The Good Things About Sunbathing

Chloe Webber

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

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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