You’re about to hear sunbathing advice that is contrary to everything you’ve been taught about sun exposure:
Get outside, without sunscreen slathered on your skin, and get some sun on your skin. Yes, we said WITHOUT sunscreen. Why?
The only way to activate the production of natural Vitamin D in your body is to be exposed to natural sunlight (a sun lamp just won’t cut it). Sunscreen blocks out the rays that need to reach skin cells that can produce Vitamin D. So, how do you sunbathe safely to produce Vitamin D?
75% of your skin needs to be exposed: arms, legs, face, shoulders
The duration of exposure to natural sunlight varies from person to person (see below)
Do not shower for 45 minutes after exposure
When? Late March to the end of September between 11 AM – 3 PM (depending on geographic location, but that’s a good guideline)
How long do I need to sunbathe without sunscreen to produce Vitamin D?
This is a little tricky to answer in one sentence because it will vary from person to person as skin tone has a lot to do with how long you can manage sun exposure without getting a burn. (A good rule of thumb is that people with darker complexions need more sun than people with lighter complexions. But everyone needs sun.) Other factors such as pollution, humidity, cloud cover, etc. influence what would be “ideal” conditions for sunbathing sans sunscreen. Once you have met your daily dose of sun, use only mineral-based sunblocks. Check out The Environmental Wellness Group to find out which are the best clean brands out there.
A safe approach is to start with 5-15 minutes daily and increase the time by 5 minutes every few days (fair-skinned folks starting at the lower end). For most people, a safe upper limit for sunbathing without applying sunscreen is around 30 minutes just a few days per week.
Make an appointment with our doctors today to discuss how to get a “healthy tan” to produce natural Vitamin D.
Since 2002, we have been treating patients for a number of ailments. We have seen great improvements in our patients and would love to help you with what you’re dealing with as well. Our office is located in South Central Austin, Texas, and you don’t need to live here for us to treat you! We offer telemedicine and currently treat patients all over the world. Give us a call, we’d love to see you and get to the source of what you’re dealing with.
Douglas and Vanessa Rutkowski, LAc, Dipl OM, MSOM, ACN, ART Practitioners
Tigerlily Wellness & Acupuncture | 2111 Dickson Drive, Ste. 26 | Austin, TX 78704 | 512-899-8996
ADA Editorial: Sunbathing and Vitamin D. https://ada.com/editorial/sunbathing-and-vitamin-d/
Harvard Health Newsletter: “Time for More Vitamin D.” (2008) Retrieved 15 May 2021: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/time-for-more-vitamin-d
Healthline.com “How to Safely get More Vitamin D from Sunlight.” Retrieved 17 May 2021: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-from-sun#amount-of-skin
Harvard Health Newsletter: “Vitamin D and Your Health: Breaking old rules, raising new hopes.” (2019) Retrieved 17 May 2021: Rhttps://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/vitamin-d-and-your-health-breaking-old-rules-raising-new-hopes