Vitamin D — or, as it’s often referred to, the sunshine vitamin — is often dubbed as one of the must-haves for good health. From the nickname alone, we know that the sun plays a vital role in helping its production. See, when your skin is exposed to sunlight, the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) helps to make vitamin D from cholesterol in your skin.
So, you might think that it’s pretty easy to get your share of vitamin D, then — especially for those of you who live in a tropical country. But, here’s the thing: vitamin D deficiency is actually very common and most people don’t get enough of the vitamin.
How do you, then, the balance between getting sufficient vitamin D and still protecting yourself against excessive sun exposure?
What Happens if You Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D?
This vitamin has many roles in ensuring your body’s health and well-being. A lack of vitamin D could lead to serious health issues such as:
- Osteoporosis and bone deformities
- Muscle weakness
- Compromised immune system
Considering the importance of vitamin D, let’s now talk about the best ways to get sufficient vitamin D.
Getting Enough Vitamin D
Well, for starters, you should be aware that midday is the best time to get those rays. During this time, the sun is at its highest point with intense UVB rays. What this means for you is that you need less time to get your needed dose of vitamin D.
Besides that, you should also pay attention to the amount of skin exposed, of course. Naturally, if your clothing covers more of your skin, the less vitamin D your body will produce.
There’s also a need to bear in mind your skin color when you’re considering if you’re receiving enough vitamin D. People with darker skin have more melanin — a natural skin pigment — which reduces your body’s vitamin D production in response to sunlight exposure.
So, people with paler skin will produce vitamin D quicker than those with darker skin. The latter will require more sun exposure, essentially.
Protecting Yourself Against Excessive Sun Exposure
While it’s necessary to get your share of vitamin D, excessive sun exposure also brings with it plenty of issues. This includes skin cancer, eye damage, and skin damage such as sunburn, photoaging, and wrinkling.
So, be sure that you’re taking all the necessary steps to protect yourself. Limit your time in the sun when you’ve had enough vitamin D. Stay in the shade and cover yourself appropriately. Additionally, always lather on the sunscreen after meeting your daily intake of vitamin D.
As for combating the effects of sun exposure, you might want to incorporate essential oils into your beauty and wellness routine. For instance:
- Bergamot – great for sunspots as it promotes a balanced and even complexion.
- Cajeput, rose geranium, and cananga – fight free radicals to minimize the signs of photoaging.
- Turmeric – treats sunburn and reduces redness as well as pain.
Are you getting sufficient vitamin D?