Does sunscreen block Vitamin D?

01/03/2022 —  By Hannah Mepham

Does sunscreen block Vitamin D?

We all know that sun cream protects us from harmful sunlight but how does sunscreen affect Vitamin D production? 

Here we look at the evidence and show you how to support your Vitamin D levels while staying safe in the sun.

 

Why is Vitamin D known as the sunshine vitamin?

Vitamin D supports healthy bones, muscles, nails and teeth and in the UK you can find Vitamin D in dietary sources such as oily fish, red meat, eggs and supplements.

Vitamin D can also be generated through sun exposure and this has given Vitamin D the nickname ‘the sunshine vitamin’.

 

Does sunscreen block Vitamin D?

Sunscreen blocks a very high percentage of UV rays, which reduces the amount of Vitamin D production that comes from sun exposure. Whilst sunscreen does not block Vitamin D production entirely as a small amount of UV light still reaches the skin, it does reduce it substantially.

If we get a good UK summer and there’s plenty of sunshine, getting outdoors gives you a great chance to top up your Vitamin D. However it is essential that this is always done safely.

 

How to get Vitamin D through sun exposure

Most people can synthesise enough Vitamin D during the summer by spending a short time in the sun without sunscreen, with hands, forearms or lower legs uncovered.[i]

This should only ever be done safely and great care should be taken to ensure your sun does not redden or burn. Burning causes temporary skin distress and can cause long-term damage deep in the skin tissues.

If you do decide to support your Vitamin D levels by spending a short time in the sun without sun cream the following tips can help to reduce your risk of experiencing skin reddening.

  • Avoid sitting in the sun during the hottest hours of the day, around 11-3pm
  • Wear facial sun cream and a hat. The face produces very little Vitamin D and you are more likely to develop Vitamin D from exposing the arms or legs to sunlight
  • Avoid sitting in direct sunlight, consider going for a short walk instead
  • Keep hydrated and wear loose, light clothing to stop the skin from overheating
  • Seek shade after a short time and then apply sun cream before you return outside

It remains important to apply sun cream regularly and liberally during the hottest hours of the day and when exposing your skin for the sun for a prolonged period of time. For best protection replenish and replace your sun lotion regularly.

Our easy-to-apply sun creams can be used all over the body and we also offer high-factor SPF skin care products for the face and hands.

Scent Free Sun Cream - SPF30 200ml

Scent Free Sun Cream - SPF30 200ml

High factor fragrance-free SPF30 sun cream suitable for sensitive skin

£25.50

Scent Free Facial Sun Cream - SPF30 50ml

Scent Free Facial Sun Cream - SPF30 50ml

High factor, scent-free SPF30 facial sun cream for sensitive skin

£21.00

Scent Free Facial Sun Cream - SPF30 50ml

Scent Free Facial Sun Cream - SPF30 50ml

High factor, scent-free SPF30 facial sun cream for sensitive skin

£21.00

Edelweiss & Green Tea Hand Guard SPF30 50ml

Edelweiss & Green Tea Hand Guard SPF30 50ml

Scent-free hand cream with SPF30 protection

£17.50 £8.75

 

More ways to get Vitamin D in the UK

Exposing your arms to the summer sun for a short time can be enough to stimulate Vitamin D synthesis in the body but it is nigh on impossible to rely on the British weather to get all the Vitamin D you need for 365 days a year.

That’s why the NHS tells every adult in the UK to consider taking a Vitamin D supplement daily[i]. Supplements can be purchased in health stores and pharmacies and it is especially important that you take the right amount for your age and needs, and that you take this during the autumn and winter when the UV index is low.

Some groups can be particularly vulnerable to Vitamin D deficiency and if you fall into one of the following categories, it is a good idea to talk to your GP or pharmacist about supporting your Vitamin D intake through dietary sources:

  • Pregnant women or women wanting to conceive
  • Infants and children
  • Those with limited access to daylight

The NHS has special guidelines for supplementing Vitamin D needs during infanthood, childhood and pregnancy[ii] and also advises those with very dark skin to consider supporting their Vitamin D intake from other sources than sun lighti.

Would you like to find out more about our natural and organic sunscreen collection? Our UK customer care team can help you to find you the best sun cream for your skin type and can be contacted on 01403 740350 or on organic@greenpeople.co.uk

 

[i] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/

[ii] https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/vitamins-supplements-and-nutrition/

 

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ABOUT GREEN PEOPLE

Green People is a pioneering organic beauty brand based in the UK and loved by people all over the world.

We create honest, natural products with innovative botanicals that really make a difference to your skin and hair.

You can read our story to find out more about us or even check out our special offers to take a peek at what's on offer right now.

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