Tanner Skin

Busted: Can You Get a Tan through a Window and For How Long

Busted: Can You Get a Tan through A Window and For How Long


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There are various means to get a tan. You can either sunbathe for 20 minutes while using sunscreen to earn flawlessly tanned skin. Or a person can absorb UVA rays from a sunbed to obtain their bronze. However, a safer option would be to get a spray tan via a spray tan bottle.

Even with all of the above popular and effective options, one might wonder how feasible it is to get a tan just by receiving sun rays through the windows while sitting within the comfort of your room or office.


Yes, you can get a tan through a window. But there’s more to it.

In this article, we’ll explain to you how long it takes to tan through a window, the types of windows you can get a tan with, the benefits of sunlight through windows, and much more.

First of all;


What is Tanning?

Tanning is a common aesthetic activity that entails darkening the skin by exposing yourself to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation or alternatively using chemical products, or tanning lamps that can create the same effect.

To achieve sun tanning, people stay under the sun as a passive recreational activity. Others who may not want to go directly under the sun or during seasons when the sun is not intense often achieve their tanned skin by engaging in sunless tanning. Sunless tanning is synonymous with fake tanning, self-tanning, or spray tanning. This type of tanning doesn’t require the sun but a chemical compound called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA). It’s this compound that determines how dark or light a sunless tan would get.

Sunless tanning is achievable with the help of lotions, darkening creams, gels, and sprays.


What’s more, the effect of tanning isn’t permanent and can last for an average of 7 to 10 days before the skin begins to shed. However, by sunbathing, and applying sunless lotions regularly, you can prolong your tanned skin before it sloughs off.

Although, there are some other practices that may also prevent your tanning from fading, which include:

  • Performing exfoliation before tanning will help your skin from drying and flaking. It’ll also help your tan to get deep into the skin.
  • Sticking to taking a cool/normal bath instead of a hot/warm bath will prevent your skin from dehydrating, which gets in the way of your bronze glow.
  • Moisturizing your skin will prolong the skin shedding cycle process and indirectly prolong how long the tan stays on.
    With the above practices, it’s very likely your tanning will go beyond 7 to 10 days.

So, Can You Tan Through Windows?

On days you’re wary of going outdoor to sunbathe or too preoccupied to do so, might get you pondering; can you tan through windows?


The straight answer is you can tan through windows, but it sure depends on the type of window and skin type.

More often than not, some panes of glasses absorb 97% of the dangerous sun’s UVB rays while some other glass only absorbs 37% of UVA radiation. This means if you are patient, you can definitely get tanned if you sit next to your window when the sun is out for 2 to 3 hours.

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So, Can You Tan Through Windows

However, it’s a tad different if you are seated in the car. The materials used in car windscreens and windows are super effective and will block the sun rays more than the home and office glasses. This is confirmed to be true because cars have a plastic covering between the glasses, hindering almost 90% of the UVA and the entire UVB. So getting tanned through the car windshield window is so to say; difficult.

Getting tanned through the glasses used in home and office windows is possible, but it takes a considerable amount of patience and time to see a noticeable effect. So it’s best to either open the window glasses or go outside to get the sun to tan your skin directly, or you use self-tanners.


How Long Does it Take to Tan Through a Window?

You may be wondering how long you need to sit beside the window to get a sun-kissed glow.

Well, it normally takes 2 to 3 hours. However, it’s can be hugely dependent on several factors, including your skin color, the season of the year, and the glass type.

How Long Does it Take to Tan Through a Window


For a better understanding of how long it takes to get a sun tan through a window, the factors below shed more light on how they can influence how fast you get tanned

  • Skin Color or Skin Type:

    Your skin type is a big factor that determines how fast you achieve that bronze skin. A very light person with bright white skin has slim or no chances of getting tanned through their window because their skin is too sensitive to UV light and might burn instead of tan.
    A black-skinned person also can rarely achieve tanning too by sitting next to their window because their skin is tolerant to UV light.
    Medium and fair brown skin types on the other hand can take up to two, or three hours to get tanned through the window.

  • Season of the Year:

    The intensity of the sun varies throughout the year. During summer, the sunray is strong enough and can produce superb tanning in less than an hour. However, the winter has mild UV rays that can barely tan the skin.

  • Glass Type:

    Not all windows are made of the same glass. The kind of glass type you have at your window is a significant factor that influences the UV rays that penetrate through the window.
    Glasses that absorb only 37% of the harmless radiation will allow tanning but may take 2 to 3 hours.

Can You Get Sunburn Through A Glass?

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can pass through clouds, glass, and other materials that are transparent to visible light. So, Yes, you can get sunburn through a glass. Many people believe that they are safe from the harmful rays of the sun as long as they are behind a glass window. However, this is not the case. While glass does filter out some of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, it does not provide complete protection. In fact, UV radiation can actually pass through certain types of glass, such as car windshields and windows in homes and office buildings. This means that you can still get sunburned through glass if you are exposed to sunlight for too long, even if you are indoors. So, if you are going to be in direct sunlight, be sure to wear sunscreen or protective clothing to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.

Is Sun Through a Window Good for You?

It’s a common fact that extreme UV radiation may damage the skin, burn the skin or cause skin cancer. Comparatively, inadequate exposure to sunlight can lead to Vitamin D deficiency, causing bone softness and weakness.


So here’s what you need to know about whether or not sun through a window is beneficial:

Yes, the sun through a window is good for you as your body can produce vitamin D from the incoming radiation. However, most window glasses prevent UVB rays that are responsible for making the body generate vitamin D. Thereby making it nearly impossible to derive this benefit from it except if you sit for long hours.

So the trick is to open your window, say for 15 to 20 minutes, for exposure to the sun’s rays.


Additionally, sunlight through the window may still get you tanned but at a slower pace compared to sunbathing or self-tanning. But if you want a faster effect, you’d have to open your window for some minutes.

Can You Tan Through a Car Window?

Perhaps you’re going for a 20-minute ride or long hours journey during the summer, and you’re wondering, can sunlight through a car window give you a tan?

First off; Yes, you can get tanned through a car window, but it’ll take a significantly longer time than directly sunbathing or self-tanning. This is because most car windows block UVB rays while hindering almost 90% of UVA rays.


Can You Tan Through a Car Window


One of the secrets of getting tanned skin through a car window faster without the harm of sunlight is to apply sunscreen, especially one with 30 SPF. The sunscreen will protect your skin against harmful sun UV rays while ensuring your skin gets tanned regardless.

Even with all that, your best bet is still going under the sun for at least 20 minutes to derive some glow. However, if you really don’t appreciate the hotness of the sun on your skin, you may go ahead and use self-tanners or sunbeds to achieve the bronze skin you desire.


Secret Tip: After getting your skin tanned, you may want to use rub-on aloe vera gel to lock in and prolong your tan.

Other Benefits of Sunlight through Windows

There are several benefits of sunlight through windows. A few of them include:

  • Improved Mental Health:

    Studies have shown that the sun’s brightness, when visible through the window, can fight off depression. Besides, the sun’s light enhances the production of serotonin in your body which is the chemical that helps you to maintain a positive mood and also be focused.

    But, you have to first keep your windows open to reap the benefits that come with the sun’s rays.

Other benefits of sunlight through windows include:

  • Enhanced Immune System:

    Keeping your windows down and locked would prevent you from getting the needed Vitamin D from the sun rays, and as discussed above, this is because some window panes block the UVB rays that convert your body’s cholesterol into Vitamin D.
    With the help of vitamin D, you can improve your immune system. Therefore, keeping you healthy and protected against some infections.

  • Elimination of Bacteria:

    Yes, UV rays are deadly to some bacteria. Some bacteria are known to only thrive in dark and moist places, so by exposing your skin to the sun, you’ll be wading off potentially harmful bacteria and purifying the air in the atmosphere of your room or office.

Can You Tan Through a Single Pane Window?

We understand that there are a lot of uncertainties when it comes to tanning and it births lots of burning questions in the heart of many tanners, such as, “can you tan through a house window, can you tan through an office window” amongst others.

Well, here’s your answer;

Yes, you can, and it’s easier to tan through single-pane window glass compared to the double-glazed window glass. Although, there are various types of window glasses, and the kind of window glass is a huge determining factor in the amount of UVA rays (the UV rays responsible for causing melanin production) that can penetrate through them.


Single pane windows have a single glass layer. They may look similar in terms of style and might also utilize the same materials as double pane windows. But, they always come with a layer of glass, and because of this, you’ll be more easily affected by the temperatures outside, say heat or cold.

Although tanning through a single pane window might not be as effective as sunbathing, but yes, you can get a tan through a single pane window. This is because approximately 50% of UVA rays can still penetrate through this type of window glass.

Nonetheless, the degree of tan you get would depend on your skin type, season, and where you live.


If you have light skin, you’ll take a longer time to get tanned by the window than someone with fair brown skin. And, of course, tanning through the window during summer is more effective than in winter.

Can You Tan Through Double Glazing Window?

Yes, you can, but not as quickly as a single pane window. But you must keep in mind that tanning through a window isn’t as effective as sunbathing directly under the rays of sun.

Otherwise known as double pane windows, double glazed windows have two sheets of glass layered into a single frame and have about 6mm to 20mm gap between them. Unlike a single pane window, double glazed windows act as more efficient obstacles against the temperatures outside.


Like it’s mentioned earlier, while it’s possible to get a tan through windows, a window type greatly affects the amount of UVA rays that can penetrate through it to be absorbed by your skin.

So given that some modern homes use double pane windows which protects a building from eternal temperature than its one-layer counterpart, you may ask; how long will it take to tan through a double glazing window?

So snatching a glow from the sun through double glazing windows is possible, but extra, extra hard. This is because a double glazing window more or less acts like a total blockade to the rays of sun.


Why then try? It’s advisable that you get a spray tan if you’re not that into direct sun.

Can Sunlight Through Windows Burn You?

If you’re sitting in the car having a long drive or trying to get some sun while indoors, getting a sunburn is highly unlikely. Usually, because the majority of glasses obstruct UVB rays but not UVA. These include glasses found in homes and cars.

Sunburn can happen when you’re exposed to UV rays. The UV rays majorly have two types of damaging rays, which include the UVA and UVB rays. The UVB rays are responsible for sunburn. When you suffer sunburn, your skin becomes somewhat hot, reddened, and painful. In worse cases, you can also have blisters and swelling. It’s advisable that you consistently use sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful rays that can cause skin wrinkles and, worse, skin cancer.


So you might be wondering, can sunlight through windows burn you, especially when you are indoor or on a long journey stuck in a car.

Note that the sun coming through a car’s windshield (front window) can’t directly give you a sunburn on your skin. This is because a majority of them are specially laminated glass, which entirely blocks the UVB rays while blocking approximately 90% of UVA rays. However, the windows on the side are not particularly UV proof, because they are majorly made of tempered glass, so they can’t provide the same protection as the windshield glass.

Secret Tip: Tinting your car side window glasses will block approximately 99% of harmful rays from the sun.


Conclusion on Tanning through a Window

While you won’t get that similar enviable glow you can get from a spray tan, by tanning through a window, a single-pane window can help you achieve something close to that if you are patient enough.


However, it is extra challenging to tan with a double glazing window also known as an insulating glass unit (IGU).

Getting a tan through a window also depends on the length of time you’re willing to spend by the window. You would have to spend a long time to achieve a subtle tan. The intensity of the sun’s rays would also determine how much tan you get.


Here’s the caveat; tanning through a window won’t give you even bronze skin since it’d be hard for the UV rays to reach certain parts of your body. And if you’re trying to tan with your clothes on in the office, it becomes even less feasible.

Therefore, if you need a good tan, you can sunbathe for a safe period, say 20 minutes, or get into readily available self-tan options. It’ll be sure worth it.

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