By Elizabeth Foley
You might be surprised to learn about these 5 ways that vitamin D plays a role in maintaining healthy skin. Why is healthy skin important? First of all, your skin is your largest organ. Our skin protects us from microbes, helps regulate our body temperature, and is responsible for our sensations of touch. Healthy skin is a big deal.
Vitamin D plays a huge role in the health of our skin. The active form of vitamin D is calcitriol and it is integral in the process of cellular growth and repair. Put simply, vitamin D enhances our skin's immune system.
Vitamin D can also protect our skin from:
- Premature aging
- Xeroderma (Dry Skin)
- Excessive Sweating
- Inflammatory Skin Disease
Let's dive into the research behind the many ways vitamin D affects our skin.
Wrinkles are a fact of life. As skin ages, fine lines and wrinkles are inevitable. Still, there are some precautions you can take to prevent premature skin aging. According to a 2010 study from Cancer Causes & Control Journal, skin aging is prevented by maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D (1). This is because vitamin D plays an important role in cell growth and repair of our skin. Vitamin D promotes the creation of cathelicidin, which the immune system uses to fight off infection and enhance healing.
A diet rich in vitamin D as well as vitamin D supplements are important nutritional sources in addition to sunlight. It’s important to diversify how you get your vitamin D because absorbing vitamin D through sunlight alone increases your chance of getting premature wrinkles.
At some point in life, everyone deals with pimples. Those of us who are prone to pimples often develop a condition known as acne. Why do some people struggle with acne? You can develop acne when your pores are blocked. Pores become blocked due to hormone level fluctuation, bacteria, and excess oil.
In fact, researchers have established a link between frequency of vitamin D deficiency and patients with acne (2). Studies show that vitamin D deficiency may be the initial cause and onset of acne. According to these studies, vitamin D deficiency may be making your acne symptoms worse.
Dry skin can be downright uncomfortable. Do you ever feel like you are constantly applying lotion to deal with your dry skin? A 2012 study from Nutrients Journal showed that dry skin is a sign of vitamin D deficiency (3). Many people experience dry skin during the winter. Of course, dry skin can sometimes be attributed to indoor heating during the winter. However, there is another interesting connection between people’s decrease in sunlight exposure during the winter months and their vitamin D deficiency. In light of this, supplementing with vitamin D could reduce the onset of seasonal dry skin.
Hot weather, an intense workout or stressful situations are all sweat-producing factors. However, excessive sweating can be a health concern. In fact, research has demonstrated that excessive sweating can be a symptom of a vitamin D deficiency (4). In general, sweating is nothing to worry about. When body temperature rises, due to exercise, stress, environmental heat, or hormonal changes, we sweat to bring our body temperature back into ideal ranges. However, excessive sweating, muscle weakness, hair loss and fatigue are vitamin D deficiency warning signs.
Decreases inflammatory skin diseases
You probably know someone who deals with eczema or psoriasis. Or, you may deal with one of these inflammatory skin conditions yourself. There are several types of inflammatory skin conditions and managing the symptoms can be a challenge. However, there is some good news that may offer relief to those dealing with the symptoms. Clinical trials have shown that vitamin D alleviates skin inflammation in mild-to-moderate cases of psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo (5). Because these common dermatology issues are linked to vitamin D levels, maintaining ideal levels are key to decreasing skin inflammation.
Ways to keep your vitamin D levels up
There are several ways to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. You can increase absorption of vitamin D by spending time in the sun or by making intentional dietary choices. For many people, the best way to ensure adequate intake of vitamin D is taking a supplement. Health By Principle an all natural Vitamin D supplement with magnesium and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for maximum absorption. Speak with your healthcare provider if you are struggling to manage a skin condition. Increasing your vitamin D levels might be the key to keeping your skin healthy.
1. Anne Lynn S. Chang, Teresa Fu, Omar Amir, and Jean Y. Tang. (2010, September 30). Association of facial skin aging and vitamin D levels in middle-aged white women. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042365/
2. Lim, S. K., Ha, J. M., Lee, Y. H., Lee, Y., Seo, Y. J., Kim, C. D., Lee, J. H., & Im, M. (2016). Comparison of Vitamin D Levels in Patients with and without Acne: A Case-Control Study Combined with a Randomized Controlled Trial. PloS one, 11(8), e0161162. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161162
3. Russell, M. (2012, September 1). Assessing the Relationship between Vitamin D3 and Stratum Corneum Hydration for the Treatment of Xerotic Skin. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3475231/
4. Barros-Oliveira, C. S. (2019). Sweat and vitamin D status in congenital, lifetime, untreated GH deficiency. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31292841/
5. Barrea, L. (2017). Vitamin D and its role in psoriasis: An overview of the dermatologist and nutritionist. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5486909/
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