The Sunshine Vitamin
The Sunshine Vitamin
The sun is out and its finally time to get some D … or not! Vitamin D also known as the Sunshine Vitamin, is one of only two Vitamins our bodies are able to produce naturally. Like so many others I wondered why 77% of Americans have a Vitamin D deficiency if our bodies are able to produce it naturally, furthermore what does it mean if you do have a deficiency and how can you prevent it? Let’s dive in and take a look at what I found out!
How does your body produce Vitamin D?
When you are exposed to the sun, its UVB rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur. Sitting out in the sun for 10-15 minutes a few times a week can prove to be extremely beneficial. Remember to always use the proper SPF in order to prevent sunburns and damage.
Although the sun does help us produce Vitamin D, we cannot forget the unwelcome side effects this may have. This includes sun burns, wrinkles, skin cancer etc. This is not the only reason we do not always want to get Vitamin D from the sun. Whether it be the cold winter months, a pandemic that has taken over the world or during allergy season when we just don’t want to leave the house. Thank goodness there is another way! A way to prevent all these side effects and still ensure you obtain Vitamin D in an alternative and healthier way!
Alternative Ways To Obtain Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be ingested via oral supplements, foods, or most recently discovered – one may topically apply Vitamin D! Believe it or not, you are encouraged to take in Vitamin D in all forms. Especially now during COVID-19 when we are unable to be out and about as much as we would like. The benefits we receive from Vitamin D vary greatly depending on the way we intake it.
Ingesting Vitamin D helps boost our immune system, strengthens our bones and even promotes heart health. Some people take supplements, while others prefer a more natural way of ingesting through foods like fatty fish, fortified orange juice and of course milk.
More recently, it was discovered that topically applying Vitamin D would significantly reduce wrinkles. In a 2004 study, Vitamin D was topically applied to hairless mice not only to find that it significantly warded off wrinkles, but it also protected the skin against environmental factors such as UV radiation by promoting skin cell turnover.
The Benefits of Topically Applied Vitamin D
As shoelaces have a coating at the end to keep them from fraying, DNA strands have telomeres that protect the chromosomes at the end of our DNA strands, however cells continue to replicate themselves constantly throughout our lives making the ends of our DNA strands vulnerable. Telomeres become shorter each time a cell replicates itself. As the telomeres become shorter and more cells are vulnerable, our cells become damaged and deteriorate and in response begin to age.
In 2007, a study showed that patients with the most use of Vitamin D serums had the longest telomeres and the difference between those patients and the ones with no serum use was approximately 5 years of aging. Vitamin D is crucial for skin protection, skin cell growth, and cellular repair. Topically applying a Vitamin D serum even helps reverse the damage the sun causes to our skin.
In addition to all these wonderful benefits there is one more surprising perk. Vitamin D is extremely helpful in severe cases of eczema, and psoriasis. To help treat these conditions, Vitamin D should be applied topically on a very regular basis. It should be noted that oral supplements do not have the same benefits, it must be applied topically.
Vitamin D is an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory, for this very reason it is very helpful for people with sensitive skin. It reduces redness caused by Rosacea, as well as helps relieve pain associated with acne. It is nearly impossible to get a negative reaction as our bodies produce it naturally as well.
How Do You Know If You Have a Deficiency?
Surprisingly Vitamin D is not actually a Vitamin, but a pro-hormone steroid that helps our entire system function from cognitive health to mood stability. It is an essential nutrient that is necessary for the most fundamental bodily functions. Most people are not aware that even with adequate sun exposure, some skin types are less capable of even producing Vitamin D. This is usually the case with darker skin tones.
Although a simple blood test can tell you if you have a deficiency there are a few simple ways of knowing you should reach out to your doctor or even begin taking and applying Vitamin D on your own – all of which are included in the picture above.
Vitamin. D Vs. COVID-19
During this Pandemic we find ourselves closed indoors most of the time and a trip to the grocery store is the highlight of our week. During this time, we may need an extra nudge to ensure we are receiving an appropriate amount of Vitamin D and maybe even take a moment to ourselves away from our loved ones and pets. For your benefit I have included a wonderful DIY mask that you can indulge with, in the comfort of your living room. Enjoy and Stay Safe!
Making A Vitamin D Mask at Home
Most people are surprised to learn that you can make your own mask with things you most likely already have at home. This mask will leave your skin soft and supple and even help calm down redness. Vitamin D should be applied daily in the form of a serum, however occasionally applying a mask for an extra boost especially during the winter months is a great way to tighten up your skin and keep a healthy glow!
- Egg Yolk
- Tbsp. Plain Yogurt
- Tbsp. Ground Oats
Just mix all three ingredients together, apply as a mask and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and you’re ready to go!