Our body’s are clever. We metabolise our own vitamin D in the skin and eyes through uv exposure, so with all our amazing sunshine in Australia, it’s kind of crazy to think that Vitamin D deficiency is in epidemic proportions. The ozone layer issue and education on skin cancer and sun damage has caused us to become overly cautious of sun exposure (Remember the slip, slop, slap campaign of the 80’s?!)
Modern life also sees us living more indoor lifestyles, we cover up with sunscreen, hats and sunglasses and we are no longer out on the land like our ancestors would have been so we just don’t see as much sun as we need to make adequate vitamin D.
Vitamin D is your number one skin vitamin, it’s essential for skin immunity, protecting your largest organ from damage and supporting the healing process. So vital in acne, it doesn’t come as a surprise that a huge majority of my acne clients are dangerously deficient.
Such an important vitamin for general health, D also helps to regulate moods and plays an important role in calcium absorption for bone health. Being a fat soluble vitamin, good fats in the diet are required to ensure you’re getting all you can from your food also. Oily fish, eggs and mushrooms are good sources but there’s nothing like the real deal in the form of sunshine.
So how do you get enough without damaging your skin? The recommendation is 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure every day before 10am or after 3pm. The UV rating is lowest between these times so it’s the safest way to ensure you are getting your daily dose. Be sure to be sunglass and sunscreen free with minimal clothing (as apporpriate!) but remember your non comedogenic sunscreen outside these uv times or for extended periods of sun exposure.
Genetics need to be considered here too. Those who are genetically predisposed to poor vitamin D metabolism, especially those with darker skin tones, may need to consider supplementation long term or at least through the winter months.
To find out if you are vitamin D deficient book an appointment here
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I’m Brooke Venables, I’m a naturopath, acne specialist and an ex-acne sufferer. I’ve been there, I know what you’re going through.