Sunshine: Skin Protection and Optimal Vitamin D Absorption
Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Spring is here in Alfred, slowly but surely, and the sun is warmly inviting us into its rays. Since I am sharing a series on the topic of vitamin D, this week I want to focus on our primary source–sunshine. It’s important to understand how to properly protect our skin from damaging rays while optimizing the absorption of vitamin D.
It is common to generously lather your skin with the highest SPF sunscreen available. However, there are three problems with commercial sunscreens. First of all, they are made of chemicals that are harmful to your body. Our skin is our largest organ. Anytime we apply something to our skin, it is directly absorbed into the bloodstream and thus enters every cell of our body. If we can't eat it, then we should question if it should be put on our body. Secondly, commercial sunscreens block UVB rays (related to burning) while not protecting the body from UVA rays, which damage the skin and increase aging. Both cause cancer, however, UVA rays are the most harmful and cause the deadliest form of skin cancer, cutaneous malignant melanoma. Thirdly, our bodies produce Vitamin D through UVB rays. Thus, using commercial sunscreen disables our bodies’ greatest defense to skin cancer and other diseases—Vitamin D.
So, what is the best method for protecting your skin? Exposure to the sun in short intervals is ideal. Twenty minutes in full sun allows time to absorb ample Vitamin D without risking harmful effects. However, if you will be in the sun for longer periods than that, protective clothing and/or a non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen are the way to go! (*See resources below.) Non-nano zinc oxide provides a natural mineral which blocks damaging UVA and UVB rays but still allows Vitamin D absorption.
Implementing these simple changes will allow you to receive all the benefits our sun provides! So be safe, and soak in the sunshine!
Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen | Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, available on Amazon
If you have questions or comments for Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Maria Adam, contact her at thrivinghealthNY.com