Does Sunscreen Block Vitamin D Absorption?

Does Sunscreen Block Vitamin D Absorption?

Sunscreen is crucial for maintaining your skin’s health and wellness by minimizing exposure to UV radiation from direct sunlight all year round. After all, even when the sun is blanketed by a thick layer of clouds, UVB and UVA rays still penetrate through, and can lead to a variety of different skin damage, from sun spots to skin cancer.

However, some people have concerns about sunscreen’s protective powers, causing many to wonder, does sunscreen block vitamin D absorption? 

Sunlight is one of the most well-known natural sources of vitamin D, as it stimulates the body’s production of it. So, on the surface, this seems like a reasonable concern.

Fortunately, it’s not one you have to worry about. There isn’t much evidence to show that vitamin D concentration is significantly reduced by sunscreen use in natural settings, despite the fact that sunscreen can and does block its production. On the whole, the benefits of sunscreen use for sun protection outweigh the potential risks associated with UV rays.



Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin classified as both a nutrient and a hormone, crucial for many aspects of our health as we grow and age.

Though it’s most well-known for its role in bone health and growth, sufficient vitamin D plays a part in many other aspects of the body, too:

  • Controlling infections
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Potentially reducing cancer cell growth
  • Potentially reducing the chance of having a heart attack
  • Potentially reducing the risk of dementia
  • Potentially reducing the risk of premature death

In fact, studies show that there are vitamin D receptors all over the body’s organs and tissues, implying that it has a much wider range of uses than just supporting bone health.



Vitamin D is obtained in two primary ways: through the consumption of food, or through sun exposure.

However, not many foods naturally contain vitamin D. In fact, it’s common for doctors to recommend vitamin D supplements because it’s hard to get as much as you need through diet alone. With supplements, you can get two types of vitamin D: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. 



Your body naturally produces vitamin D due to a chemical reaction that occurs when UVB rays hit your skin. However, the vitamin D level your body actually produces and absorbs varies.

Factors that may impact your body’s ability to produce vitamin D include:

  • Wearing clothing that covers the skin from direct sunlight
  • Spending limited amounts of time outdoors
  • Using sun protection like sunscreen

So, does sunscreen block vitamin D? Yes, to a degree. However, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should rush out to the nearest tanning bed just to up your vitamin D intake.



Vitamin D production and absorption differ dramatically from person to person. Some of the factors that may alter your ability to absorb vitamin D include:

  • Having a darker skin tone
  • Living in certain hemispheres that have weaker sunlight
  • Atmospheric conditions such as clouds or air pollution
  • Genetic factors that interfere with the process of storing and transporting vitamin D
  • Health issues that block the body’s ability to efficiently store or use vitamin D

Many of these factors are unavoidable, which is partly why obtaining vitamin D through supplements is so popular.



The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause a great deal of harm. In fact, both UVA and UVB rays can damage your body, with the major risks of exposure being:

  • Sunburns
  • An increased risk of skin cancer
  • Potential damage to the eyes
  • Other skin-related issues, like sunspots, wrinkles, and sagging



Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself from UV exposure without avoiding the sun altogether. When you want to enjoy soaking up those rays, just make sure you’re safe about it by:

  • Covering up as much as possible, like with a hat or sunglasses
  • Wearing sunscreen
  • Avoiding outdoor time when UV light is at its strongest (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)

Note that you should always be wary of the sun, even in situations where you don’t think about it. For example, you can get burned by weak sunlight in the snowy mountains, as the UV rays bounce from the snow’s reflective surface. UV rays can also penetrate water, meaning your submerged body isn’t immune when you’re hanging at the beach or the pool.



Vitamin D is important for your overall health, but it’s even more important to keep your UV rays exposure to a minimum.

Luckily, you can get the vitamin D your body needs through supplements, and if you do need to expose yourself to the sun, you can trust a protective sunscreen to keep your skin safe.

Seven:Thirty’s Daily Habit SPF 30 sunscreen is designed for daily wear for all skin types, including acne-prone, oily, and sensitive skin. Plus, it contains powerful antioxidants to further protect your skin from UV damage. With Seven:Thirty, you can enjoy your time in the sun and still maintain the health and wellness of your skin. 




National Library of Medicine. The effect of sunscreen on vitamin D: a review.


Harvard T.H. Chan. Vitamin D.

American Cancer Society. How Do I Protect Myself From Ultraviolet (UV) Rays?

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