Myth: You can’t get a sunburn on a cloudy day.
Fact: On days when the sky is cloudy but bright, most UV rays still reach the ground. On these days, people burn nearly as quickly as if it were sunny. By comparison, dark, overcast decks of cloud block most UV rays.
Myth: A tan protects you from sun damage.
Fact: A tan only has as much protection as using a sunscreen with an SPF of 3, which is quite minimal, so a tan does not protect you from skin damage. Even with a tan you still burn just as a dark-skinned person can also burn without protection. A sunscreen of SPF #15 or greater is still a necessity. Without protection, ultraviolet rays will increase your risk of skin cancer and cause premature wrinkling.
Myth: Staying in the shade prevents burning.
Fact: You can get a sunburn in the shade if you are near reflective surfaces such as water, snow, sand, or even concrete—where the sun’s rays can reflect onto your skin.
Myth: You won’t sunburn while swimming.
Fact: The sun’s rays penetrate under water, so people swimming or playing in water absorb nearly as much UV radiation as those on land nearby. Use a water-resistant sunscreen and reapply frequently and liberally.