By now, most of us know that Vitamin D is a healthy byproduct of time in the sun, but what exactly is it? And do you have enough?
Vitamin D is a hormone, and it’s the byproduct of a reaction that occurs when UV light strikes the skin. It’s responsible for helping regulate hundreds of other genes in the body, including those that balance mood, prevent heart disease, and absorb key nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. The medical community recommends 600 IU (international units) of Vitamin D3 a day, which comes from around 10-15 minutes of sun exposure to bare skin, sans sunscreen.
Nearly 50 percent of people have insufficient levels of Vitamin D, and an estimated 1 billion worldwide are Vitamin D deficient. Though 30 percent of those who have Vitamin D deficiency don’t exhibit any symptoms, it can lead to a slew of health issues like cardiovascular disease, depression, and dementia. Common early symptoms include muscle weakness and fatigue. (If you think you’re at risk, a simple screening will tell you.)
Researchers blame this ever-present Vitamin D deficiency on reduced outdoor activity and increased use of high-SPF sunscreen. And yet, physicians and scientists agree that we should continue to use sun protection, especially those that harness fresh ingredients like COOLA’s farm-to-face formulas.
So what’s a health-conscious sun-lover to do? Fear not: prevailing studies show that it is possible for people who use sunscreen daily to maintain their Vitamin D levels. You just have to use it effectively. Here are a few top tips on how to get more than enough Vitamin D while staying safe in the sun.