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Boots UK leads the way in sun health research

20 May 2013
Feature Healthcare

Boots UK knows that getting out there this summer is good for us, but also understands the importance of staying safe in the sun. As experts in suncare with our unique Soltan 5* UVA protection Boots UK has now invested in new research to show sunscreen application does not compromise healthy vitamin D production.
The landmark study, ‘Sun, Sunscreens and Vitamin D’ study, conducted by Antony Young, Professor of Experimental Photobiology at St John’s  institute of dermatology, Kings College London, and part funded by Boots UK, reveals when SPF 15 sunscreen was applied appropriately and correctly, participants’ bodies were able to produce adequate levels of vitamin D, without experiencing burning.  The findings provide new evidence to the debate surrounding sunscreen use and vitamin D production from sunlight exposure.
In the study, conducted on a beach resort in Tenerife to replicate a real-life holiday experience, all participants had baseline vitamin D blood serum levels of approximately 50 nmol/l, which is widely accepted by experts to be adequate. Despite the use of sunscreen, participants experienced an average increase to their baseline vitamin D levels of an additional 16 nmol/l, indicating that the use of sunscreen still allows the body to produce significant amounts of vitamin D from sunlight exposure.
Clare O’Connor, Boots Suncare expert comments: “At Boots UK we know that getting out there is good for us, however vitamin D deficiency is currently a health concern within the UK and there is much debate on the impact sunscreen has on vitamin D production. The findings of our study highlight that the use of sunscreen at the recommended usage level and frequency still allows for the production of significant levels of vitamin D, while ensuring adequate protection from sun burn and the associated visible skin damage. The study provides reassurance to people who want to make the most of the great outdoors this summer that their sunscreen is helping to protect their skin without compromising healthy vitamin D production.”
The research was recently presented at the prestigious International Investigative Dermatology conference in Edinburgh and is due to be published later in the year. Commenting on the findings, Professor Antony Young says:  “This study shows that using sunscreens in an intense UV environment still allows for significant vitamin D production without any burning of the skin.  It the first time that such a comprehensive study has been undertaken and it provides new clinical evidence on the impact sunscreen has on vitamin D synthesis.”


Notes to editors
 The clinical study was conducted in Tenerife at a beach resort over the period of one week. The UV index was 8 which is the highest level ever experienced in the UK, sunscreen was applied liberally three times a day. A total of 79 fair skinned volunteers took part in the study and all were tested beforehand to ensure they were not vitamin D deficient.
For more information
Please contact the Boots UK Press Office on 020 7025 6657 or email


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

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