The official start of summer is nearly upon us. At this time, states have been slowly easing up their lockdown restrictions and many places are beginning to reopen. Slowly, people will make their way outside of their homes and take measures to enjoy going to the beach (safely) and once more enjoy leisurely activities outside.
The Importance of Getting Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in the United States, it is also a global issue as well. Few foods in our diet provide an ample source of Vitamin D, save for fortified foods such as milk which many people cannot drink or choose not to for dietary reasons. Fish and liver meats are a great source of vitamin D, but unless you eat them multiple times a week you may find yourself coming short of the optimal levels agreed upon by the medical community.
The exact percentage of people deficient in this important vitamin varies as it depends highly on which groups are assessed as well as location. For example, those who live above a certain latitude (37 degrees North) in the United States are at much greater risk for vitamin D deficiency than us lucky Floridians who can get an ample amount with a responsible amount of sun exposure.
Vitamin D is a prohormone that was once thought only to be of major importance to skeletal and bone health but has since been found to be key in several major hormonal responses in the body. In layman’s terms, vitamin D is exceedingly important for your vitality and energy levels as well as hormone balance.
Get Vitamin D from the Sun Safely
The best way to receive vitamin D is from direct sunlight. However, it’s well known that the powerful UVB (and UVA) radiation that direct sunlight exposes you to can be harmful not only to your overall health by magnifying the chances of skin cancer, but it can also prematurely age your skin due to damage and wear from the exposure.
Safely getting vitamin D from the sun comes down to exposing yourself responsibly to the sun for a “goldilocks” amount of time. Experts agree on a range of 10-30 minutes a few times a week being sufficient enough depending on your complexion. Lighter skinned individuals have an easier time getting vitamin D from the sun and require far less exposure.
If you are going to spend more than this amount of time outside, it is best to use a good sunscreen to protect your skin.
What to Look for in a Good Sunscreen
SPF stands for sun protection factor. It indicates a sunscreen’s effectiveness at protecting your skin from UVB rays. SPF multiplies how long it may take for your skin to burn in direct sunlight. If you start getting red or flushed after 1 minute of sun exposure, having SPF15 sunscreen on would afford you 15 times that—or 15 minutes.
However, most people don’t start getting red after 1 minute of sun exposure. For most purposes of leisure, SPF30 is perfectly adequate. If you plan to stay in the sun for a long time, SPF30 reapplied every 2 hours or after excessive sweating or swimming will provide protection against UVB rays, and individuals who have very sensitive skin may opt for higher SPF in their sunscreen of choice.
What about UVA rays? UVB rays are what can cause sunburn if you stay in the sun for too long. They directly affect the surface of your skin. UVA rays are the opposite, they penetrate deeply into the skin and can cause more damage than what is outwardly noticeable. This not only is a skin cancer risk factor, but it is in fact UVA radiation that can cause wrinkling and other premature aging to your skin.
To deal with this, high-quality sunscreen products use a combination of moisturizing ingredients along with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
If you aren’t sure where you can get great quality skincare products, The Herschthal Practice chooses to dispense through Alastin Skincare. Alastin is one of the fastest-growing physician-dispensed skincare brands. We want our patients to have the best, and so we choose Alastin due to their commitment to medical-grade skincare products with nothing but the highest quality ingredients. From there you may find a sunscreen that not only provides adequate UVB and UVA ray protection, but also a quality formulation that will keep your skin moisturized and healthy when you are out and about.
Cosmetic Dermatology Boca Raton
The sun is a cruel mistress, she provides us with nourishing vitamin D which is essential to proper energy levels and a good mood, but she can also damage our skin and make us age prematurely.
If you are struggling with the effects of premature aging and would like to improve your skin, contact The Herschthal Practice today for a consultation to decide which of our many procedures would be best for your aesthetic goals.
We strongly believe there is a solution for everyone and we are dedicated to finding and executing it for you!