Could there be benefits to NOT wearing SPF? We know there are definite benefits to wearing sun protection. But, is it possible there are times when you shouldn’t put on SPF? Let’s explore the pros and cons.
As a 40-something women, I know I damaged my skin in my teens and 20’s. Lying in the sun for hours covered in baby oil. Probably not the smartest thing I ever did. As a teenager, you don’t consider skin damage or even skin cancer. It either never crosses your mind or you consider the mere thought of skin cancer completely ridiculous. When you’re younger, it’s easy to think nothing will happen to your skin because the signs of damage usually don’t show up until later. Read about that here.
Sun protection (SPF) has an important role in preventing skin damage, premature wrinkles, sun spots and helping to block the cancer causing effects from UVA and UVB rays. We do need to wear SPF for extended periods of time in the sun. I like this one. It’s good for my skin and I can keep it in my purse and apply it right over my makeup.
So, we know what SPF can do for us. Let’s talk about “cons”. Could there be any benefits to NOT wearing SPF? Yes!
The biggest benefits are vitamin D and calcium. Our bodies need vitamin D. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium. Calcium helps keep teeth and bones strong. We also need vitamin D for our muscles and to keep our immune systems functioning properly. As a woman, and a mom, I want to make sure I’m caring for myself now and in the future (thinking about osteoporosis).
Your best source of vitamin D is the sun. Read more here. When exposed to the sun your body actually makes vitamin D. You can eat food fortified with vitamin D. Did you see that I said “fortified”? That’s because very few foods have vitamin D naturally. Not that you can’t get it from food, but if your body can make it naturally why wouldn’t you make this work for you?
How much sun exposure do you really need? Truly, only about 10 or 15 mins. That’s not much time at all to receive the huge benefits the sun can provide. That’s good news. So, don’t be afraid to go out and check the mail, walk to the neighbor’s house or water your flowers. (Unless otherwise advised by a doctor.) The sun is actually working for you and making you healthy. However, if you plan to spend the day outside working in the yard, going for a hike, or cheering on your favorite team in the stands, wear your SPF, sleeves, a hat, etc. Note: high SPF blocks the absorption of vitamin D.
Can you get too much vitamin D? You can only get too much when taking supplements. You can’t over do it from the sun because the body limits the amount of vitamin D it produces.
Important tip: there is no vitamin D benefit while driving. UVB rays are blocked through glass, so there is no vitamin D absorption while in the car. Read more about that here.
So, get out of the house and let the sun shine on you for a few minutes. Your body will thank you.
Love and Sunshine,
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