Vitamin D and Sunscreen
Let me tell you a story. A few years ago, it was summer. I was spending a fair amount of time outside and rarely using sunscreen. I was also taking 1000 IU of Vitamin D a day.
I was shocked when a routine blood test showed I was deficient in Vitamin D! Since then I’ve taken a somewhat controversial approach to suncare: I don’t wear sunscreen every day. I’ll slather up if I’m going to be in the sun for an extended amount of time, but otherwise I skip it.
Mineral makeup contains titanium dioxide, which acts as a natural sunblock – the SPF is quite low, but it’s better than nothing. And while sun exposure can cause skin cancer, deficient Vitamin D levels has also been linked to cancer.
This is a personal choice and of course there are risks to being in the sun. I don’t have a family history of skin cancer nor do I have fair skin and burn easily. I encourage you to do some research and decide what you’re most comfortable with.
For more on Vitamin D and it’s relation to sun exposure, check out this Environmental Working Group article.
When we do wear sunscreen, it’s important to wear the right kind. There are two kinds of sunscreen; chemical and mineral. Chemical sunscreens use chemicals that interact with our skin in some weird scientific way that keeps us from burning.
Mineral sunscreens essentially act as a block over the skin and are usually safer. Environmental Working Group has an extensive list of approved sunscreens you can look through. I’ve had good luck with Badger. It’s not too heavy and you can use it on your face. I also liked Juice Beauty’s SPF tinted moisturizer.
I once got burned using Badger, but it’s even more important with mineral sunscreens to re-apply regularly – especially after swimming. The ideal is to avoid the midday sun, wear protective clothing, etc. etc. You know this stuff.
To avoid: spray sunscreens (inhalation risk), ingredients oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate and super high SPFs (nothing higher than SPF 50).
There are a couple self-tanners that are considered safe (check out a full list here), but I avoid them. Seriously. It’s one of those things where you’re trying to force an unnatural occurrence – tanning without the sun – which is a bad idea. I say embrace your skin tone, slap on a little extra blush or bronzer and just accept your skin for what it is. Self-tanner usually looks kind of fake anyway.
What’s your take on sunscreen? Do you apply it religiously every day? More lax about it like me? Leave a comment and let us know.
*I’m not affiliated with these companies and receive no compensation if you buy something. For more on disclaimers, click here.
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