With the Labor Day weekend around the corner and the official end of the summer season, most of us are preparing to say their goodbyes to the sun, and promise to see each other again next year in the spring. Good bye sun bathing, warmth, tan and healthy glow...!
Actually, the end of the summer season doesn't mean the end of the activity of sunlight, good or bad. Here's a few things you should keep in mind.
September-October are still good to create vitamin D
For us especially in the northern part of the US, there’s still 2 more months to benefit from the UVB rays and synthesize vitamin D naturally from sunlight. Yup. Two.More.Months. So go get out and enjoy the next few weeks of warm and mood elevating natural light (and if you want to know how long it should be, download our free app Sun Keeper!). Your body will thank you, because the vitamin D that you pile up on is certainly what will make you go through the winter strong and healthy.
UVB and UVA are not equally affecting us
UVB rays are not equally strong throughout the year, because they struggle going through the atmosphere (it’s a question of angle and of how deep the layer is). They don’t pass through clouds or glass either. So no UVB rays or way less in the winter time, and/or on cloudy days and definitely not if you’re indoors. But unlike UVB rays, UVA rays don’t have any problem with the atmosphere, clouds or glass. Meaning that all year round, wherever you live in the US, you get the same quantity and the same intensity of UVA hitting your skin. And once you know that UVA rays are the main cause of premature aging, you start putting things in perspective.
The demarcation line for UVB rays
Sunlight and more specifically UVB rays intensity all depends on where you live, and more specifically on your latitude (how far north or south you are from the equator, north in the case of us all in the US). This line is imaginary and stretches more or less from Santa Monica in California to Charlotte in North Carolina, going through Sante Fe, NM, Oklahoma City, OK, Little Rock, AR or Memphis TN.
If you live north of this line, there’s not much to do about UVB between November – February, and the next time you’ll have to worry about sun burns is March, when the "summer season" starts again (OK... March is not exactly summer in some parts of the US yet, but still...). However, if you live south of the imaginary line, well… UVB rays might be less intense but they are still here. Good news for your vitamin D, but be mindful of sun burns.
So even though summer is officially going to be over soon, don't give up on sun exposure and get out in the sun for another 6-8 weeks to make sure your vitamin D levels are at their maximum. That cup of coffee with your friend or the back-to-school discussion with your boss? Have it outside! Remember to embrace the full spectrum of sunlight, and to always be mindful. Our free Sun Keeper app is here for you if you don't know how long is enough. We want you well, healthy and happy, and we always have your back when it comes to how sunlight can help 😉😉