There’s a New Sunscreen That Boosts Vitamin D Production

Solar D helps the skin make more vitamin D without sacrificing sun protection.

Vitamin D is indisputably important. Deficiencies have been linked to everything from osteoarthritis to depression, and it can help keep the immune and cognitive systems running smoothly. The drawback, of course, is that the main source of vitamin D is the sun, and sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer.

Enter Solar D, a new sunscreen that helps skin create vitamin D while shielding it from harmful UV rays.

Typical sunscreens inhibit the skin from producing vitamin D as they protect it from sun exposure. Solar D, however, is formulated to keep its SPF rating, but boost cellular vitamin D production by as much as 50 percent over other products.

“Strict UV-protection promotes vitamin D deficiency, that is associated with an increased risk for and an unfavorable outcome of many diseases,” the researchers, including Boston University School of Medicine’s Michael Holick, wrote in a PLOS ONE paper. “As a result of this dilemma, there is at present an enormous need to develop optimized sunscreens that enable maximum cutaneous vitamin D formation.”

Solar D is already for sale in Australia, for a price comparable to traditional sunscreens, and will be available in the U.S. this summer.