Sunscreen is important for limiting our exposure to ultraviolet radiation that can harm the skin both in the short term (sunburn) and long term (skin aging, skin cancer). But sunscreens with significant sun protection factor (SPF) also greatly limit the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D. Boston University Medical Center researchers have developed a sunscreen that allows for both benefits.
The researchers removed certain ingredients from the new sunscreen—known as Solar D—and determined that it allowed for up to 50 percent more production of vitamin D while maintaining its sun protection. The product is available in Australia and is expected to be available in the US by the summer of 2016.
Sun exposure is the major source of vitamin D for most children and adults worldwide.