Does sunscreen reduce vitamin D levels? it real research Poles, not a laboratory study using simulated light and skin samples! This proves that the use of sunscreen does not reduce the production of vitamin D. This is good news for your beach holiday. Anyone who advises you to give up sunscreen to protect vitamin D levels is clearly wrong – and now there is evidence!
Yes, you can confidently do what is best for your skin. Use sunscreen, knowing that the benefits it has in reducing damage from the sun and skin cancer will not lead to a risk of lowering vitamin D levels. These problems were raised during laboratory studies using simulated light sources. This real-life research is much more relevant.
Here are the fun details: Researchers invited 62 white-skinned study participants from Poland to enjoy a sunny beach holiday in Tenerife in Spain, located on the sunny Canary Islands. In exchange for a vacation, volunteers agreed to use sunscreen and take blood samples to measure vitamin D levels (where can we subscribe to this?!). The researchers compared the levels of vitamin D with the levels of the other 17 study participants who stayed at home in Poland (it’s very sad to draw this straw!).
In this study, participants were divided into 3 groups:
1. Those who have used the SPF 15 product. Remember that SPF is primarily a measure of UV protection, and the ultraviolet ray is the ultraviolet ray that is responsible for the synthesis of vitamin D in your skin. They applied sunscreen in the right amount. They also applied it correctly throughout the day (this means that every bathing suit wearing a Pole used 1 ounce per attachment and reapplied it every 2 hours).
2. Those who received a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB properly applied sunscreen, as in group 1.
3. The third group used its own sunscreen and did not receive any instructions for applying – this is the real “real life”. We know that most people apply too little sunscreen and do not always reapply it as needed for full protection.
The level of vitamin D in the blood was measured the day before exposure to the sun and 24 and 48 hours after the start of the holiday.
This scientific research conducted in real life, showed that the use of sunscreen does not reduce the level of vitamin D.
Interestingly, holidaymakers who used their own sunscreen without proper instructions for use had more sunburn, which means more damage from the sun.
The conclusion is that applying a broad spectrum sunscreen correctly (my recommendation) will not reduce vitamin D levels.
The advantage of using a broad spectrum sunscreen is undeniable. This will help protect your skin from the harmful effects of sunlight (the inevitable development of wrinkles, thinning, pale skin, sun spots) and skin cancer.
As always, I recommend zinc oxide mineral sunscreens (non-chemical products) combined with the use of sunscreens, hats and sunglasses. These latter recommendations have not been studied and can lead to a reduction in vitamin D levels. Therefore, I also recommend vitamin D supplements for people who are strictly watching for sun protection. If this is you (this is definitely me), talk to your doctor about the correct dosage.
As a dermatologist, I have had this conversation with my patients for many years. For those of my patients who really want a little sun for their vitamin D levels, I have always recommended that they only expose their stomach at noon for 5 to 10 minutes – no more. I even recommended it on my blog back in 2010! because,
- This little trick uses UVB in the most intense state on that part of the skin that is not usually prone to chronic sun damage.
- The tummy is not as important from the cosmetic point of view as the face, neck, chest, arms and hands.
- It is also free and has a lot of extra skin if we need to remove skin cancer.
I will always remember the charming elderly patient who suffered from severe osteoporosis. His endocrinologist wanted him to sunbathe in addition to vitamin D supplements because they were worried about absorbing vitamin D. We decided that our patient would use his tummy as vitamin D. He had skin cancer and we already nipped parts of his ear and face, treating them. His tummy never saw the sun – until now. Gradually, he developed a tan stomach with pale veins in the folds of the skin, which he could not stretch out, because his hunched osteoporotic spine did not allow him to sit straight.
Every six months I had the pleasure of chatting with him, his happy and optimistic eyes flickered as we examined his skin and laughed at his tanned belly, his midday sun, bathing and undressing his tummy when he went from septagenarianism to his eightieth birthday to a nonaghenarian. We controlled skin cancer with sun protection of the precious scalp, neck and hands / hands, and his tummy did factory work for him with vitamin D caused by the sun. Whenever I give this advice, I think of him with love.
In addition to the real scientific research in BC, the journal also published a second report on the use of vitamin D and sunscreen. This is an opinion derived from the convening of a group of 13 international experts who reviewed the scientific literature on sun protection and vitamin D status. They found that there is no convincing scientific evidence that sunscreen suppresses the synthesis of vitamin D in healthy people. The group consisted of experts in the field of endocrinology, dermatology, photobiology, epidemiology and biological anthropology. This review is mixed with some conflicts of interest among the experts of the group, but the literature reviews conducted by the experts have a benefit in assessing the amount of scientific information that was previously available.
The bottom line is that sun protection makes our skin strong, healthy and attractive. I recommend vitamin D supplements as our reliable source of vitamin D.
For more information about sun protection that I use and recommend for my patients, click here.,
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