Interesting Study: Average UV Exposure by Age Range

Written by WD Staff, Skin Care Specialists on November 5, 2013 2 Comments

Bad Sunburn Image

An old wives’ tale incorrectly states that the average person acquires 80% of their lifetime ultraviolet (UV) exposure by the age of 18. Contrary to this belief, the acquisition of sun damage from UV rays is spread fairly evenly throughout a person’s life.

In the 2003 study UV Doses of Young Adults, researchers carefully analyzed UV exposure data over time producing the following chart (source


Ages Average Accumulated Exposure
1-18 22.73%
19-40 46.53%
41-59 73.70%
60-78 100%


Interestingly, the age range with the highest average UV exposure occurred between the ages of 41-59 (27.17%).

The moral of this story: protect your skin at any age! Avoid sun exposure when UV rays are their highest and always wear a high SPF sunscreen.

WD Staff

A united group of skin care specialists from Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, Austin's leader in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. Articles posted under WD staff are authored through combined contributions from our entire team, including Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Aestheticians, Physician Assistants, Aesthetic Nurses, and Patient Coordinators.

2 Responses to “Interesting Study: Average UV Exposure by Age Range”

  1. Avatar George K. says:

    Ahhh I got the Facebook poll wrong, grrrrrr

  2. Avatar Justin says:

    I think its real interesting that the highest period occurs at an older age. I would think the highest period would be earlier.

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