How much sun is enough?

Back to list 2019-06-17 14:28:51

How much sun is enough?

With summer around the corner, it is important to be prepared and to remember the risks of over-exposure to the sun but also the benefits of moderate exposure.




How much sun do I need?

According to researchers from the Solar Radiation Research Group at Polytechnic University of Valencia, during spring and summer time only 10 to 20 minutes under the sun exposure is needed to get the recommended doses of vitamin D. During the winter months, almost 2 hours is required, it is then for a lot of people, difficult to achieve their vitamin D’s needs.


Nevertheless, the time spent under the sun may widely vary depending on your skin color. There is a pigment, the melanin, which will determine the color of our skin. The darker your skin is, the more melanin you will have. The melanin works as a natural sunscreen and protects the skin from sunlight.




What are the risks?

The sun produces powerful rays of light that are good but can also be bad to us. These are known as ultraviolet rays (UV).


Actually, there are 3 different types of UV rays: UVA UVB and UVC.

UVA rays: the most common form of sun exposure.

UVB rays: make up less sun exposure but more intense.

UVC rays: the most dangerous - blocked by the earth’s ozone layer.




While UVA rays cause dark patches, wrinkles, loose skin and premature aging, UVB rays is the one responsible for sunburns and eye problems.

UVA and UVB rays both cause DNA damage, which greatly increases skin cancer risk.


RISKS

  • Dark patches
  • Wrinkles
  • Loose skin
  • Premature aging
  • Sunburns
  • Eye problems
  • Skin cancer


What about the benefits?

The sun is the most important source of vitamin D!

That’s why vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin”. Vitamin D is a hormone that regulate calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. This vitamin is vital for bones and muscles development. Moreover it can also prevent osteoporosis.


Another benefits is happening while our body is exposed to sunlight. Our brain releases a hormone: serotonin. This hormone is boosting mood, calming and reducing anxiety.

Vitamin D also helps to reduce depression. According to a study, people suffering from depression treated with a vitamin D supplements, shown an improvement in their symptoms.


Safety

It is possible to avoid the harmful effects of the sun exposure by following some guidelines. Please read the following advices from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):


- Know your body

- Use sunscreen: SPF15 minimum or greater are recommended.

- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and every 2 hours.
- Avoid direct sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Take a break: inside, in the shade...

- Wear clothes and hats, especially babies and kids.



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Sources

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170308083938.htm

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-from-sun#overview

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight



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