With a growing number of people with vitamin D deficiencies, and the threat of skin damage, Vitamin D and sun safety can be confusing topics. Should you use sunscreen to avoid skin damage? Or should you avoid sunscreen so your body can start generating its own vitamin D? If you do use sunscreen, which one is best? What about all the chemicals? If you can’t get enough D from the sun, should you supplement? If so, which supplement should you choose?
It’s a lot to think about. Let us help simplify vitamin D and sun safety.
Vitamin D is touted for its immune boosting properties and has even been recommended by some doctors as part of a prevention or treatment option for current viral infections plaguing the world. The cheapest, easiest and most effective way to increase your vitamin D is to sit in the sun WITHOUT sunscreen. But let’s not go crazy. Too much direct sunlight is not good for the skin. So, we recommend 10-20 minutes a day in direct sunlight, exposing as much skin as possible.
Vitamin D Supplements
When you just can’t get enough sun, especially in the colder months, a vitamin D supplement can be a good addition to your daily routine. When choosing a supplement, look for vitamin D3, which is better absorbed than its synthetic cousin, D2. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, it’s also important to have your levels tested periodically and choose a supplement with K2, which reduces toxicity and calcification by directing calcium to areas of the body where it’s needed, like bones and teeth, and away from areas where it shouldn’t be, including your soft tissues and arteries.
We recommend OrthoMolecular’s Vitamin K2 with D3, which we can order directly for you.
When planning a day in the sun, sunscreen should be on the mind. But if there ever was a landmine of conflicting recommendations this would be it. The sunscreen market is flooded with products containing harmful ingredients, many of which build up in the body, cause systemic problems and are not very effective in protecting the skin from more subtle damage from UVA rays.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, it’s important to note that even among more natural, mineral-based products, there is no perfect sunscreen.
So, we recommend applying a simple zinc oxide-based sunscreen about 30 minutes prior to going outside. According to the Environmental Working Group’s 15th annual Guide to Sunscreens, zinc oxide is generally recommended as safe and effective. However, it has some limitations and is best mixed with other ingredients for more effective protection. To find the right product for your family, check out this list of top sunscreens for every occasion, or get the kids involved in making your own with this simple recipe.
Even with the best of intentions, sunburns happen. When those unfortunate evens occur, we recommend lots of hydration, moisturizing with pure aloe vera gel and unrefined coconut oil and considering ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and pain.