To bask or not to bask in the sun – that eternal dilemma we face when torn between safeguarding our skin from UV harm or meeting our daily vitamin D quota. Yet, with alternative methods like dietary sources, supplements, or topicals readily available, is soaking up the sun truly indispensable?
Type of Ingredient: Vitamin
Main Benefits: Alleviates inflammation, shields the skin, and enhances cell turnover.
Who Should Use It: Individuals deficient in vitamin D should consider supplementation. Those combating inflammatory skin conditions may explore prescription topicals.
How Often Can You Use It: According to the National Institutes of Health, the average non-deficient adult should aim for 600 International Units (IU) per day in their diet. As for topicals, there's no harm in using a vitamin D cream daily.
Works Well With: Combining topical vitamin D with a topical steroid when treating psoriasis. For anti-aging purposes, pair it with other antioxidant vitamins, growth factors, or retinoids.
Don't Use With: Do not combine topical vitamin D with hydroxy acids like glycolic or salicylic acid, as the acidic pH can deactivate vitamin D.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin, stands as one of the most vital nutrients for biological function. Our skin serves as a crucial natural reservoir for its production, triggered by UV light. Our gut (via diet) and skin (via sunlight) are the two main sources of vitamin D, synthesized in two forms—vitamin D3 in the skin and D2 and D3 in the gut—both further modified by our kidneys. Insufficient sunlight exposure and poor diet rank among the leading causes of vitamin D deficiency.
Benefits of Vitamin D for Skin
Vitamin D's primary role in maintaining calcium balance but underscores its broader functions, particularly in skin health. Skin health generally thrives when your body has an ample supply of vitamin D. Here's how vitamin D benefits the skin:
Reduces Inflammation: Vitamin D's significant anti-inflammatory properties, especially in treating conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo.
Protects the Skin: Vitamin D acts as a steroid within a cell's nucleus, stimulating proliferation, regulating function, and potentially stabilizing genes, potentially playing a protective role against cancers, including skin cancer.
Mitigates Environmental Damage: As an antioxidant, topical vitamin D can counteract harmful environmental oxidants, thus thwarting premature aging.
Normalizes Cell Turnover: Vitamin D analogs can regulate cell turnover, preventing the accumulation of dead cells on the skin's surface that contribute to psoriasis plaques.
Side Effects of Vitamin D
While topical vitamin D is generally safe for daily use, Dhingra cautions about potential irritation, depending on formulation. Do not use oil-based products for acne-prone skin, as they could exacerbate pore-clogging.
Orally, consuming excessive vitamin D can lead to calcium buildup with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, mental changes, increased urination, and kidney failure. Extreme supplementation, it should only be done under medical supervision.
How to Take/Apply It
For optimal absorption of vitamin D supplements, taking them with a fatty meal. Follow prescribed application instructions for topical vitamin D. We recommend combining topical vitamin D with other anti-aging ingredients for enhanced efficacy.
All forms of vitamin D (injectable, oral, topical, and sun-stimulated) are effective for skin health. Daily vitamin D supplementation offers clear health benefits without increasing the risk of premature aging or skin cancer.
Concerning sun exposure,incidental sunlight exposure, even while wearing sunscreen, is sufficient for vitamin D synthesis. We suggest limiting exposure to 10 to 15 minutes daily and minimizing exposed skin.
In conclusion, whether through dietary intake, supplementation, or topicals, ample vitamin D intake is crucial for skin health. While sun exposure aids vitamin D production, precautions like sunscreen use are imperative to prevent skin damage. When in doubt, consult a dermatologist to determine the most suitable vitamin D regimen for your skin.
Although vitamin D stands out as a key ingredient, Murad's facial oil also features soothing natural oils and essential fatty acids, providing an additional boost of hydration and protection—a delightful extra touch! Click here to buy.
An exceptional serum designed to shield the skin from pollution and free radicals, Drunk Elephant's D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Bronzing Drops also offer a touch of pigment, providing a subtle, radiant glow. Click here to buy.
Infused with hemp seed and squalane, Herbivore's Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil pledges to address skin dullness, dryness, and inflammation while ensuring a nourishing dose of vitamin D. Click here to buy.
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II DISCLAIMER: Every skin is different, not everything works for everybody. I recommend you test the product before completely using any new product. II