We all hear about how vitamins are essential for our health, how they make our bodies and immune systems strong and how their deficiency can cause life threatening diseases and harm to your body. Not just your internal organs, but your outer body too gets greatly affected by the vitamins you intake. We talk about one such vitamin here that is abundantly available in our surroundings and is very essential for our overall well being - vitamin D.
Vitamin D - also known as the sunshine vitamin - is one of the easily accessible vitamins that is not given enough importance. But, did you know that this category of vitamins is amazingly good for your skin and can greatly help you overcome some of the skin issues we face everyday? Read on to know everything you need to know about the sunshine vitamin and how it benefits your skin in more ways that you can imagine!
- What is vitamin D
- Benefits of vitamin D for your skin
- How does vitamin D help your skin
- How to apply vitamin D products on your skin
- DIY face masks to try
- FAQs about vitamin D for skin
What is vitamin D
Technically speaking, vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids that helps in the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphates, and many other biological functions in your body. We all know that the sun is one of the greatest sources of vitamin D, but the UV rays aren’t direct sources of this vitamin. It is your skin that actually produces this vitamin as a result of exposure to the sun. Thus the name sunshine vitamin.
You can intake vitamin D in two forms - vitamin D3 through the exposure of the skin to sunlight and D2 and D3 via your gut in the form of your diet. So, if you wish to increase the vitamin D levels in your body, then you can simply expose your body to the sun and also increase your intake of vitamin D enriched foods like oily fish, meat, eggs and even cheese. You can also turn to vitamin D supplements.
However, not everyone needs vitamin D at the same level. Your body’s need for this nutrient varies greatly depending on your skin colour, diet, the climate you live in and even the season you are experiencing.
Benefits of vitamin D for your skin
As far as your skin is concerned, vitamin D showcases great anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat skin conditions like dryness, acne, psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo. Many cosmetic brands and even dermatologists use this vitamin in night creams and moisturisers to help improve your skin.
If your skin doesn’t get enough vitamin D, it can cause wrinkles and fine lines to appear on your face. The antioxidants in this vitamin help fight these signs of premature ageing and protect your skin.
It further prevents dead cell build-up on your skin that leads to dryness, irritation, redness and other skin issues by increasing cell turnover. This nutrient improves cellular turnover by stimulation of proliferation and inhibition of apoptosis, which also helps you heal better when you get injured.
How does vitamin D help your skin
Now comes the big question - how does vitamin D help your skin and can its deficiency cause any troubles for your skin?
It is common knowledge that the deficiency of the sunshine vitamin can lead to poor immunity and increased inflammation. This can weaken the outermost layer of your skin and increase the chances of dryness, skin darkening, acne and infections in general.
Not only this, but lack of vitamin D can also lead to insulin sensitivity that can worsen your acne or cause glycosylated collagen and make your skin age prematurely.
So, consuming a vitamin D enriched diet or supplements can help you avoid all this and make your skin healthy.
How to apply vitamin D products on your skin
Now, just because your skin needs the sun for vitamin D, doesn’t mean you just carelessly go around sitting in the sun to get the nutrients. You have to be careful while exposing yourself to the sun, because as healthy and helpful as it is for the production of vitamin C, it comes with its own long list of skin issues like sunburn, pigmentation, wrinkles and what not. So, make sure you top up on sunscreen before going to sit out in the sun.
You can consult a doctor and take prescribed vitamin D oral supplements to help your skin from within. Also, there are many over-the-counter beauty products in the market that now come enriched with this vitamin, so you can check them out and incorporate them in your skincare routine.
DIY face masks to try
If you wish for that vitamin D enriched, soft and glowy skin, then you can check out this easy DIY face mask that will work wonders on your skin.
- All you need is one egg, two tablespoons of yogurt and two tablespoons of ground oats.
- Just mix all these ingredients together and apply it to your skin
- Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, before washing it with lukewarm water and that’s all! Pretty easy, right?
FAQs about vitamin D for skin
1) Which vitamin D is best for the skin?
A. There are two types of vitamin D and the D3 kind is best for your skin. When your body is exposed to the sun, your skin works and makes vitamin D in your body that helps it build immunity and maintain healthy skin.
2) Can vitamin D cause skin problems?
A. No vitamin D does not cause skin troubles, however its deficiency sure can cause issues like inflammation, acne, eczema, premature ageing and more. Therefore, it is advised to maintain a healthy dose of this vitamin in your diet and supplements.
3) Is vitamin D good for skin and hair?
A. Vitamin D is important to boost immunity and stimulate cell growth in order to keep your skin healthy and even create new hair follicles to improve hair growth.
4) Does vitamin D brighten skin?
A. The cholesterol in your skin converts to vitamin D when it absorbs sunlight, and further helps make your skin and cells healthy and happy. This way, vitamin D helps in determining your skin tone and in turn, make it radiant and bright when exposed correctly.
5) What is a safe amount of vitamin D to take daily and how much vitamin D do you need?
A. Excess or deficiency of anything is bad for you and so is the case when it comes to vitamin D. Depending on age and need, experts recommend an average intake of 400–800 IU/day or 10–20 mg of vitamin D everyday. Oral supplements and a balanced diet can help you achieve this goal easily.
6) How can I increase my vitamin D levels naturally?
A. The most natural way to increase your vitamin D levels is by spending time in the sunlight. Also adding fatty fish and seafood to your diet can help greatly. Mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods are other sources that can internally and naturally help you boost your vitamin D levels. Doctor prescribed oral supplements are also helpful in this situation.