely to burn in about 20 minutes at a holiday destination with a UV index of 10.

Return to FAQs