“If you protect the skin from the sun using SPF, are you causing a larger health issue?” asks San-Mar Laboratories’ Frank Penna. “What of the controversy of vitamin D deficiency in one of three women—in part because SPF prohibits the body’s production of vitamin D.”
Penna and company believe the future in sun care lies in “intelligent sun exposure,” and San-Mar is completing work on an SPF product that will allow the body to produce vitamin D while protecting from UVA and UVB overexposure.
“Nature provided our bodies with melanin, the best protection from sun damage,” says Penna. “The key is short exposure to the sun (10 to 15 minutes a day), allowing the melanin in the body to bloom and providing a ‘healthy tan’ to simultaneously stimulate vitamin D production. SPF 15 (UVA and UVB) should be applied after the initial 10- to 15-minute exposure to the sun for long-term protection.”