Monday, December 3, 2012

Sunscreen in Winter

Lately I have been seeing several articles suggesting that we all wear as much sunscreen in the winter as we do in the summer. The last report I read says a shot glass full of sunscreen on our bodies every day. 

We are currently in Vitamin D winter here in the U.S. Because of the position of the earth during these months we can’t really get UV exposure enough for the body to produce an adequate amount of Vitamin D. If your skin isn't getting enough sunlight to produce Vitamin D, it isn't getting enough to burn easily. So why are these reports saying sunscreen is still so important?  I posted this info in my earlier blog post about Vitamin D Day, but it is still relevant so here it is again. notice the statistic stating that the average American has a level of 22ng/ml and that number dips lower in the winter months. 

It is this kind of thinking that made me Vitamin D deficient for so many years, and for no benefit at all. I see it and hear it all the time. TV commercials tell us to use sunscreen, open a magazine and look at all the ads for products touting their SPF level and they are all pushing the high SPF numbers. (Which are totally unnecessary by the way, anything over a 20 or 25 SPF is just another marketing ploy.) Sunscreen is only to be used to prevent sunburn. These companies can’t legally sell their product for any other reason. But they make billions telling us to over-use it. Until recently, I bought into it, I over-used it, and I’m not going back to a life hiding from the sun. Take a look at my earlier blog posts and you will see what that did for me.  There is an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency perpetuated by Dermatology and these companies saying that we should block the sun at all times. The message needs to change to a more responsible one, but that won’t happen considering the amount of money to be made if everyone continues to slather on chemical sunscreen every day. So they will continue to try to scare us about the dangers of the sun with their inaccurate statistics and misleading information.

Let’s put down that sunscreen and live life without fear.  Use it when you need it, but realize you don’t need it as much as they say.

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