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The Good Things About Sunbathing

girl on beach

Swimsuit, $134, Calvin Klein Swimwear.

Photo Credit: Chloe Webber

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Q: I’ve heard that getting some sun is good for both your skin and mind, but how much is too much?

A: As far as skin goes, it’s a myth that you have to sunbathe to absorb vitamin D. Twenty to 30 minutes of incidental sun exposure during the day — walking to your car, grabbing your mail — is all you need. And even then, you should be wearing at least SPF 30. Yes, sunlight triggers the brain’s production of serotonin, a chemical that lifts your mood, but that doesn’t give you license to tan — indoors or out. It is, in fact, the visible light — not the UV light — from sun that produces the euphoric effect. This means that just looking at UV-filtered light boxes (which doctors commonly use to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder) or out the window on a bright day would do the trick.

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