Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in a person’s body – minerals which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. The vitamin is created by the body from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, which is why during the winter months, certain people can be at risk of a vitamin D deficiency and decide to take vitamin D supplements. A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children and bone pain caused by osteomalacia in adults.

In the summer months, can sun cream stop vitamin D absorption? Do you need to wear sun cream in the UK?

According to LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist Pareena Patel, you shouldn’t just be thinking about SPF protection when on holiday.

She said: “It is recommended that you apply SPF every day, both in the UK and abroad.

“Around 80 per cent of UV rays are able to penetrate cloud cover, meaning they can damage the skin even on overcast days.

“If you are spending short periods of time in the sun you should still be wearing sun cream to protect exposed areas of skin, such as your arms and face.

“This will help protect the skin against cumulative sun damage.”

So does sun cream block vitamin D?

Exposing the skin to UVB rays can help support the body to naturally produce vitamin D, however your body needs very little exposure to reap the benefits, said Pareena.

She explained: “You may only need 15 minutes of exposure to the sun before your body makes enough vitamin D it needs for the day.

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“However if you are out in the sun for longer periods of time, you should be wearing sun protection containing SPF 15 or more.

“It’s important to remember that you should not compromise your sun safety to obtain vitamin D.”

Those who are worried about being at risk of vitamin D deficiency should consult their GP, who may recommend taking supplements.

When it comes to what sun cream to choose, alongside SPF, you should check if the cream or lotion provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Pareena said: “UVB radiation is thought to be the cause of sunburn and has links to some types of skin cancer.

“On the other hand, UVA rays may induce premature ageing and UVA damage can contribute to the development of skin cancer too.

“Besides UVA and UVB rays, infrared-A radiation within the sun’s rays can also cause damage to the skin in a similar way to that of UV radiation.

“There are sun creams available that provide protection against UVA, UVB and Infrared-A radiation, including LloydsPharmacy’s Solero Triple Defence Protection range which is available in SPF 15, 30 and 50.”



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