As we move deeper into autumn and edge closer to winter the glorious sun becomes more and more elusive. Whilst this can make us a little grumpy and cabin feverish without the fun of the summer sun, the gorgeous weather does more than just give our skin a gorgeous glow. When we dive into winter and the hours of daylight get shorter and shorter, and the rainy clouds never seem to pass it can be easy to slip into a vitamin deficiency. So what happens when we are lacking in vitamin D? How does this impact our skin? And what can we do during winter to boost our vitamin D levels?
Vitamin D Deficiency
Unlike vitamin C which needs to be consumed purely through your diet, your body synthesises vitamin D itself. However this is not to say you have an unlimited supply! To create vitamin D, our bodies need to be exposed to sunlight, something that is always in short supply in the UK, especially in the autumn and winter months. Who needs more of an excuse to book a holiday in the sun?!
Without getting enough of this vital vitamin we can experience symptoms such as tiredness, low mood, impaired wound healing, hair loss, muscle and bone pain and cognitive impairment. But how can lacking in this vital vitamin impact our skin?
Vitamin D and Skin
When we do not get enough sunlight and our body doesn’t synthesise enough vitamin D our immune system can become suppressed. Having an underactive immune system can wreak havoc on our skin! We are less able to fight off bacteria or pathogens that permeate on your skin, and as a result of our sluggish immune system, these pathogens can lead to flare ups of acne or eczema. The last thing we need when we are feeling bleugh from the lack of sun. In addition to this, not producing enough vitamin D can lead to increased inflammation, another nightmare for our skin that further exacerbates acne and eczema. So what can be done?!
How To Top Up On Vitamin D
- Make the most of sunny days
In the UK the sun is a little shy at the best of times, so when we are experiencing a rare sunny day, make the most of it! Take a stroll on your lunch break, venture out on the weekends, set up your work station near a sunny window. Getting these daily doses of daylight, even when it is cloudy can give your body a much needed boost in vitamin D. This is not to say forget your sunscreen. Even on cloudy days make sure you are applying your daily SPF at least 20 minutes before you expose your skin to the sun, otherwise those glorious benefits of vitamin D can be undone by the potentially harmful UV rays.
- Eat your vitamin D
Similar to vitamin C you can boost your vitamin D supply through your diet. Some foods to add to your autumn and winter food shop include oily fish such as mackerel and salmon, other fish liver oils, liver (definitely an acquired taste!), red meat, dairy products such as cheese, eggs and milk, cereals and other fortified vitamin D foods.
- Vitamin D supplements
Another way you can dose up on vitamin D is through skin supplements. Not only will they top up your natural supply but they will also be packed full of other skin-loving ingredients. Some of our favourite supplements include the Lumity Anti-Ageing Supplements and Skinade Targeted Solutions Derma Defense A and D Boost.
Is anyone else craving summer sun already?!