We all need vitamin D, no doubt about it. It spurs bone growth, and without it we’d be at high risk of conditions such as osteoporosis, and weakened immune systems. Yet spending too much time in harsh NZ sun trying to ‘top up’ your Vitamin D levels may in fact be the cause of other types of damage, in particular to your skin.
Age skin cells and can damage their DNA. These rays are linked to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, but they are also thought to play a role in some skin cancers. Most tanning beds give off large amounts of UVA, which has been found to increase skin cancer risk.
Have slightly more energy than UVA rays. They can damage skin cells’ DNA directly, and are the main rays that cause sunburns. They are also thought to cause most skin cancers.
Have more energy than the other types of UV rays, but they don’t get through our atmosphere and are not in sunlight. They are not normally a cause of skin cancer.
In short, it pays to keep using sunscreen and being sun smart this season, and finding a balance between time outdoors soaking up summer and letting your skin have some solace in the shade.