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Sunbathe Safely


You’re about to hear sunbathing advice that is contrary to everything you’ve been taught about sun exposure: Get outside, without sunscreen slathered on your skin, and get some sun on your skin. Yes, we said without sunscreen. Why?

The only way to activate the production of natural Vitamin D in your body is to be exposed to natural sunlight (a sun lamp just won’t cut it). Sunscreen blocks out the rays that need to reach skin cells that can produce Vitamin D. So, how do you sunbathe safely to produce Vitamin D?

  1. 75% of your skin needs to be exposed: arms, legs, face, shoulders
  2. The duration of exposure to natural sunlight varies from person to person (see below)
  3. Do not shower for 45 minutes after exposure
  4. When? Late March to the end of September between 11 AM – 3 PM (depending on geographic location, but that’s a good guideline)

How long do I need to sunbathe without sunscreen to produce Vitamin D?

This is a little tricky to answer because it will vary from person to person as skin tone has a lot to do with how long you can manage sun exposure without getting a burn. Other factors such as pollution, humidity, cloud cover, etc. influence what would be “ideal” conditions for sunbathing sans sunscreen.

A safe approach is to start with 5-15 minutes daily and increase the time by 5 minutes every few days (fair-skinned folks starting at the lower end). For most people, a safe upper limit for sunbathing without applying sunscreen is around 30 minutes just a few days per week. Make an appointment with your holistic health practitioner today to discuss how to get a “healthy tan” to produce natural Vitamin D.

With so much Love,

Dr. Purcell


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Dr. Andrea Purcell

A trusted and well-respected Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Purcell has been in private practice for over twenty years. Dr. Purcell is a published author and has a women’s specialty practice for hormone balancing, weight loss, mystery illness, and gastro-intestinal concerns. Dr. Purcell assists her patients by identifying the underlying cause of disease and removing obstacles that impede the body's natural ability to heal. Drugs and surgery are used as a last resort. She believes that increasing health on the inside shines through to the outside.

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