Vitamin D and Skin: Can Sunscreen Cause Vitamin D Deficiency?
It does not take much sun exposure for your body to produce vitamin D — only 10 to 15 minutes to be exact. But in that same period of time, unprotected skin can become irreversibly damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. That begs the question: Should you protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays or absorb them freely?
The truth is, your skin needs sun protection as much as your body requires vitamin D. If you are wondering if wearing sunscreen can limit vitamin D production to the point of deficiency, I have the facts to set the matter straight.
The Essential Link Between Vitamin D and Skin
How does the body use the sun to produce vitamin D? Proteins in your skin called 7-DHC react with ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun to create vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D. This interaction boosts overall vitamin D levels in your body, which is crucial for growth and development.
Not only does vitamin D promote bone growth, but it also boosts the immune system and helps protect against disease. For mature individuals, vitamin D intake can reduce the risk of osteoporosis or weak and brittle bones.
The Truth About Sunscreen and Vitamin D Creation
In theory, it is understandable why some individuals believe sunscreen can severely limit vitamin D creation. Sunscreens protect against UVB wavelengths that cause sunburn and skin mutations that can lead to melanoma. However, these same wavelengths are what prompt your skin to synthesize 7-DHC into usable vitamin D. If you use sunscreen, do you halt that reaction?
Previous research has supported the idea that strict sun protection would cause vitamin D deficiency. Fortunately, modern research suggests sunscreen will not impede crucial vitamin D production. The weight of evidence from field trials and observational studies reveals that a high UV index paired with optimal sunscreen still allows for vitamin D synthesis while preventing sunburn and related sun damage.
What does Dr. Kim think?
I always wear my sunscreen. And to ensure my Vitamin D levels are at their optimal levels, I supplement with this highly efficient tincture. My Vitamin D3 Liquid Supplement is a convenient, pleasant-tasting tincture you can drop onto your tongue or into any beverage to support healthy levels of vitamin D. Formulated using naturally-derived ingredients and free of any synthetic surfactants or preservatives, the highly-bioavailable vitamin D is safe for daily use to help support brain, bone, and tissue health, as well as protect against UV-induced cellular damage.
Depending on the theme of each newsletter, and only if appropriate and helpful, I will include highlights of products that I believe will serve you in achieving your skin goals.
Remember, having healthy beautiful skin requires a 360 degree approach or a multifaceted strategic action plan. Topicals are super fundamental but they are only a part of the holistic regimen. For truly optimal results, we must combine daily lifestyle commitments that include consciousness in morning & evening skin routine, diet, sleep, exercise, stress-levels (try meditation and nurturing self-care), and regularly scheduled proactive and preventative in-office medical procedures and technologies.