Vitamin D: Your Skin’s Best Friend

Vitamin D is a hot topic when it comes to health and well-being. But what many people don’t realize is that it’s one of the most important nutrients out there when it comes to skin health.

 

It’s time to look at the role of vitamin D in skin health, and how to get enough of it safely.

Vitamin D for Happy Skin

About Vitamin D

Vitamin D, strictly speaking, isn’t a vitamin. It’s actually a natural seroid that your body produces. There’s a few different forms, but they are all grouped under the heading of ‘vitamin D’.

 

Vitamin D in the human body is usually produced when UV-B rays hit the skin, which is why it’s known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin. However, you can also get small amounts in foods such as eggs, fish and mushrooms. Some foods may also be artificially fortified with vitamin D.

 

For people who are at a high risk of deficiency, such as those with dark skin or who work long office hours, supplementation may be necessary.

 

Skin Benefits Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D has a host of general health benefits, including supporting immune function and skeletal health. But there are also many ways that it benefits your skin.

 

Acne

If you have sore, inflamed acne, vitamin D may be able to ease your symptoms. This is thanks to vitamin D’s role in boosting the immune system, as well as it being a vital precursor to sex hormones.

 

By having enough vitamin D, you will have the building blocks for hormones, and also protect yourself from bacteria that can infect your blemishes.

 

Psoriasis

Itchy, scaly psoriasis prone skin? Vitamin D might be part of the solution. Multiple studies have shown that higher vitamin D levels through UV-B ray exposure can significantly improve psoriasis symptoms.

 

Though there is no official explanation as to why this happens, it’s likely to be thanks to vitamin D’s role in balancing the immune system, as psoriasis is an autoimmune condition.

 

Eczema

If you, or your little one, have eczema, it might be time for you to check those vitamin D levels. Research suggests that both children and adults with eczema are likely to have low levels.

 

Lower levels of vitamin D are also linked to more severe symptoms, and people with low vitamin D have a greater risk of getting infections related to their eczema.

 

Like psoriasis, the most likely mechanism behind these is vitamin D’s immune balancing effect, as eczema is considered to be an autoimmune condition.

 

Inflammation

Have any kind of skin condition that involves inflammation? Whether it’s acne, rosacea, or just general redness of the skin, good vitamin D levels are vital for bringing your skin back to health.

 

Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties in the human body, so if you don’t have enough of it, inflammation may run riot. But by boosting up your levels, the level of inflammation in your skin will lower naturally.

 

Appearance Of Complexion

Vitamin D’s benefits aren’t just confined to skin conditions – it can also give you beautiful skin. Vitamin D production stimulates your keratinocytes, which are cells that make up most of your skin.

 

When you don’t have enough vitamin D, you have fewer skin cells in total, giving you thin and fragile skin. By getting plenty of natural vitamin D from sunlight, your skin cells will constantly renew themselves, so you have a more youthful appearance, no matter what your age.

 

Getting Your Vitamin D

Most health organizations recommend that your blood levels of vitamin D sit between 30-100ng/ml, although many complementary health practitioners would prefer you to have at least 50ng/ml for optimal health.

 

You do need to be safe with getting enough vitamin D. This is not a permission slip to go to a tanning salon – that level of exposure will cause damage to your skin, due to the high doses of UV.

 

How much exposure you need depends on where you are in the world, what time of year it is, and what type of skin you have.

 

One guideline suggests that short but frequent exposure, such as 10 minutes without sunscreen around midday, is the best way to boost vitamin D levels without exposing you to excess risk of damage.

Through the winter months, the right amount of Vitamin D can be next to impossible to get from sunlight.  In this case, you’ll want to consider supplementing with a liquid Vitamin D3 from a reputable supplement brand.

 

If you’re not certain of where you’re sitting right now, schedule an appointment to have your levels tested and find out how to get the best dose for you.

 

References

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S209012321400023X

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21034990

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1751-1097.2006.tb09833.x/full

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/testing-for-vitamin-d/

http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010510-100611

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.09767.x/full

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jcb.20095/full