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How much sun do we need?

There’s nothing like soaking up some warm sunshine after a cold and wet winter but how much sun is safe?
We know the sun is the best natural source of vitamin D but too much can lead to skin cancer. It can be a difficult balance to ensure your vitamin D levels are sufficient but not damage your skin.
We need to consider our skin type, where we live (latitude), the season of the year, the time of the day and how much skin you have exposed to the sun. During winter in Melbourne, people with fair to olive skin need 2 -3 hours of sun per week compared with our summer where the same people need just a few minutes. People with a darker skin type will require a longer exposure to UV light to manufacture vitamin D. Ideally, it’s best to expose your skin (even just your face and arms) either in the morning or later in the afternoon but not in the peak UV midday sun. Prolonged sun exposure will not increase your vitamin D levels but will increase your risk of skin cancer.
So a cup of tea or coffee outside in the mid morning or late afternoon sun is answer. Remember to apply your sunscreen if exposing your skin to the UV peak midday sun between 11am -3pm.
So if the sun is out, put the kettle on and enjoy a cuppa outside for a few minutes.
If you want to calculate how much vitamin D you require – try out the Vitamin D Tracker tool on the home page of our website: www.pscc.net.au

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