Can Sun Screen Lower Your Body’s Vitamin D Production?
I was telling my husband today that we need to start putting on sun screen on our skin to help it stay healthy now, this was a change because I use to be big into tanning but I have finally been convinced that pale skin is much better, especially over the long term.
Saying this aloud to my husband made me think of something I hadn’t considered before: Since sun screen keeps you from getting burnt and tan does it lower the production of Vitamin D? Our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when our skin is exposed to UV radiation, the sun in low doses is amazing for our skin and health. But in anything over a small dose it can have severe health problems for us, especially years down the road.
Because sun screen protects our skin from the sun’s UV rays it does also lower our bodies ability to product the Vitamin D, however sun screen wears off over time and most people don’t put it on every single time they go into the sun.
Sun screen helps us from burning, getting a sun burn usually takes a bit of time, so going for a walk in the sun for 10 or 20 minutes usually wont give you a burn, but you will get a healthy dose of Vitamin D and you skin will have a bit of a tan. A tan is your body reacting to the UV radiation and actually helps to protect your skin from sun damage.
One trick I have used to protect my skin during a long day at a beach or other outside event is to use an SPF 4 or 8 sun screen.
These protect your skin from getting burnt, but allow you to still get a bit of a tan and get some Vitamin D. Overall the sun’s effect on our skin is healthy in small doses, but laying out all day or repeated burns are not. If you don’t take care of your skin when you’re young then it can easily appear gross in a few decades.