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How Many Minutes Does It Take To Get a Sunburn?

Even if you're wearing sunscreen, it can happen very quickly

Have you ever wondered how long it actually takes to get a sunburn? It could be as little as just 10 minutes. Of course, this depends on how high the UV index is, your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, and if you’re wearing sun protection or not. In a recent TikTok video, user “Liz” who goes by username @keivathesmol, posted about how she got sunburnt in just 30 minutes.. and she was wearing sunscreen.

Most of us believe if we wear sunscreen we have 60 – 90 minutes of sun-safe time before reapplying. Right? Are we the only ones who have been told this since birth? 

Well in most cases, it is true. But, if your sunscreen is being sweated-off, rubbed-off, or is expired, your skin is at risk after just a few minutes. Also, the amount of time it takes to get a sunburn can depend on a person’s complexion, the time of day he or she was exposed to the sun, or any number of other factors.

That’s why you should be wearing sunscreen every single day, reapplying every 2 hours, and always preparing yourself with some sort of backup sun protection like a hat, or seeking shade. 

In the TikTok, redhead Liz explains she wore sunscreen but also was wearing an autocross helmet and her sunscreen rubbed off by her helmet. This caused her skin to be vulnerable and left her with what she calls “a really terrible red contour”. Being a redhead is rough… sometimes.


I cannot stress enough that the total time without sunscreen on my face today was 30 minutes or less 🤦‍♀️ #gingerproblems #sunburnfail

♬ original sound – Liz

Rock it like a Redhead!


READ: What Actually Happens When Redhead Skin Gets Sunburnt

READ: TikTok Trend: Have You Heard of the Aloe Wrap for Sunburn Relief?