How to find the perfect time to sunbathe for vitamin D and tan?
As summer approaches, we will inevitably spend more time in the sun. It is very important to get sunlight at the ideal time for the level of vitamin D our body needs. Research shows that sun exposure, especially around noon, can help you reach your recommended vitamin D levels in less time. However, we also know that excessive sun exposure has side effects. So what to do? How long should you stay in the sun?
The sun is the most efficient source of vitamin D.
Although vitamin D is very important for our health, most people do not get enough of this vitamin. Studies show that vitamin D deficiency is common even in countries with sunny days most of the year. Because while sun exposure is essential for vitamin D, it comes with many health risks. So why do we need the sun for this vitamin?
When our skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces vitamin D from cholesterol. The ultraviolet B (UVB) rays of the sun work on the cholesterol in the skin cells and provide the necessary energy for the synthesis of vitamin D. Vitamin D, as you have probably heard dozens of times, has many functions in our body and is extremely important for overall health. For example, commanding our gut cells to absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals needed for strong and healthy bones; just one of them… In addition, low vitamin D levels are also associated with serious health outcomes such as osteoporosis, cancer, depression, muscle weakness, and death.
While sun exposure is the most effective way to get vitamin D, it should be noted that a limited number of foods also contain significant amounts of vitamin D. Oily fish such as swordfish, salmon, canned tuna, beef liver, and egg yolk are the richest sources. vitamin D. However, in order to get the vitamin D you need from food, you need to consume these foods almost every day. This is also not a realistic scenario. That’s why experts recommend taking vitamin D supplements if you’re not getting enough sunlight.
The Most Beneficial Sundial for Vitamin D
Especially in summer, noon (between 10:00 and 16:00) is the best time to get sunlight. As you know, the sun is at its highest point at noon, so UVB rays hit the earth in their most intense form. This means you need less time in the sun to get the vitamin D you need. Many studies show that the body produces vitamin D most efficiently around noon (1, 2).
What’s more, taking vitamin D at noon is not only more effective; it may also be safer than sunbathing at the end of the day. A scientific study shows that afternoon sun exposure can increase the risk of dangerous skin cancer.
What should be the ideal duration of sunshine?
Our skin color is determined by the pigment melanin. Darker-skinned people generally have more melanin than fair-skinned people. In addition, melanin pigments are larger and darker. Melanin not only determines skin color, but also helps protect the skin from excessive sun damage. In other words, it acts as a natural sunscreen and absorbs the sun’s UV rays, protecting against sunburn and skin cancer.
While this information may seem like an advantage, it actually creates a dilemma: dark-skinned people need more time in the sun than fair-skinned people to get enough vitamin D. Scientific studies show that dark-skinned people may need 30-180 minutes longer to get enough vitamin D than fair-skinned people. This is because people with darker skin are more at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
How to find the perfect time for sunbathing?
Sunbathing helps meet your vitamin D needs. However, many people spend time in the sun to achieve a healthy glow and tan. Whatever your cause, too much sun can be harmful; Be aware that this may cause skin cancer or other skin problems.
The ideal duration of sunbathing is completely individual and depends on several factors, including skin type, sensitivity to sunlight and the strength of UV radiation. To make a general comment, it is best to start with an exposure of 10 minutes or less and gradually increase it as the body gets used to it. So, how long should you stay in the sun to tan?
To determine the ideal time to tan, use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or higher with every tanning session and repeat every 2 hours. Also, pay attention to environmental signals such as the outside temperature. If the weather is so hot that you might sweat, extra precautions may be needed, such as staying in the shade or wearing a hat and sunglasses. As soon as you notice that your skin is tanned, try not to overdo it with sunbathing. At this point, experts recommend staying in the sun for a maximum of 30 minutes.
As a result, whether you want to get enough vitamin D or sunbathe to tan; The ideal time for sunbathing depends on individual skin type. The most effective method of sunbathing safely is to start with short exposures at lower UV levels, gradually increasing in intensity and duration as the body adapts. To find out, you can check the regional weather forecast, which lists the UV index of the day you’ll be sunbathing. There are also online apps that calculate the perfect hours for you based on your location. For example, you can find one of them here.
Healthy Tanning Precautions
Keep in mind that even when you have reached your desired skin tan level, it is still necessary to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposed to the sun. Everyone should be aware of their limits when it comes to sun exposure. Only in this way you can enjoy the benefits of the sun without harming your health.
- In addition, taking the following precautions for healthy sunbathing can help prevent the potential risks of sun exposure:
- Don’t forget your hat and glasses.
- Use broad-spectrum sunscreen frequently.
- Choose well-fitting clothing that blocks UV radiation every day.
- Be aware of peak times when the strength of solar radiation increases.
Pay attention to how much time you are exposed to direct sunlight daily.
You may be interested in: What to look for when buying sunscreen
Sources: Healthline, beautymone
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