Vitamin D from Sunlight
How can I get vitamin D from sunlight without increasing my risk of skin cancer?
Get outside between late March and September, which is when the sun’s rays produce vitamin D in your skin.
Get sunlight on your face and arms for short periods (about 10 minutes) once or twice a day without sun cream but taking care not to burn.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun produce vitamin D on cloudy days but it can take longer.
Babies and children have very sensitive skin and need careful protection.
Make sure you are outdoors – glass will block the sun’s rays.
People with dark skin, such as those of African, African-Caribbean or south Asian origin, will need to spend longer in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D as someone with lighter skin
Will my skin make vitamin D if I use sun block?
Using sun blocks or high-factor sunscreens will reduce how much vitamin D your skin makes. Most people use sun blocks or sunscreens if they know they will be in strong sunshine for some time (e.g. on the beach, gardening or for outdoor sports) and not when they are going outside for short periods (e.g. hanging out washing, shopping or school playtimes).
These short periods of time in the sunlight, without sun block or sunscreen, should allow your skin to produce some vitamin D. Children and those at risk of skin cancer will need to cover up when the sun is strong. If you use sun block for medical reasons at all times, you will need to take vitamin D supplements.