Vitamin D and sun, too much or too little?

Vitamin D and sun, too much or too little?

I've read lots of research recently on how our modern fear of skin cancer is causing widespread vitamin D deficiency (and suffered from this personally) because we slather ourselves in SPF whenever we go outside which stops the sunlight stimulating the skin to make Vitamin D. Apparently although this decreases cases of skin cancer, it lowers the body's immunity and this can actually increase cases of other types of cancer.

I have just come back from my summer holiday where I could feel my body literally drinking in sunlight and making Vitamin D after being covered up all winter. But now I am back, I can see that my hyperpigmentation is worse than before. So I've set out to find out: how much sun do we really need to make vitamin D? And are there best practises to reduce the risk of sunlight exposure?

I downloaded a clever little app for my iphone called d-minder which tracks vitamin D exposure. It knows your location so it can figure out approximate UV values and you tell it how much bare skin is exposed. It then times your sun exposure and calculates how much vitamin D you are making which is really useful! Particularly in the late Spring or early Autumn in the UK when you want to ensure your Vitamin levels stay high (between October and March you can't make Vitamin D in the UK as the sun is too low so supplements are the way forward).

It seems to be safest to get exposure in the morning or late afternoon when the sun isn't as strong. And as we get older we need more and more sun exposure because our conversion rates slow. So a 20 year old might only need 10 minutes a day but a 60-80 year old might need up to an hour.

If there are particular areas of your body (such as your face) that you don't want to expose, by all means use an SPF if you are getting adequate safe sun exposure on the rest of your body. This could be a mineral based powder or a clear mineral based cream. (We are working on an SPF which is truly fabulous! Hopefully it will be available by next summer).

And if you have managed to overdo it like I did, you could consider using our Illuminate serum and Vitality Mask to limit the damage to the skin and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. But it is better not to overdo it at all if you can avoid it, since some damage is unavoidable.

Natural treatments for hyperpigmentation in the S5 range

Illuminate Serum £44


Targeted lightening treatment for hyperpigmentation with alpine bioactives to boost luminosity, lighten the appearance of age spots and even out skin tone.

Key Ingredients

Alpine Bioactives  - a blend of 7 alpine plants proven to reduce the colour intensity of age spots and evens skin tone. In clinical trials it is proven to increase skin lighteness by 15% and reduce skin colour by 30%.

Biospecific exfoliator - this unique enzyme based active is sustainbly derived from salmon caviar hatching water. It removes dead skin cells whilst leaving living cells intact. Clinically proven to enhance smoothness, reduce hyperpigmentation, decrease dullness and roughness.

Tibetan Kombuchka - known as the "long life mushroom ». it enhances the appearance of radiance by 15%, clarity by 11% and decreases olive skin tones by 23% and increases healthy pink tones by 20%. Plumps and smoothes the skin.

Marine Laminaria - protects against sun damage and electromagnetic radiation, reinforces the lipid barrier, neutralises uv stress, protects langerhans cells, stops the cycle of inflammation leading to ageing, reduces cellular uv damage. In clinical trials, significantly reduces the appearance of wrinkles and improves skin firmness.

Vitality Mask £36

The ultimate skin perfecting mask to enhance cellular longevity & vitality, refining, firming & illuminating the skin.

Key Ingredients

Marine Enzymes exfoliate without irritation to reveal brighter, clearer looking skin, reducing the appearance of skin imperfections by up to 61% and pore size.
Rainforest Bidens Pilosa improves skin radiance & texture. Its unique retinol-like cellular renewal properties reduces the appearance of wrinkles by 35% and UV spots by 36%.
Marine Alaskan Wakame increases cellular energy by 25% & supports cellular communication whilst boosting collagen by 28% for a firmer smoother skin.