Sunscreen: The Problem or the Solution?

Fall is here and the days are getting shorter – and therefore we’re getting less incidental exposure to sunlight. Think that’s good news for you and your skin? Think again.

In “the old days” (100 years ago) people worked predominantly outdoors, exposed to direct sunlight for more than eight hours a day without sunscreen. Skin cancer only effected 1% of the population back then, and the more sunlight they got, the healthier they were. Boy, have times changed. Today, we work predominately indoors and are so fearful of sunlight that we cake on loads of sunscreens to protect ourselves from skin cancer. Yet, more people have gotten skin cancer than ever before. It is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer today.

New studies are showing that it may be what’s in the sunscreen that’s creating a problem for us.

Vitamin D Status

Vitamin D is produced in the skin via the UVb rays in sunlight. What is the most important to note is the amount of vitamin D that the body naturally produces with sunlight. Why is the daily recommended dose of vitamin D is 400 units when your body will make 10,000 units of D with full exposure in only 30 minutes. Granted this amount is achieved when the sun is at it’s highest point in the sky, you have to wonder what other roles this important nutrient plays in the body.