We all need the Sunshine Vitamin (Vitamin D)… but we all definitely know by now that being out in the sun for hours is a huge NO.

Let’s understand this very important fact: even darker skin needs sun protection. Darker skin has more melanin than paler skin and this does offer a certain amount of sun protection, but you’re still at some risk of skin cancer.

And with South Africa being a typically sunny country, we’re all better off always wearing sunblock.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect your skin’s appearance and health at any age. Used regularly, sunscreen helps prevent sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging.”

Getting out into the sun is necessary for overall wellbeing, helping to regulate sleep cycles and stimulating your body’s production of Vitamin D. But the longer you expose your skin to sunlight (especially without sunblock), the more prone you are to age spots, skin cancer and wrinkling.

And visible signs of ageing can start from as early as your 20s, so start protecting your skin now.

Sunning safely

Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock! Make this a non-negotiable every time you leave the house, even when it’s cloudy outdoors. Remember, the sun’s rays can still penetrate through heavy clouds. Get an SPF of at least 20, if not higher, especially if you’re outdoors a lot.

Now you may be wondering, where does your make-up go – before or after sunblock? There’s mixed feelings around this. Some experts advise sunscreen first so it sits on your skin and can do its immediate job. Others advocate for sunblock after. Depending on your make-up, try moisturising first, then sunblock, and finally your make-up. You may need to find a solution that works for you.

As much as possible, stay out of the sun from 10am to 4pm. This is usually when the sun’s rays are at its most intense.

Don’t forget that you need to hydrate from within. Drinking plenty of water can go a long way in preventing dry and wrinkly skin.

While you’re staying sun-safe, up your fruit and vegetable intake. Fruits and veggies contain antioxidant compounds, which are good for reducing the damaging effects of sunshine.

There are lots of products that promise radiant, healthy skin. If you are shopping around, try to choose facial products that include Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevents further damage from UVA and UVB rays and helps promote collagen production. Vitamin C face masks are a great place to start, especially after a day in the sun!

As we’re all constantly washing our hands and face these days (thanks COVID!), your skin can dry out faster than usual. Always moisturise afterward with a nourishing cream.

Your lips are also at risk for sun damage. Keep them soft, moisturised and protected with a soothing SPF lip balm.



This article is for informational purposes only. Always check with your doctor or medical practitioner about any health concerns, before embarking on any fitness or nutrition programme, and usage of any medication.