SKIN SERIES | SPF, Vitamin D, & Acne
There is a lot of misinformation about sunscreen making its way around the Internet and I think it’s important to clear the air. There are plenty of myths that I used to believe like sunscreen interfering with your body’s production of Vitamin D (theoretically, yes; in reality, no) or the chemicals in sunscreen actually contributing to skin cancer (there is no scientific research to suggest this). And if you did believe these myths, you might be tempted to forgo sunscreen.
So let’s start with a quick refresher on why sunscreen is so important. When applied properly, sunscreen shields skin from harmful UVB (those primarily responsible for burns and skin cancer) and UVA (those primarily responsible for skin aging) rays. Additionally, recent research suggests that wearing sunscreen not only prevents new sun damage, but also affords skin the opportunity to repair and reverse signs of aging like texture, fine lines, and pigmentation. This is why it’s especially important to wear sunscreen if you are acne prone and dealing with a lot of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Wearing sunscreen is a necessity for speeding up healing time.
So now you might be tempted to stay out of the sun altogether, which would be a big mistake too!
While Vitamin D supplements and Vitamin D-rich foods are great, our bodies need sunlight. And maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels is so, so important to our overall health. (If you haven’t had your Vitamin D levels tested, I highly recommend it. Most of us are woefully deficient.) Let’s just be smart about our sun exposure and limit it to 15 minutes a day during peak UV hours (while wearing our sunscreen because let’s face it, I’m sure you missed a few spots!). If you’re craving more information on safe sun exposure and Vitamin D, Lab Muffin has a fantastic video on the topic that will answer all of your questions.
Okay, but what about the connection between Vitamin D deficiency and acne? This is actually a fascinating area of research. A study published in early 2018 found significant associations between Vitamin D deficiency and a diagnosis of acne, BUT then a study on the same topic published later in the year concluded the exact opposite. To add even more confusion, a study published last month found that subjects showed a significant increase in Vitamin D levels following a course of treatment with isotretinoin, which begs the question of whether low Vitamin D levels cause acne or whether acne causes low Vitamin D levels. Like I said, fascinating.
So if you are dealing with acne, should you supplement with Vitamin D? Well that depends on whether you are deficient or not. Because while Vitamin D’s role in the health of your skin may be up for debate, the importance of maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels is not. Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of calcium, modulating the immune system, reducing inflammation and SO MUCH MORE. In short, address the deficiency regardless of whether or not it will “cure” your acne.
Still confused? Book a Clear Skin Coaching Consult or purchase a Skin Session!
The information presented on this web site is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.