Sun Exposure and Vitamin D
While it is important for us to maintain healthy levels of serum vitamin D, too much sun exposure puts people at risk for skin cancer and aging. According to some experts, 15 minutes or so of sun exposure can help boost vitamin D production, but people living in northern climates may need to supplement anyway.
The Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency can influence the expression of many genes and affect the aging process. Studies have shown that inadequate vitamin D levels are related to infectious diseases, and many chronic conditions such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, and metabolic disorders. Rather than rely on a little sun, it's best to have your vitamin D levels monitored and by your physician.
The Science Behind Chemical Sunscreen
We turned to Harvard to answer some questions. Chemical sunscreens get a bad rep but there's isn't much evidence that they can harm you. Oxybenzone may disrupt hormone production, but it would be difficult to expose yourself to enough to cause harm. If you'd rather be safe than sorry, avoiding that one ingredient should be fine.
There are chemical sunscreens that absorb harmful rays, and then there are physical or mineral sunscreens like zinc and titanium dioxide. The physical ones are the only ones that don't do damage to our coral reefs. They can be thicker, or even appear white, but modern mineral sunscreens are able to use nanoparticles which absorb easier with no proven side effects.
Some dogs can benefit from sunscreen like people can because it is possible for them to get skin cancer. It is rare though due to protective fur. Hairless and light-coated breeds are the most at risk. Those breeds include Xoloitzcuintli, Chinese Crested, American Hairless Terrier, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and Whippets. Check out this review for more info on dog sunscreen options.