Vitamin D, the happy sunshine vitamin! The vitamin the majority American’s are deficient in!
And guess what? It plays a major role in skin health, too.
I’ve been fascinated with Vitamin D ever since finding it helped with my hormonal acne. Unfortunately, the D isn’t always prescribed or levels checked when it comes to skin issues. The reasoning I’ve found in my research comes down to there not being enough scientific evidence. We’re still trying to fully understand the effects Vitamin D has on our bodies. Fair enough.
Let’s get a little nerdy, k?
the first thing to know is there are 2 types of Vitamin D: D2 and D3
Vitamin D2 ( ergocalciferol ) is found in food sources like fortified milk, herring, mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines, eggs, fortified cereals and baked goods.
Vitamin D3 ( cholecalciferol ) is a prohormone produced in the skin when exposed to UVB 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 we’re likely not consuming enough through diet alone to meet our bodies needs.
what your skin does with D3 is pretty cool
Skin is your largest organ, creating and regulating D3 when absorbing enough UVB rays–the rays your SPF is designed to protect you from. 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 you can see how a lack of D3 could potentially play a part in wrecking havoc on your skin and body. Or how it could potentially play a role in aging.
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 retain water and block irritants ).
If you want to experiment, Skin Authority’s VitaD topical treatment was quite effective for me. I saw great results in treating my hormone acne topically. But you know, that’s only a piece of the puzzle.
what I’ve noticed in the treatment room when clients supplement
A few key changes with profound improvements for each individual. Results vary from person to person but they include:
- MOOD!! A natural happy pill, anyone???
- Acne is greatly improved ( particularly pesky hormonal breakouts )
- Sensitivities, irritations, and inflammatory reactions… including weird, seemingly unexplainable reactions
- Fine lines and wrinkles are less noticeable
- Pore size shrinking, skin appearing more healthy and vibrant
so, are you potentially deficient?
- If you wear SPF, your skin can’t produce enough Vitamin D
- 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–but your legs and arms are the most important areas to expose
If you avoid the sun like the plague, are really good about applying sunscreen, or spend the majority of the day indoors ( we’re not counting early morning/evening ), there’s a good chance you’re insufficient on your levels.
Always, always, always check with a doc before self-diagnosing. Getting bloodwork done is your safest option.
While I’m insane about wearing SPF, I’ll occasionally spend some time in the sun without sunscreen during a time of day I know I’ll receive sufficient rays with D3. I know that’s not enough for myself, so I take a good quality supplement daily.
specific recommendations on how much time to spend outside isn’t easy because skin types are all so different
I’ll leave you with an interesting quote 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 you added Vitamin D into your supplement routine? Have you noticed a change in how your body feels or skin reacts?