Does Sunscreen Really Block Your Vitamin D? | Sundae School - Sundae Body

Unveiling the Sunshine Secret: Does Sunscreen Really Block Your Vitamin D?

Does Sunscreen Really Block Your Vitamin D?

Is chugging milk a core part of your childhood? Or, ever had a family Dr eager to test your vitamin D levels or prescribe supplements? It’s all because we need vitamin D to keep our bones healthy and strong.

What is vitamin D and why is it good for us?

The trusty vitamin is also known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’ because our bodies can produce it when the skin is exposed to the sun. It allows for bone growth, holds the fort that is our immune system and may even play a role in depression. (Researchers have noted that many people living with depression have low vitamin D levels in this clever study. Although, more research is needed in this space.)

Aside from the gorgeous sun, there are plenty of natural sources of vitamin D, such as:

  • Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines
  • Egg yolks
  • Red meat.

Did you know? 
Vitamin D is often added to foods like breakfast cereals, processed dairy milk and plant milks (like rice milk).

How sunlight helps vitamin D synthesis in the body

The main source of the body’s vitamin D comes from our production in the skin. This process relies on exposure to sunlight, particularly ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. When sunlight touches your skin, a type of ray called UVB reacts with cholesterol in your skin cells. This reaction helps your body make vitamin D3. After that, your liver and kidneys help turn vitamin D3 into its active form, which your body can use for different things.

Psst: Get ready for some myth-busting! We’re here to debunk a common misconception in Vitamin D Land.

Well, you’re likely thinking:

Does sunscreen block vitamin D?

Nope! Many think sunscreen blocks vitamin D absorption, but studies show it doesn’t actually have a big effect. Sunscreen shields you from sunburn by blocking UVB light, which your body needs to make vitamin D. However, most people don’t use enough sunscreen to block all UVB rays. So, using sunscreen daily likely won't make you vitamin D-deficient, don’t you worry. That’s good news for us sunscreen fans! (Go us!)

Tips for optimizing vitamin D levels

If your vitamin D levels are dwindling, you can:

  • Eat more fatty fish
  • Take vitamin C supplements
  • Consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
  • Get some sun! (Just make sure you get out when the UV level is low, always wear sunscreen and protect your skin with hats, sunglasses, and clothes that block the sun.)

Let’s celebrate the sunshine and take care of our skin by prioritizing sun protection, every day – even in winter! Remember, our bodies can store vitamin D for months, so occasional days of limited sun exposure are no biggie (although, it’s a good idea to get out and about for a quick walk in the sun when you can – for your bone, physical and mental health. 

While you can enjoy the great outdoors, you can also soak up some vitamin D from natural sources like fish or meats. It’s all about finding that perfect balance for glowing skin and a healthy dose of sunshine.

Happy Sundae x


Written By: Lizzie Waley (Sundae Co-Founder & Body Care Enthusiast) | LinkedIn

Fact Checked: Charnnie Frimpong (Sundae Content Marketing Manager) | Linkedin