Getting a Tan Through Screened Pools: Myth or Reality?

Getting a Tan Through Screened Pools: Myth or Reality?

Ever lounged by your screened pool, soaking up the sun’s rays and wondered if you’re actually getting a tan? You’re not alone. This enigma has puzzled pool owners for ages.

This article dives into the science behind tanning, the role of pool screens, and their impact on your sunbathing goals. You’ll discover whether your screened pool is the secret to that perfect summer glow or just a beautiful illusion.

So, if you’re ready to unravel this sun-soaked mystery, let’s dive right in. Your perfect tan might just be a splash away.

Key Takeaways

  • You can get a tan through a screened pool as screens don’t fully block the penetration of UV rays. However, they may alter the distribution of UV rays, influencing the tanning process.
  • Screened pools serve many purposes, including protection from bugs and debris and partial shielding from UV rays. Diverse factors such as material, thickness, and color determine a screen’s ability to block UV rays.
  • Jugding by potential health risks, sun protection measures should never be neglected, even within a screened pool enclosure. Such measures include sunscreen application, wearing protective clothing, and timing sun exposure outside peak UV times.
  • Tanning safely in a screened pool involves consistent sunscreen application, even with a screen’s partial UV protection, wearing UV-protective clothing, and mindful timing of sun exposure.
  • Several alternatives to sun tanning exist that offer a desired tan without UV exposure, including self-tanning products, bronzers, professional spray tans, and tan accelerators.
  • Effective management of a screened pool includes maintaining water quality, regular screen inspection, and prudent pool lighting, all of which contribute to reducing UV exposure and promoting skin health.

Many believe screened pools prevent tanning, but UV rays can indeed penetrate most screening materials. Smartex confirms that tanning under a pool screen is possible, advising caution due to reduced but still present UV exposure. Healthline busts common myths about tanning, including the effectiveness of sunscreens and sun exposure through screens.

Understanding Tanning and Sun Exposure

Tanning, in essence, stems from your skin’s response to ultraviolet (UV) rays emanating from the sun. These rays stimulate the production of melanin, which, when increased, darkens your skin tone, resulting in a tan. However, not all UV rays are created equal. Specifically, two types impact your skin: UVA and UVB rays.

UVA rays, with their longer wavelength, penetrate deep into your skin’s thickest layer, the dermis. This penetration causes your existing melanin to oxidize, leading to immediate but fleeting skin darkening. UVB rays, on the other hand, have a shorter wavelength. They infiltrate into the skin’s superficial layer, the epidermis, and stimulate fresh melanin production. It’s this response that contributes to a longer-lasting tan yet also causes sunburn if exposure is too great.

Screened pools factor into this equation due to their composition. These screens are webbed mesh, designed to block large particles, such as leaves or insects, from entering the pool. Importantly, they don’t fully hinder the penetration of UV rays.

Remember, despite UVA rays causing a quicker tan, their effect’s temporary. On the other hand, UVB rays, while taking longer to elicit a response, lead to a longer-lasting tan. Thus, if a screened pool filters out more UVB rays than UVA, it could potentially impact how effectively you tan. However, bear in mind, the screen’s ability to block UV rays depends on its material, thickness, and color.

Ultimately, while screened pools may alter the distribution of UV rays you’re exposed to, they cannot fully prevent tanning. Therefore, a sufficient amount of sun exposure, despite partial shielding, could still result in skin darkening, provided you possess a skin type susceptible to tanning. Yet, even if they may help achieve your desired summer glow, remember, neither screened pools nor tanning are exempt from the health risks associated with prolonged UV exposure.

What Is a Screened Pool?

What Is a Screened Pool?

A screened pool, commonly found in tropical and subtropical locales, is an outdoor pool enclosed by a large structure known as a pool cage or pool enclosure. Composed of a metal frame and mesh-like screening material, this structure covers the pool area. The primary purpose of such an installation circles around bug and debris protection. By screening the pool, you reduce the likelihood of leaves, dirt, and unwelcome insects contaminating your pool.

On top of that, pool screens also play a role in sun safety. By their design, screens can filter out some ultraviolet rays. Essentially, the pool cage acts as a giant sunscreen, blocking a percentage of UV rays, but not all. The precise amount filtered varies depending on the screening material, with some screens blocking as much as 30 to 50% of UV rays.

However, it’s important to note that even if some UV rays are excluded, enough may still reach your skin to stimulate melanin production, the process that results in a tan. The screens do not entirely negate the sun exposure, thus tanning is still possible within the enclosure, especially during peak daylight hours, where more UV rays are produced.

Despite these factors, it’s critical that you remember that UV exposure — whether filtered or not — carries certain health risks such as skin aging, sunburn, and in extreme cases, skin cancer. Employing protection, such as sunscreen or protective clothing, even within the confines of a screened pool, is a wise precaution. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

A screened pool is a handy feature, not only for its bug and debris prevention but for its partial UV screening. However, sun protection measures should not be neglected upon entering a pool enclosure as sun tanning and potential sun damage can occur, albeit at a reduced rate.

Can You Get Sun Tan Through Screened Pool?

Can You Get Sun Tan Through Screened Pool?

Yes, you can indeed get a sun tan through a screened pool. Screened pool enclosures, while serving as shields against insects and debris, allow a significant percentage of UV rays to penetrate. These UV rays, particularly UVA, stimulate the melanin production process that results in a tan. For instance, a typical screen filters out approximately 30-40% of UV rays. The remaining force of UV radiation is enough to kick-start the tanning process, meaning après-swim, you may notice a sun-kissed complexion.

However, bear in mind that UV exposure, even in limited amounts, brings potential risks. UVA rays, capable of penetrating glass and, of course, pool screens, play a role in premature skin aging and are also associated with skin cancer. UVB rays, halted by pool screens, are primary sunburn culprits but also contribute to cancer risk. Given these threats, integrating safety measures into your sunbathing routine is crucial.

Practices like applying sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) can mitigate risks associated with UV exposure. For instance, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher reduces the amount of UV radiation reaching your skin by approximately 97%. Reapplication, especially after swimming, sweating or towel drying, enhances this protection.

Additionally, clothing remains a reliable shield against UV rays. Quick-dry, UV-protective clothing, for example, covers more skin surface, diminishing the risk of tanning and possible accompanying harmful effects.

Finally, time your pool use to hours when the sun’s rays are less intense. Typical safe sun times fall before 10 AM and after 4 PM.

In brief, although you can get a tan within a screened pool enclosure, awareness of the implications is vital. Always pair your sunbathing sessions with adequate sun safety protocols. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth any tan.

How to Get a Tan Safely

Getting a tan safely involves a blend of sunscreen application, protective clothing usage and timing of sun exposure.

Firstly, consistent sunscreen application is critical, even when you’re in a screened pool. An SPF 30 sunscreen efficiently filters out 97% of the UVB rays. It offers reasonable protection, considering no sunscreen can provide complete blockage from UV rays. As a best practice, go for sunscreen lotions that also have UVA protection. Remember to evenly apply sunscreen thirty minutes prior to sun exposure and then reapply every two hours.

Secondly, there’s more to UV protection than just sunscreen. Clothing designed to block UVA and UVB rays can add another layer of defense against sun damage. Look for outfits that have an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) label. A UPF 50 garment, for instance, allows only 1/50th of the sun’s UV radiation to touch your skin. That’s an impressive 98% blockage rate.

Lastly, consider the timing of your sun exposure. UV radiation is most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so try to avoid direct exposure during these peak times. Early morning or late afternoon sunning is preferable.

It’s vital to remember, although you can indeed tan while in a screened pool, those screens are not designed to offer full UV protection. Their primary function lies in keeping insects out, not blocking harmful UV rays. It’s up to you to ensure your skin’s safety by strategically using sunscreen, protective clothing, and controlling your sun exposure timing.

Your pursuit of a golden tan shouldn’t compromise your skin health. Stay diligent in sun protection and you can enjoy the sun and your pool with peace of mind, confidently knowing you’re protecting your skin in the process. Remember, safe tanning is always the best way to achieve that sun-kissed glow.

Alternatives to Sun Tanning

Understanding that the quest for the sun-kissed glow comes with risks, you may start exploring safer alternatives. These alternatives aim to provide your desired color without exposing your skin to harmful UV radiation. They offer features that help maintain your skin’s health, while giving you the tan you desire.

  1. Self-tanning Products: Owing to advancements in beauty technology, self-tanning products have improved significantly over the last decade. Products range from lotions, sprays, to mousses, and provide a beautiful, natural-looking color to your skin without sun exposure. Remember, apply these products evenly to avoid streaks.
  2. Bronzers: Typically available as powders or creams, bronzers can help you achieve a sun-kissed glow instantly. The key’s to build the color gradually for a more natural look.
  3. Professional Spray Tans: For a more professional approach, consider spray tan sessions provided in salons. This method offers a more even color, but remember to avoid water and sweating for a few hours after the session.
  4. Tan Accelerators: Before heading outside, applying tan accelerators can boost melanin production. This tactic aids in achieving a quicker tan while reducing the time under sun rays.

These alternatives to sun tanning, while quite effective, come with their guidelines for use. It’s crucial to follow these to achieve the desired results. For instance, if you’re using a self-tanning product, preparing your skin by exfoliating becomes important, as it ensures an even application and longer-lasting tan.

Notably, these alternatives, while providing a coveted tan, do not offer any protection against the sun’s UV rays. Regardless of the method chosen, it remains important to incorporate sun protection habits. That includes applying sunscreen regularly, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding peak UV times. By doing so, you successfully achieve a desirable tan while preserving your skin health.

Managing a Screened Pool

Managing a Screened Pool

Managing a screened pool entails several aspects: maintaining water quality, checking pool screens, and applying UV-protective layers, to name a few. You may wonder how all of these factors influence UV exposure and tanning. Let’s delve into the details.

Water quality stands out as a top priority. Optimal chemical and pH balance, coupled with regular cleaning, prevents harmful bacterial growth. Namely, the Centers for Disease Control or CDC, lists pH, bromine, and chlorine levels as essential metrics for maintaining pool health.

Regular inspection of pool screens may reveal crucial information. Screens wear out over time, reducing their effectiveness as UV barriers. A worn-out screen could allow harmful UV rays to penetrate, increasing sun exposure risk. An example of this lies in studies that suggest proper screening reduces UVB but less so with UVA radiation.

A lesser-known tip includes applying UV-protective layers on the pool screen. Products like UV-protective sprays add an extra layer of UV defense, cutting down the UV penetration, thereby increasing your protection from potential skin damage.

Prudent pool lighting, especially during peak UV hours, is another factor to consider. By lighting your pool thoughtfully, you’ll minimize UV exposure during swimming. Evidence supports this, as the Environmental Protection Agency notes peak hours of UV to be between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

So, while managing a screened pool, remember these tactics. They’ll support a reduced UV exposure environment and promote healthy skincare while enjoying your swim. It’s a clear message that managing a screened pool goes beyond simply ensuring clear water; it involves a suite of strategies aimed at reducing harmful UV exposure and promoting better skin health.


So, can you get a sun tan through a screened pool? Definitely, yes. But it’s not just about getting that coveted tan. It’s equally about protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. Remember, even a screened pool doesn’t fully shield you from UVA and UVB exposure. So it’s crucial you stick to safe sun habits like applying sunscreen, wearing UV-protective clothing, and timing your sun exposure wisely.

Thinking of alternatives? There’s a variety of self-tanning products, bronzers, spray tans, and tan accelerators at your disposal. But don’t forget, while they give you a tan without UV exposure, they don’t offer UV protection.

Lastly, don’t overlook the importance of pool management. Keep your water clean, check your pool screens regularly, and consider using UV-protective sprays on them. All these steps will ensure you enjoy your time in the pool while keeping your skin healthy and glowing.

How do UV rays induce tanning?

UV rays cause tanning by stimulating the production of melanin, a pigment in the skin that darkens when exposed to UV radiation. This process is a natural defense mechanism of the skin to protect against UV damage. However, excessive exposure to UVA and UVB rays poses risks to skin health.

What are safe tanning practices?

Safe tanning practices include applying sunscreen regularly, wearing UV-protective clothing, and timing sun exposure to avoid peak UV intensity times, generally between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

What are the benefits of alternatives to sun tanning?

Alternatives to sun tanning, such as self-tanning products, bronzers, professional spray tans, and tan accelerators, offer a safer way to achieve a tanned look. These methods do not require UV exposure, reducing the risk of skin damage.

Is sun protection necessary when using sun tanning alternatives?

Yes, sun protection is still crucial when using sun tanning alternatives, because these alternatives do not provide protection against UV rays. Even when appearing tanned, the skin is still susceptible to UV-related damage.

What are some tips for managing a screened pool?

Managing a screened pool involves maintaining water quality, regular inspection of the pool screens, and the use of UV-protective sprays on the screens. Maintenance routines should also include keeping an optimal chemical balance in the pool, timely repair or replacement of worn-out screens, and proactive measures to reduce UV exposure risks.