Lets talk about vitamin D deficiency. Firstly, sunscreen doesn't cause vitamin D deficiency. Spending your life indoors or hiding in the shade does. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include osteoporosis, osteopenia, and brittle bones, chronic pain, fatigue, increases in blood pressure, weak muscles, and decreased endurance. In Chinese medicine, we call this yang deficiency. If you're unfamiliar with what yang energy is, read this blog post before continuing on. Now that we're all on the same page, symptoms of yang deficiency include everything above in addition to cold limbs, loose stool, and spontaneous sweating. Yang deficiency in specific organs can lead to crashing periods in the day, heart palpitations, difficulty focusing, poor appetite, sexual dysfunction, and difficulty urinating. If it gets extreme, you can develop what we call yang collapse. This conditions exhibits symptoms similar to heat exhaustion: cold body, cold sweats and chills, low blood pressure, confusion, dizziness, and a very weak pulse. Heat exhaustion might sound like it would be an excess of yang energy but think of it like your computer overheating and shutting down- the overload ends up causing the collapse.
Finding the right balance of sun is going to be different for everyone. If you're sensitive, use an SPF of 50 and make sure you're taking breaks in the shade, especially between 10a-3p when the sun is at it's strongest. If you're not, a minimal SPF of 15 has been shown to decrease your chances of melanoma by 50%, and premature aging by over 20%. When picking the right sunblock for you, always make sure it's a broad spectrum and try to pick one made with mineral zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Popular ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate and methyl paraben are damaging to the coral reefs and therefore, the ocean ecosystems. You can read more about this topic and discover reef safe sunscreens here thanks to Badger Balm. Lastly, if you do burn, treat it with aloe! You don't need to get fancy bottles with extra ingredients. Just get yourself a plant, leave it on your windowsill, and break off leaves as you need. If you follow all the guidelines above, you shouldn't need much!