Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors
The best source of vitamin D is UVB radiation from the sun. UV radiation levels vary depending on location, time of year, time of day, cloud coverage and the environment.
For most people, adequate vitamin D levels are reached through regular incidental exposure to the sun. When the UV Index is 3 or above (such as during summer), most people maintain adequate vitamin D levels just by spending a few minutes outdoors on most days of the week.
In late autumn and winter in some southern parts of Australia, when the UV Index falls below 3, spend time outdoors in the middle of the day with some skin uncovered. Being physically active (e.g. gardening or going for a brisk walk) also helps boost vitamin D levels.
We also need to remember the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is both the major cause of skin cancer and the best source of vitamin D. Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
At Inner Beauty we recommend keeping your sunscreen next to your tooth brush so it becomes as automatic as brushing your teeth every morning.
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression.
In Australia, 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure of the face, arms and hands before 10am or after 3pm, three to four times a week, will give you enough Vitamin D without skin damage.If you are in the sun for longer periods or outside these hours we recommend the application of 50+ sunscreen.
SPF stands for sun protection factor. It’s the measure of how much UV gets through the screen. The higher the number, the less UV passes through.
An SPF of 30 allows one-thirtieth or 3.3% of UV to reach your skin. This means it filters 96.7% of UV. With an SPF of 50, 98% is filtered and one-fiftieth or 2% gets through.
So while the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 sounds like a lot – it is a pretty modest (1.3%) – difference in protection. In saying that, the higher the SPF the better.
Let’s put it another way, if your unprotected skin would take ten minutes to show signs of burning, then properly applying SPF 30 sunscreen would slow the rate of burning to the point where it would take 30 times longer, or 300 minutes in total. SPF 15 would take 150 minutes, while SPF 50, 500 minutes.
But this is perfect world stuff. If you extend your stay in the sun for 500 minutes (over eight hours!) only relying on sunscreen, you will very likely still burn!
Over-exposure to UV is never recommended even if you have a vitamin D deficiency. If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels, speak to your doctor who may advise supplementation.
While we never recommend over exposure to the sun getting micro-doses of UV rays is, overall, beneficial to your health.
Information obtained from: