How Does Vitamin D Affect Skin?

How Does Vitamin D Affect Skin?

Vitamin D, the happy sunshine vitamin! I’m fascinated by it and its effects on the skin. In my Googling it seems as though dermatologists don’t usually point to Vitamin D deficiency as being the culprit to various skin mishaps due to there not being enough research.  I’ve done some digging and researching after personally finding relief in my hormonal acne after increasing my supplement intake.


The first thing you need to know, there are 2 types of Vitamin D: D2 and D3.



Vitamin D2 [ergocalciferol] is found in food sources such as fortified milk, herring, mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines, eggs, fortified cereals and baked goods.

Vitamin D3 [cholecalciferol] is a prohormone produced in the skin with exposure to UV rays, animal products, and fortified foods. D3 can be produced photochemically from sun exposure and can be consumed in the form of fish oil, or eaten in foods such as eggs or fish, but you’re likely not consuming enough through diet alone.


What your skin does….


Skin is your largest organ, creating and regulating D3 when absorbing enough UV-B rays. Your skin converts D3 into a hormone and as we age our skin’s ability to produce D3 declines. So, if you have hormonal imbalances showing on your skin you can see how a lack of D3 could play a part in the havoc.

Vitamin D3 has been found to aid in the treatment of psoriasis and prevention/treatment of other inflammatory skin diseases like acne, dermatitis/eczema, and sebaceous cysts. Other potential benefits include wound healing [like acne scarring] and restoring the epidermal barrier [your skin’s ability to keep water and block irritants].

If you want to experiment with a topical treatment Skin Authority’s VitaD is quite effective, I saw great results on my own skin.



So, are you potentially deficient?


  • If you wear SPF, your skin can’t produce enough D3.
  • If you’re of a darker complexion your skin won’t create D3 as quickly as fair skin.
  • The more skin you expose the more Vitamin D your skin produces.


Specific recommendations on how much time to spend outside isn’t easy because skin types are all so different. Quoting from the Vitamin D Council:


-At noon in Miami, an individual with skin type III would probably need about 6 minutes of exposure to the sun to make 1,000 IU of vitamin D in summer and 15 minutes in winter.
-Someone with skin type V would probably need around 15 minutes in summer and 30 minutes in winter.
-At noon in Boston during summer, an individual with skin type III would probably need about 1 hour of exposure to the sun to make 1,000 IU of vitamin D.
-Someone with skin type V would probably need about 2 hours of exposure.
-During the winter months in Boston, it’s not possible for anyone to make vitamin D from the sun, no matter their skin type.


Have an opinion on Vitamin D and its effects on the skin, share your thoughts!


References can be found hereherehere, and here.



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