Sunscreen Photoprotection and Vitamin D Status

T. Passeron; R. Bouillon; V. Callender; T. Cestari; T.L. Diepgen; A.C. Green; J.C. van der Pols; B.A. Bernard; F. Ly; F. Bernerd; L. Marrot; M. Nielsen; M. Verschoore; N.G. Jablonski; A.R. Young


The British Journal of Dermatology. 2019;181(5):916-931. 

In This Article


Cutaneous vitamin D3 synthesis is initiated by terrestrial-range UVB and can be achieved with suberythemal exposures to a relatively small BSA. Daily sunscreen use, for nonintentional solar exposure, is mainly based on products with low SPF and high UVA-PF. This is unlikely to impact on vitamin D production. In fact, most studies published to date have shown no association between sunscreen use and vitamin D deficiency, even with regular use of SPF > 15. Some studies have even reported a positive association between sunscreen use and 25(OH)D3, suggesting that their use may have increased sun exposure. Indeed, time spent outdoors and BSA exposed to sun have been positively correlated with vitamin D status. Overall, other photoprotection behaviours (such as seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and long sleeves) may have more impact on vitamin D status than sunscreen use. The recommendations of the panel for daily and recreational photoprotection, as well as the need for vitamin D screening and supplementation, are summarized in Table 5.