Updated: Dec 21, 2020
The need for sunscreen is undisputed. Adequate SPF minimises the skin's exposure to cancer and wrinkle causing UV radiation. Also important is the body's requirement for vitamin D, as it contributes to healthier teeth and bones, reduced inflammation and improved immune function in the skin.
As medical options for testing levels of vitamin D have become more advanced and accessible, doctors are better able to determine a patient's vitamin D level, and frequent lower-than-average test results have put a public spotlight on vitamin D deficiency.
While the jury is out on exactly all the reasons vitamin D levels may be below normal, we do know that sunscreen is imperative for reduction in skin cancer and sun damage. Minimal exposure to UV radiation is necessary to prevent skin cancer, wrinkles and other visible signs of sun damage that occur over time, such as volume loss, sagging and hyperpigmentation.
The best sources of vitamin D can be found in the diet; fatty fish such as salmon, eggs, fortified milk and cereals. Unprotected UV exposure is not a safe method by which to obtain vitamin D.
So does sunscreen block vitamin D production? Yes, but not enough to significantly impact vitamin D levels and the benefits of wearing sunscreen far outweighs any perceived risk of inadequate vitamin D.
'Wearing your sunscreen every day is the best gift you could give yourself'