We Are Sunshine

Ditch Sunscreen in Winter: Report

Friday, May 18th, 2012

An Australian news report this week encouraged Australians to ease up on sunscreen usage as the down-under continent heads into its winter — yet another indication that the country that gave us “slip, slap and slop” has finally learned that its vitamin D levels are slipping.

“Our modern lifestyle has plunged us back into the dark ages — putting us at risk of vitamin D deficiency,” the Herald Sun reported. “One in three Victorians were in the dark about winter sun exposure, a Cancer Council survey has found. They falsely believe they needed the same amount of sun as in summer to get adequate vitamin D intake.”

The story quoted Australian Cancer Prevention Centre Director Craig Sinclair admitting that indoor lifestyles are leading to lower vitamin D levels. “More people are spending a lot more time indoors and it makes it difficult for them to get adequate vitamin D, particularly if they are working through lunch,” Sinclair said.

The article’s advice: Fair skinned people need up to three hours of sunshine spread over the week, equal to about 20-30 minutes a day. People with darker skin need 3-6 times more sun exposure.

“In Victoria from the beginning of May right through to the end of August, the vast majority of Victorians shouldn’t need to use sun protection unless they are working in high risk environments such as the alpine areas, because the UV levels are so low during the winter months,” Sinclair told The Herald Sun.

To read the story click here.