We talk a lot about the dangers of sun exposure here at Oasis Beauty. But there are times when a little bit of sunlight can you do good – for example, it is our main source of vitamin D. And we need vitamin D to support bone health, our immune system and our mood. It also improves quality of sleep, lowers the risk of arthritis and provides positive effects on inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.
You can get some vitamin D from food such as oily fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils. Small amounts of Vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. But to maintain adequate vitamin D levels you need a bit of sunlight too.
So how can we get enough Vitamin D and protect our skin from the sun at the same time?
It’s actually pretty straightforward, the recommendations are for around 15-20 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen at least twice a week to maintain vitamin D levels. But the important thing is to take that sun exposure at the right time.
So, in the summer get out for 15-20 minutes either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, you really don’t want to be running around with no sunscreen in the peak heat of the day. It’s different in winter of course, when UV rays are weaker so then the recommendation is for 15 - 20 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen.
And remember, the use of tanning beds to induce Vitamin D production is never recommended.
And finally, if you are concerned about your levels of Vitamin D, have a chat with your family doctor. A simple blood test can help you find out what your Vitamin D levels are and whether they are too low.