Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
While there are many vitamins that are beneficial to your skin’s health, vitamin D stands out among them as your ally in fighting acne. Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, and there are several reasons why it should be incorporated into your daily skincare regimen.
Vitamin D can help regulate your body’s insulin response, which decreases hormonal acne, relieves inflammation, increases antioxidant production and strengthens your immune system. All of these factors contribute to healthy skin. In addition, vitamin D is recognized for improving your mood and decreasing depression. This may assist in managing stress levels and therefore lower amounts of cortisol, a hormone, which leads to acne.
It is estimated that almost half of the world’s population is deficient in vitamin D. This is an astounding number when you consider that your body manufactures this vitamin from minimal sun exposure.
Vitamin D is special because it is the only vitamin that is produced by your body. Once it is manufactured, it is turned into the hormone calcitriol. Your body creates vitamin D through your skins exposure to the sun. However, your body cannot create enough to meet its needs and it is imperative to obtain additional amounts from other sources including foods rich in vitamin D, and supplements.
Calcitriol is important to the body because it regulates calcium and phosphate levels, which strengthen and promote bone density. In addition, vitamin D affects the other hormones in your body. If there isn’t enough calcitriol present, the other hormones try to compensate which can lead to increased activity in the sebaceous glands and an overproduction of sebum (skin oil). This, in turn, causes acne. Acne is further exacerbated by a lack of calcitriol, which decreases cell turnover, clogging pores with dead skin cells. Cell renewal is dependent on vitamin D.
Vitamin D controls your body’s response to insulin, a hormone created in the pancreas. In-sulin allows your body to use the sugar that you get from eating carbs for energy or store it for later use. Insulin helps your blood sugar level from getting too high or too low. When there is minimal insulin in the body, our body uses fat instead of glucose as an energy source. Insulin resistance occurs when the body fails to respond to the hormone insulin and your body fails to use it for its intended purposes, which leads to an excess of insulin in the body and high blood sugar. Insulin, along with other hormones, stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum that may lead to acne or exacerbate acne that is already present.
Vitamin D reduces inflammation and therefore helps minimize the appearance of acne by reducing redness and swelling.
Vitamin D helps the body manufacture its own antioxidants which protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and help clear blocked pores, leading to smoother, softer and clearer skin. Free radicals weaken cell structure and cause cell mutation.
Vitamin D boosts and strengthens the immune system. In the winter months, as our bodies get less and less exposure to sunlight, our Vitamin D stores diminish, making it easier to catch colds and influenza. Vitamin D helps our bodies fight bacteria and prevents degenerative dis-eases. It is recognized as an ally in fighting cancer as it helps minimize cancer cell reproduc-tion. Vitamin D is the primary component behind calcium absorption, preventing osteoporosis. It may also improve moods, decrease depression and stress levels by increasing the amount of the hormone cortisol.
Your first line of defense is to get Vitamin D naturally, from the sun. Also try to incorporate foods that are rich in Vitamin D into your diet. Lastly, if you are unable to meet the daily re-quirements from these sources, take a supplement to ensure that you are getting the recom-mended daily dose.
It is recommended that you first try to obtain your daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun. Your body gets all it needs for several days within 15 minutes of full body sun exposure. Try to get at least 15 minutes, 3 times a week if you have fair skin, and 10 minutes longer if you have dark skin. It is recommended that you expose 40% of your body for maximum effectiveness. Avoid sunscreen during these initial few minutes of vitamin D restoration as it prevents the skin from being able to produce vitamin D. If you plan on exposing your skin longer than that, apply a non-comedogenic sunscreen that is free of parabens and other harsh chemicals immediately after the initial 15 minutes.
Try to eat foods that are high in vitamin D, including liver, cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, mack-erel, oysters, eggs and mushrooms. It is difficult to get enough vitamin D through food alone, even fortified products, so don’t be dismayed.
During winter months or times when you are unable to get the recommended amount of sun exposure, it is suggested that you take a supplement or liquid. 2,000-4,000 IU per day is con-sidered a safe and effective dose. To be certain, have your blood tested by your general physi-cian (or for women, your OB/GYN) to find out exactly how much your body needs. When select-ing a supplement, choose d3 as opposed to d2. D3 is cholecalciferol, which is the closest to the natural vitamin D that your skin produces from sun exposure. Also, make sure that the supple-ment (or liquid) is free of harsh chemical additives, especially magnesium stearate. Magnesium stearate is used to keep the contents from sticking to the inside of the capsule. What compa-nies don’t disclose is that it inhibits the absorption of vitamin C, and contains bpa, calcium hy-droxide and irganox 110, which are ingredients that cause damage to your body by weakening your intestinal wall, inhibiting food absorption and gut damage.
Keep in mind that as you age and gain weight, your body produces less vitamin D. There-fore, your needs will change over time.
Vitamin D alone will not heal your acne. It is important to eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, follow your skin care regimen, and take your daily dose of AcnEase®. AcnEase® is your strongest defense for healing your skin and eliminating future acne. It counteracts the effects of hormonal imbalance and the overproduction of sebum. Hormonal imbalance is the leading cause of over-stimulation of the sebaceous gland and excess sebum production. Ex-cess sebum, dead skin cells, and dirt and debris on the surface of the skin mix together to cre-ate the perfect environment for acne bacteria and inflammation, which begins the acne cy-cle.
Most of you are already aware of the extraordinary benefits of AcnEase®, so we en-courage you to incorporate Vitamin D into your daily routine and let us know your results.