Safer Ways To Get Our Daily Dose Of Vitamin D From The Sun
Sun exposure, is something we all regularly need in order to absorb the vitamin D it offers us. Vitamin D helps to strengthen our bones, muscles and also our immune system, but prolonged sunbaking is not the answer. There are healthier ways to ensure you get your daily Vit D top up.
Obtaining Vitamin D Through Safe Sun Exposure
There are safer ways to exposure ourselves to the sun in order to absorb enough Vitamin D. The best Vitamin D comes from the sun’s UV-B radiation.
Safe Sun Exposure During Summer
According to Cancer Council Australia during summertime most of us will get enough incidental daily sun exposure to receive enough vitamin D. They say just a few minutes of exposure a day to your face, hands and arms on either side of the peak UV period of the day during summer is all that is needed.
Safe Sun Exposure During Winter
In winter, again according the Cancer Council Australia, it depends on which part of Australia you are living in. Those of us down south need more exposure, up to 3-4 hours spread over a week. Whereas those living up in the northern areas of Australia where the sun is harsher and UV still packing a punch, should be able to receive enough vitamin D through incidental daily exposure.
Tanning & Skin Damage
First some basic facts about “sun-baking”, no tan is a good tan!! Sorry to all those that think a little colour, or getting a gradual tan without burning is healthy, it isn’t.
We need to understand that any natural tan, be it from the sun, or via a solarium, is a sign of skin damage. Ultraviolet radiation does cause skin cancer and skin should always be protected if the UV index levels hits 3 and above.
If you must tan then fake tan it! See my article Solarium and Fake Tanning Risk And Dangers for some tips on how to fake tan safely and avoid the toxic ingredients found in many fake tanning products.
Tanning Your Skin Does Not Give You More Sun Protection
Many people think tanned skin protects you better from the sun and from getting burnt, but at best a tan offers a minuscule SPF 3 protection. Even without burning the UVB radiation irreversibly damages our skins DNA, thus aging it and overtime, accumulative exposure to UVA.
Sun Protection Tips
- During summer and whenever the UV index is high ( and you can check the daily UV index through the weather stations) then cover up with clothing, hats and a good, natural, nano-particle free, cruelty-free suntan lotion such as Badger Balm. See Choosing Safe, Non-Toxic, Sunscreens.
- Reapply your sunscreen regularly, especially when in and out of the water.
- Visit the beach or pool at periods of the day when the UV is lower; e.g in summer before 10am and after 4pm. Again check the UV index before you leave.
- Unless your are swimming at dawn or dusk when the UV is very low, then get into the habit of swimming in swimsuits that cover up most of your exposed flesh.
- Take a sunshade tent to the beach or pool
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