THE VITAMIN D DILEMMA
While vitamin D deficiency is a growing health concern within the Western world, cosmetic chemist Ray Townsend, one of the brains behind Joyce Blok formulations, says you donât needÂ a lot of sun exposure on a daily basis to get enough vitamin D. âI donât think sunscreen is our problem; it has to do with our lifestyle. Itâs exacerbated byÂ us spending moreÂ time indoors,â Townsend says. The issue surrounding the impact sunscreen has on the bodyâs ability to produce vitaminÂ D is a contentious one, however the World Health Organization agrees with Townsendâs recommendation of five to 15 minutes of casual sun exposure to hands, face and arms two to three times a week. In countries where UV levels are higher, suchÂ as New Zealand and Australia, shorter periods of exposure are sufficient. The Cancer Society of New Zealand makes similar recommendations but suggests sun exposure in summer on either side of the UV peak time (before 10am and after 4pm).
KNOW YOUR LIMIT
Sunscreen doesnât block all UV rays, which is why applying sunscreen correctly is crucialÂ to staying safe in the sun. Experts believe most ofÂ us donât apply enough sunscreen, resulting in only 50 to 80 per cent of the protection statedÂ on the product. To protect your skin you need to be liberal with the amountÂ of sunscreen youâre using; apply a teaspoon of sunscreen per limb â the equivalent of seven teaspoons for an average-sizedÂ adult.
GET REAPPLICATION WISE
Townsend says one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding sunscreen is howÂ we think about reapplication. âReapplying every two hours doesnât mean you can stay in the sun all day,â he says. Townsend goes on to explain that reapplying sunscreen only replaces product thatâs lost through perspiring or contact with water. âItâs really important to not think of reapplication as giving you more time in the sun,âÂ he says.
Townsend simplifies the way we should think about reapplying sunscreen by comparing it to using an oven to cook a roast dinner. âIf youâre cookingÂ a roast dinner andÂ it says leave in for three hours, if you take it out after 1.5 hours do you then put it back in for 1.5 hours or another three hours?â he asks. âIf you have sunscreen on and 300 minutes is your limit before you get burnt, reapplying your sunscreen isnât going to extend your burn time.â