You hear it all the time: Wear Sunblock. It’s the only way to prevent skin from sunburn, premature aging, sun spots, and cancer. Then you read the latest health article on Vitamin D and realize that the average American isn’t getting the recommended daily amount. So what’s a person to do? Is sunscreen blocking vitamin D and is there a way to protect your skin while keeping your body healthy?
The best approach both sides of this issue is moderation. Yes, you need protection from the sun, and yes, your body needs vitamin D. This isn’t an ultimatum; it’s a balancing act.
Daily recommendations for vitamin D vary depending on your age, health, and gender, so talk with your doctor about your specific needs. In general, a combination of food sources, such as salmon, egg yolks, and cod liver oil, along with 10-15 minutes of daily sun exposure provides the body with adequate amounts of this fat-soluble vitamin.
Insufficient amounts of Vitamin D are linked to poor bone health, weak immune defenses, and multiple sclerosis, so it’s important to let the sun see you skin for short periods of time, but don’t use that as an excuse to forgo sunblock all together. Healthy levels of vitamin D in the body don’t prevent skin cancer, sun burns, or sun spots, so keep your sun exposure limited and purposeful.
Also keep in mind that too much Vitamin D causes heart arrhythmias and elevated levels of calcium in the blood, damaging blood vessels and the kidneys, so look for natural ways to get enough vitamin D instead of reaching for vitamin D supplements. For overall health, it’s best to keep sunblock as part of your daily skin care routine, leaving the interactions between skin and sun short and sweet.