Can You Get Sunburn Under An Umbrella?

Can You Get Sunburn Under An Umbrella?

Is the weather outside looking sunny today? Fancy spending some time out in the lovely weather?

Worried about getting sunburn and being in pain?

Well, lots of people believe that umbrellas are great for keeping the sun rays away from our skin and providing a protective shield between you and the sun.

However, it's not that simple and depends on a lot of different factors.

Of course, not everyone knows what these factors are and what effects they have on your umbrella and your skin's health and protection against the sun.

Follow our guide to find out all you need to know.

How Do I Know If I'm Sunburnt?

When you go out into the sunshine for too long without sunscreen, you'll see signs that you've been burnt.

The first sign is when you feel the heat through your skin.

This can be uncomfortable and will cause slight irritation.

Your skin may also start to look red or pink, with dark patches appearing under the surface.

It could even turn purple. These are all symptoms of sunburn.

If this has happened to you at all then you should wear sunscreen every day until your skin is fully healed.

When you get home, make sure that you wash off any makeup or chemicals that might have protected you whilst you were out in the sun.

Make-up usually contains ingredients such as UV filters which help protect your skin but not as much as sunscreen.

Do Umbrellas Help To Prevent Sunburn?

There are two main ways that an umbrella helps to prevent sun damage – by blocking the sunlight and absorbing harmful rays.

However, the main way it protects you is by scattering light, so you don't get as hot and bothered.

This will help to keep your skin cool and sheltered from the sun.

The first thing that happens when you put down an umbrella is that it starts to block most of the direct sunlight.

Once this occurs, you won't get as many burning rays coming toward your skin.

As the light bounces around the inside of the umbrella, the rays are scattered and therefore less likely to hit your skin.

So if there's no shade nearby, you're more likely to avoid burns.

This is why umbrellas are used when you want to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months.

They act as a defensive factor when people want to spend time outdoors without the stress of having sunburnt skin.

What Factors Are Considered?

What Factors Are Considered?

As we previously mentioned, there are different factors and features about umbrellas that will ensure that they keep you protected and defended away from the sunlight and UV rays.


Umbrellas made out of plastic-based materials tend to absorb the sunlight better than those made out of other materials.

While this sounds a bit scary, the reason behind this is that plastics contain special molecules that are able to filter out ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

However, thick materials also keep the light out.

These molecules work well together and create a barrier between your body and the UV rays.

On the other hand, metal umbrellas do reflect more of the sunlight back onto your skin rather than reflecting away.

They also retain heat inside the umbrella, making you hotter than those who use plastic umbrellas.

Size And Shape

In general, the larger the umbrella the more light will scatter. In addition, the shape of the umbrella affects how it works.

Round umbrellas have a tendency to bounce the light around the inside of the canopy.

Whereas, square-shaped ones let the light pass straight through.

Of course, you need the umbrella to be big enough to cover your body.


You can choose to buy an umbrella in white, black or another color.

White umbrellas tend to absorb the majority of the light while black ones scatter the light instead.

Depending on what type of sun protection you require, you can pick one out in order to suit your needs.

Darker colors and tones tend to absorb the heat and the sun's rays so they can become a bit redundant when it comes to keeping the sun away.

Making sure you have a lighter color, such as white or a light blue, can make sure that your umbrella has a better effect for defending you from the elements.

How Does Sunburn Work?

When the sunlight hits your skin, it causes dangerous levels of UV radiation.

Without sunscreen, these sun rays can cause serious damage, especially to the DNA within your cells.

If you've ever been burned, then you know just how painful it is.

However, it's not just the stinging sensation that you need to watch out for.

Making sure that you don't have consistent and frequent exposure to sunlight will help you to keep your health as good as it can be.

Other consequences of prolonged skin exposure to the sun can include skin cancer, dry skin, headaches, and even sunstroke.

Because of this, you need to make sure that you're enjoying the hot outdoors in moderation.

Where Can I Find Umbrellas That Will Work Against The Sun?

Of course, these umbrellas need to be an appropriate size, shape, and material, as mentioned earlier.

This is great for when you need to find them online because a lot of websites will include the sizes and the materials alongside the page and will help you find your perfect item.

On top of this, you can also buy a lot of these products in superstores and furniture stores near you, where you can find out what they're like first-hand.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, umbrellas do help to protect against the sun, however, there are factors you need to consider.

Such things as size, shape, and the material used all affect whether the umbrella does its job properly, which can have a huge impact on how much protection it offers.

Making sure you keep yourself out of the sun's direct line for long periods of time ensures that your body's health is kept at the top of your priority list, with umbrellas certainly helping to keep you safe.

However, we always recommend wearing sunscreen to help the umbrella do its job.

Back to blog

Best Selling Sun Umbrellas

Not only do they all block 99% of the UVA and UVB rays but they keep you 15 degrees cooler!