Finding a balance between skin protection and vitamin D absorption can be a challenge. As the weather warms and outdoor activities increase, this hypothetical problem becomes a pressing, practical issue. We’ve compiled the most recent research and expert recommendations to help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Taking advantage of the sun’s health benefits can help you feel better both mentally and physically.
If you spend a lot of time outside, even if you use a moderately strong sunscreen, your body will most likely produce a lot of vitamin D. In one study of people on a week-long sun vacation, those who wore SPF 15 sunscreen well-applied increased their blood levels of Vitamin D and avoided sunburns. The majority of non-laboratory studies confirm these findings, indicating that people who engage in outdoor activities and wear sunscreen have adequate levels of vitamin D. More research is needed with newer, super high SPF sunblocks, as these stronger products may interfere with vitamin D synthesis.
If you spend the majority of your time indoors, a brief window of sunlight can help you get the vitamin D you require. One of the most important health benefits of sunlight is vitamin D, and most people can get enough of it by spending just 15 to 30 minutes outside several days a week. People with darker skin tones or who are older may require a little more time. Mornings and early evenings offer the most gentle forms of sun exposure, with the least chance of burning or damaging your skin.
Choose non-nano zinc oxide sunblocks to protect the environment as well as your skin, and avoid products containing chemicals such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, nano titanium dioxide, and nano zinc oxide, which have been linked to the destruction of ocean life, including coral reef bleaching. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exposed skin should be protected with clothing, shade, or a broad-based sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher.