Can You Get a Sunburn Through Glass?

Sunburns can be uncomfortable and often a result from spending too much time in the sun. But do you want to know, can you get a sunburn through glass? In this article, we will look at how getting sunburn through glass is possible and what you can do to prevent it, so let’s tackle some common sunburn myths busted.

Can You Get a Sunburn Through Glass?

How Does UV Radiation Affect the Skin?

UV radiation from the sun on our skin can be both beneficial and harmful. The most common type of UV radiation, UVA rays, are largely responsible for premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.

UVA rays penetrate deeply into the dermis, the layer below your epidermis (outer layer of skin), causing damage at a molecular level that breaks down collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, leading to premature skin aging, like wrinkles and age spots.

Exposure to UVA rays also suppresses the immune system’s abilities to protect against environmental irritants like pollution, which may contribute to inflammatory conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.

UVB radiation is stronger than UVA and although it doesn’t penetrate as deeply into your skin, it causes significant harmful skin damage, and increases the risk for skin cancer.

This includes burning and tanning of the epidermal layers of your skin, which can cause pigmentation issues like melasma or splotchy patches called solar lentigines if exposed regularly over time.

Long-term effects can range from painful sunburns to blistering rashes. In more extreme cases, too much UVB exposure can lead to more serious health risks, such as non-melanoma cancers like squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.

Long term excessive UV exposure has an accumulative effect on our overall health, so protecting one’s skin from sunlight with sunscreen/sunblock should be practiced year-round, even when not spending prolonged periods outside in direct sunlight, and you don’t want to risk getting skin damage.

Wearing protective clothing like hats, sunglasses and tightly woven long – sleeve shirts will help protect your body from damaging UV rays while out in peak sunshine hours 10am–3pm during summer months when UV intensity is at its highest point.

What Happens To The Skin When It Gets Sunburn?

Sunburn is the result of exposure to too much ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or other sources, such as tanning beds. When skin cells absorb more UV radiation than they can handle, they become damaged, causing localized inflammation resulting in sunburn.

Signs of sunburn typically appear within a few hours and range from mild redness to painful blisters that can last for several days. One serious consequence of excessive UV exposure is an increased risk of skin cancer.

The body’s natural protection against UV radiation involves melanin production in the skin, which darkens it and absorbs some of the harmful rays before they can do serious damage.

However, when exposed to too much UV light without enough melanin protection, skin cells are at greater risk of becoming damaged or destroyed by direct UV radiation exposure.

The severity of the burn increases with longer exposure times, and even very fair-skinned individuals can experience painful long-term consequences if proper precautions are not taken under the sun’s harsh rays.

How Quickly Can The Skin Get A Sunburn?

How Quickly Can The Skin Get A Sunburn?

Sunburns can appear on the skin quickly and, without proper UV protection, can lead to disaster. Harmful UV radiation from the sun can cause skin damage, skin aging, and in extreme cases, develop skin cancer.

To always prevent sunburns, it is essential to take precautions such as wearing a sunscreen that provides adequate SPF rating when going out into the sun.

Sunscreens can help, but be sure to always apply anytime you are entering into direct sunlight, whether it’s for an hour or several minutes.

Applying and reapplying sunscreen often is crucial since it doesn’t last all day long and must be reapplied every couple of hours during high exposure times like midday or cloudy days.

Reapplying your sunscreen helps keep a protective layer on your skin which will reduce harmful UV radiation exposure while also reducing chances of serious skin damage or even advances in age spots related to photo-aging, which is accelerated if you burn all the time.

Do Windows Block UV Rays?

Ordinary glass windows in your home do not block UV Rays. They are unable to filter out the rays which damage our skin, as only a special type of glass can block them.

Standard or regular windows will let through UVA and UVB rays from the sun, so it is important that we look for other forms of protection against harmful UV radiation when spending time outside our homes.

Special types of glass exist that are designed to prevent these types of radiation from passing through, but they are usually applied to car windshields or glasses worn by people who work outdoors.

For maximum protection from the sun’s UVB rays, you should look for window films or coatings specifically designed for blocking them out.

These films require special installation and often come with a number of benefits such as energy efficiency, privacy control and improved light reflection inside your home.

As well as window films, there are also tinted glazing solutions available, which provide excellent levels of protection while also allowing natural light into your living space.

Either way, standard glass alone cannot offer sufficient protection against UVB radiation, and additional measures must be taken if you want to reduce exposure in your home.

Can You Get Sun Damage In A Car Through A Window?

Yes, you can get sun damage in a car through a window. Sunburns are caused by the UVB rays from the sun and even though these harmful rays are filtered out to some degree by glass, they can still penetrate and cause a sunburn.

The rear windows and side windows when exposed to direct sunlight will still allow enough UVB rays through to cause someone to become sunburned through a car window.

Remember that the amount of UVB radiation getting through the glass differs depending on the vehicle; older windshields tend to be less effective at filtering out these dangerous rays than modern ones.

There are special films available for automotive use that provide an extra layer of protection against UV radiation.

Even with these precautions, it is possible to get sunburnt through glass, as even minimal amounts of radiation can cause painful reddening of the skin or worse if one is exposed for too long.

Can You Get Burnt In The Shade?

Can You Get a Sunburn Through Glass?

Yes, you can get a sunburn through glass. The cause of sunburn is the same when indoors or outdoors – UV rays from the sun that penetrate your skin.

You are protected from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation by windows at home or in your car, but it is still possible to get sunburned through a sunny window or car window.

This happens because some of the UV Rays pass through glass and reach your skin even though you are indoors.

Even on cloudy days, some UV rays can make their way inside and produce a tan or burn on unprotected skin.

Therefore, it is important to use sunscreen, clothing and other forms of protection anytime you’re near a window, including jobs where people spend a lot of time near windows, such as office workers and airline pilots.

Keep in mind that direct sunlight produces more significant damage than reflected light coming off surfaces like water, sand, snow and concrete, which all reflect most UV rays better than glass does.

The best way to ensure protection from the sun while still enjoying your view out the window is to install special protective window films, or laminated glass, that filter out UV radiation both indoors and outdoors.

Can You Get Burnt In The Shade?

Yes, you can get burnt in the shade. It’s important to remember that UVB rays are what cause sunburn, and not all types of light from the sun reach your skin when an effective shade is provided.

Your skin will still be exposed to some UVA rays, which can cause skin damage if left unprotected for long enough.

When it comes to avoiding skin damage, the best ways are wearing protective clothing, staying in the shade as much as possible and using broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every two hours.

Although effective shade can provide protection from damaging UVB rays, it does not mean that you cannot get burnt in the shade, as UVA rays can still penetrate clouds and other objects providing additional lighting.

This means that any areas of exposed skin should always be covered or protected with sun protection like sunscreen or a hat when spending extended amounts of time outdoors, even when some level of shelter is available.

Can You Get Burnt In The Car?

Yes, you can get sunburned through a window in the car. Most people spend quite a bit of time in the cars while they are commuting or going on trips, and this means spending quite a bit of time exposed to the sun.

The front window often allows more sun rays to come through than other windows, so if you spend an extended amount of time driving with your face close to that window, you can still get burnt despite the glass barrier.

Car manufacturers have taken this into consideration and are now making sure their cars have built-in protection from the sun for those who intend to spend some time driving.

This includes tinting certain windows such as the front one that often gets hit by most direct sunlight and composite materials added to the glass which block harmful UV rays from entering inside your car.

Would It Be Possible To Get A Tan Through A Window Or Car Window?

Would It Be Possible To Get A Tan Through A Window Or Car Window?

Tanning through a window or car window is not possible. The layers of the skin in humans protect us from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, meaning that a suntan cannot be achieved by sitting behind windows for hours at a time.

While some believe it can work, this is simply not the case. Sunburn through a window is still possible in certain situations.

For example, if you are inside your car and the windows allow more UV radiation to penetrate than normal glass does, then you might get slightly burned due to exposure to UV radiation.

The best ways to avoid skin damage from the sun include wearing sunscreen with SPF protection, covering up with clothing and hats when outside, and avoiding prolonged exposure between 10am and 4pm when UV rays are strongest.

It’s also important to seek shade whenever possible during those times as well. Even if you can’t get a suntan or sunburn through windows, it’s always essential to take proper precautions against damaging ultraviolet radiation when spending time outdoors to avoid potential health risks further down the line.


Sunburns can be caused by UV radiation coming through your window or car window. While glass may offer some protection from harmful UV rays, it is still possible to get sunburnt through a sunny window or car window due to the partial passage of ultraviolet light.

To avoid this, you should always wear sunscreen and protective clothing when going into direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

There are also special types of glass and films available that provide extra protection against damaging UV radiation from entering your home or car.

It’s important to remember that even in the shade, UVA rays which cause premature aging can still make their way inside and reach your skin if left unprotected for too long.

All products featured on Gemma Etc. are PR samples or gifted items, unless otherwise indicated. This post may contain affiliate links. If you wish to find out more, please see my Disclaimer within my navigation bar.

Gemma Etc.
Gemma Etc.

Hi, my name is Gemma, and I’m the writer behind I’m a true beauty obsessive, and love writing about anything to do with beauty. In addition to Gemma Etc., I also own, and love sharing my thoughts and feelings about beauty and lifestyle products.

Find me on: Web