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Leading skin care school, Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics, weighs new and sometimes conflicting information about the possible side effects of using sunscreens as well as issues involving lack of sunshine.

ATLANTA (April 22, 2007) Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics (atlantainstituteofaesthetics.com), Atlanta’s top skin care school recommends doing research to help make an informed decision about how best to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays without risking adverse side effects. New information can be found online which not only addresses the importance of protecting skin from the sun but also warns of the various risks and side effects associated with avoiding the sun and using sunscreens.

The popular website mercola.com suggests that sun exposure, in limited amounts, is a vital part of staying healthy because it is the body’s best source of vitamin D. Studies have shown that vitamin D plays an important role in bone health, muscle health, mental health and is even important in protecting against several forms of cancer. The site also raises concerns about the chemicals used in most sunscreens, suggesting that they may be more harmful than the sun exposure itself. They recommend alternative sunscreens that contain natural ingredients such as green tea and offer a sun protection factor (SPF) of 25.

Vitamin D deficiency is a very real concern, as it is now estimated by some sources that 80 to 90 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Research also suggests that nearly all Americans are vitamin D deficient in winter/spring when there is not enough UVB reaching the surface of the earth. The list of diseases related to vitamin D deficiency includes osteoporosis, rickets, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is important to note that too much vitamin D can be toxic, therefore many of the online sources suggest having tests to determine vitamin D levels.

While a limited amount of time in the sun can provide health benefits, prolonged exposure can lead to skin damage. Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics instructors, who are some of the top authorities on skin care, promote the use of mineral makeup, such as jane iredale mineral makeup, which has naturally occurring broad-spectrum UVB and UVA protection of up to SPF 20. Self-tanners can also be used to give you a sun tanned look without exposure to the sun. Exfoliating prior to using self-tanning products will help ensure even and long lasting coverage.

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