Sometimes, the sun can be your skin’s best friend and worst enemy. We cheer when our skin takes on a healthy, tan glow. We cringe when we get a sunburn as a result of just a bit too much time outside. If monitored properly, sun exposure and vitamin D can be very beneficial to your skin.
Vitamin D and Your Skin
The main way your body produces vitamin D is through sun exposure. However, it can be hard to spend time outside when stuck in an office doing work or stuck in a house due to a pandemic. Fortunately, you can obtain this vitamin through certain foods and supplements. Vitamin D is very important in the production of calcium and overall bone health. It prevents involuntary muscle spasms and can protect us from conditions such as rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis.
In terms of your skin, vitamin D can help reduce inflammation and improve cell production. Everyone’s ability to produce differs based on their genetic factors, so if you produce less, strive to eat more vitamin D rich foods and try taking supplements. Consult a doctor to see what is right for you. Vitamin D deficiency means you have poor immune functions, leading to a weekend moisture barrier. As a result, your skin will become drier. Also, a lack of vitamin D means your skin cannot fight inflammation as well, leading to skin conditions like rosacea or eczema. Lack of vitamin D also means there has been a decrease in insulin, which can lead to collagen aging prematurely. Collagen is responsible for keeping your skin tight and starts to decrease at age 25, but lack of vitamin D can cause this process to occur earlier.
Studies have also shown that vitamin D helps prevent the buildup of dead skin cells, which leads to conditions like psoriasis and acne. While skin cancer is often caused by too much sun exposure, vitamin D may actually help prevent it. A study from 2012 published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggested that vitamin D may have a “risk-reducing effect” with certain cancers. Vitamin D has also been shown to protect against environmental factors that lead to skin aging and wrinkles.
How to Obtain Vitamin D
As mentioned earlier, you can obtain vitamin D through certain foods, sun exposure, and supplements. Some foods with a good source of vitamin D are fish, egg yolks, dairy products, and mushrooms.
It is important to spend some time in the sun so your body can produce vitamin D naturally. While sun exposure can be good for our skin, it must be taken in moderation. Doctors have stated that while we need sun exposure to produce vitamin D, the actual amount needed is very little. Avoid spending too long in the sun, especially if unprotected. Doctors recommend 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure daily. Sunscreen is a must for your skin, no matter the time of year or weather conditions. The sun’s rays can still reach through clouds, so do not skip on the sunscreen if it looks like it is going to be a rainy day. Likewise, just because it is the winter and snowing, the sun is still going strong. Sunscreen is needed year round!
You can also obtain vitamin D through supplements, like pills and topical creams. Beverly Hills dermatologist, Dr. Jennifer Herrmann, MD, has said that combining a vitamin D cream with other products like retinoids and antioxidant vitamins can prevent skin ageing. Always speak to your doctor before starting a new supplement regime so they can help you choose the right products and amounts for a healthy lifestyle.
Vitamin D is necessary to keep your immune system working properly. It is also helpful in overall skin health. It can fight early ageing, skin inflammation, and skin conditions like rosacea and eczema. While sun exposure may be the most well known source of vitamin D, it is not the only one and should be taken in moderation. You can also obtain vitamin D through other sources like pills and creams.
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