They said to stand under the rising sun. They said it would cure you of all aches and pains. They were right, of course. But they failed to mention that you will also enjoy radiant skin under that nascent sun. Why? Because of the 'sunshine vitamin,’ otherwise known as Vitamin D. That’s the power of this nutrient. If you were unaware of its prowess like the author of this blog until research, then this piece is going to be your enlightening moment. Read on for the importance of Vitamin D for the skin.
What’s Vitamin D?
Let’s channel our inner scientist —
- Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.
- Contrary to popular belief, sunshine doesn’t give our body Vitamin D but helps our skin synthesize it. Help yourself and God will help you theme applies here.
- Ironically — the UV rays that we protect ourselves from with copious amounts of sunscreen are actually the strongest supporters of Vitamin D synthesis in our skin.
- The only difference is, we must soak up all that sun before 9 am or mid-early morning.
- Our diet may also supplement Vitamin D2 and D3 synthesis. So, stock up on eggs, meat, cheese, and oily fish to conquer sunshine in the gut!
- Essentially, Vitamin D is necessary to regulate the calcium and phosphate in the human body. This keeps bones, muscles, and teeth healthy, aches and pains controlled, and the body functioning in better spirits.
- However, the importance of Vitamin D is not limited to these. It extends to the skin as well.
Vitamin D for the Skin
- Maintains Overall Skin Health
It is said that when the body has a full store of Vitamin D, the skin is at its healthiest.
- Helps Reduce Skin Inflammation
Vitamin D is a mild-moderate anti-inflammatory ingredient. For patients with eczema, psoriasis, and vitiligo, this vitamin is extremely helpful in mitigating any inflammation and related symptoms. This is hence also one of the most widely implemented benefits of Vitamin D.
- Protects the Skin
Some may call it a natural steroid because Vitamin D works on a cellular level to regulate daily function and stabilize the genes. A study from 2012 suggests that this sunshine vitamin may play a major role in protecting the skin from cancers, particularly skin cancer.
- Mitigates Environmental Damage
When applied topically, Vitamin D is also known to work as an antioxidant. This means that Vitamin D in skincare products like sunscreens, serums, and moisturizers will help fight free radicals and protect the skin from oxidative and environmental stressors. It is hence a popular ingredient in anti-aging skincare.
- Regulates Cell Turnover
Our skin sheds old and dead cells from time to time, only to give birth to new cells in their place. This process often slows down with age, stress, trauma, or lifestyle. Vitamin D is known to regulate this process and normalize cell turnover, preventing a buildup of dead skin cell layers.
- May Help with Acne
This benefit isn’t proven yet, but those suffering from acne often find Vitamin D supplements helpful in fighting acne episodes.
How to Use Vitamin D for Skin?
Vitamin D is famously taken as an oral supplement. Instead of pills and tablets, this vitamin comes in powdered form, packed in sachets. The best absorption of Vitamin D happens with a fatty, happy meal. So, you must ensure you take it with some healthy fats like whole wheat pasta and nuts and avocados and dark chocolates! But beware, consult your doctor, and only take Vitamin D supplements orally after they are prescribed.
Medicated topical creams with Vitamin D are widely available. Most of them are over the counter and can be procured without a prescription. Patients with skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, etc use these creams to treat skin inflammation.
Many skincare products have Vitamin D listed on their ingredient label. Mostly it is the anti-aging section of skincare that has this vitamin. It is a good idea to use Vitamin D in combination with retinoids as they couple up to create a super effect on arresting skin aging. You can also combine Vitamin D with other vitamins, antioxidants, and growth factors to benefit the skin.
Soak up the sun to get direct Vitamin D synthesis in your skin. However, make sure you pull a balancing act to avoid getting sunburnt. Doctors recommend a 10-15 minute exposure daily to the early morning sun. Also, minimize the skin surface area you expose.
To conclude, here’s a final honest thought — the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is out there in abundance. It comes out every day with the rising sun. All you need to do is catch it at the right moment! Do it tomorrow, and every day after for bright, happy, healthy skin.