Smiling woman covering her face from the sun with her hand.

As far as skincare trends go, sunscreen products are the holiest of holy grails. Dermatologists sing their praises, mothers preach their importance, and even the eternally youthful Paul Rudd credits them for his age-defying looks. So imagine the shock when a clinical review published in claims sun protection cream is to blame for vitamin D deficiency.

Does this mean you must choose between and maintaining your health? Not quite. Below, we uncover whether sunscreen can deplete your body of vitamin D and explore how to safeguard your skin from harmful UV rays.

Why Vitamin D is a Big Deal

Vitamin D isn’t just famous for its crucial role in boosting immune function. Its function goes beyond that.

Your body relies on vitamin D to utilize calcium properly, which serves as the building block for growing strong bones and teeth. Research also underscores its significance in mood regulation, particularly for people and anxiety. On top of these benefits, vitamin D helps regulate skin cell turnover and promote healthy .

Suffice it to say that a vitamin D deficiency is a real threat. In fact, it affects more than half of Filipinos. One common symptom is fatigue, often followed by muscle pain that can make routine tasks challenging. Additionally, low vitamin D levels have been linked to an elevated risk of respiratory infections like the flu and common cold due to a weakened immune system.

You Can Still Get Vitamin D While Using Sunscreen Products

Your skin indeed needs sunlight to produce vitamin D. However, does not hinder this process – a fact supported by multiple studies.

Sunscreen products typically allow a portion of to pass through. To put it in perspective, SPF 30 blocks almost 97% of radiation, while SPF 100 blocks roughly 99%. Therefore, even if you put on the highest SPF sunscreen, your body can still receive enough sun exposure necessary for vitamin D synthesis by spending a few minutes outdoors daily.

Of course, there are alternative routes to get your vitamin D fix. Doctors can prescribe supplements for your needs if you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency. Plus, you can increase your vitamin D levels by consuming various foods, including fatty fish like salmon and fortified dairy products.

Yes, You Should Always Wear Sunscreen

The benefits of sunscreen outshine its possible drawbacks. It’s your frontline defense against UV radiation, which can lead to sunburn, , and skin cancer. And since the climate is getting warmer each year, the need for sun protection has never been greater.

Follow these tips to protect your skin without jeopardizing your “sunshine vitamin” consumption.

Apply a generous amount of sunscreen.

Experts say that most people of the recommended amount of sunscreen, leaving their skin vulnerable to sun damage. For optimal protection, you should use approximately one ounce or about two fingers’ worth of lotion to cover your whole face and neck. Don’t forget to pay extra attention to neglected areas like your ears and eyelids.

Your choice of sunscreen matters, too. Opt for broad-spectrum sunscreen products like POND'S UV Bright Sunscreen with SPF 50 PA++++. It contains glutathione and , two skincare powerhouses that help fade dark spots within three days. If you have , try POND'S UV Hydrate Sunscreen with SPF 50 PA++++. Its lightweight formula is infused with hydrating hyaluronic acid. Bonus: these two sunscreens are white cast-free!

Know when to reapply sunscreen.

Sweat can wipe away all the sunscreen you’ve applied to your skin. Besides, the effectiveness of sun protection lotion diminishes over time. Remember to every two hours. If you’re swimming or sweating profusely, do it every 40 to 80 minutes instead.

Wear sun-protective gear.

Heading to the beach or a summer festival? Pack the essentials like a hat, a pair of sunglasses, an umbrella, or a UPF outer to keep you cool. They provide added protection so you can enjoy your outdoor activities to the fullest.

Step into the sunshine.

Whether you apply sunscreen or not, you won’t get enough vitamin D by staying indoors for most of the day. Take a 10- to 15-minute to go outside and bask in the sun. You can also take your pet for a walk, go run some errands, or sit outside drinking tea. Just remember to wear your sunscreen before heading out.

Don’t throw away your sunscreen products. Thanks to them, you can soak as much vitamin D as you want without worries of skin cancer. So heed your mom’s advice and continue applying sunscreen diligently.