Vitamin D and your skin have a complicated relationship. On the one hand, you need vitamin D for skin health (and your general health). But the most well-known way to get it is through exposure to direct sunlight—without sunscreen—which damages your skin and increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Fortunately, you can avoid the sun and still get your daily dose with Perricone MD’s vitamin D-packed supplements. Here’s what you need to know.
What is vitamin D?
Interestingly, vitamin D is not technically a vitamin. According to Harvard Medical School, vitamins are generally defined as organic chemicals that must be obtained from dietary sources because they are not produced by the body. But vitamin D is produced in the body; in fact, it’s generated when your skin is exposed to UVB rays. Plus, it’s only found in a handful of foods—primarily fish, liver and egg yolks—which makes it challenging to get enough vitamin D solely from your diet. (In an effort to make it easier for people to get the nutrient, food manufacturers often fortify common products like milk, orange juice and yogurt with vitamin D.)
In actuality, vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone. There are two types of vitamin D: D3 (cholecalciferol) and D2 (ergocalciferol). D3 is produced by humans and animals when ultraviolet rays interact with a type of cholesterol in the skin. D2 comes from plant-based sources and is commonly used in multivitamins. Both are referred to as vitamin D because they basically do the same thing, yet D3 is considered the more potent and effective of the two, as research suggests in the Journal of Inflammation Research. Whether obtained from the sun or dietary sources, vitamin D needs to be switched on by the body in order for it to work its magic. The process involves vitamin D travelling to the liver and then to the kidneys, where it is converted into an active form.
What does vitamin D do?
It’s most famous for its role in bone formation. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption which is essential for bone growth, health and strength—and it helps prevent kids from getting a bone condition called rickets and older people from developing osteoporosis. It promotes cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function and glucose metabolism. It may also help prevent conditions such as prostate, breast and colon cancers.
In recent years, scientists have begun to discover that vitamin D also plays an integral role in reducing inflammation in the body and skin. According to the same study published in the Journal of Inflammation Research, it regulates the production of inflammatory cytokines (groups of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins secreted by the immune system) and prevents the spread of inflammatory cells. This enables vitamin D to protect against a wide array of inflammatory diseases such as asthma, heart disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic kidney disease and inflammatory liver disease.
Inflammation can also contribute to skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis—and research that appeared in the journal Inflammation & Allergy Drug Targets shows that chronic, low grade inflammation can lead to premature skin aging. So, getting enough vitamin D can help prevent fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and age spots—and keep your skin looking young and radiant.
The best way to get it
According to the National Institute of Health, the RDA for vitamin D for both men and women is 15 mcg (600 IU) for adults between the ages of 18 and 70, and 20 mcg (800 IU) for those over the age of 70. Since it’s challenging to get vitamin D from your diet alone (that’s a lot of fish to eat!), and dangerous to get it from the sun, your best bet is taking a vitamin D-packed supplement. Several Perricone MD supplements are excellent sources of vitamin D, and each contains what is considered the superior type of D (D3, aka cholecalciferol). For optimal D3 absorption, take the supplements with a little healthy fat, like a teaspoon of coconut oil or a slice of avocado, suggests Rosalba Martone, Perricone MD’s Director of Education. Here are the top three Perricone MD supplements to try; simply choose the one the best fits your lifestyle and health goals.
This tasty green drink powder contains Perricone MD’s proprietary NRF2 Antioxidant Support Complex™, probiotics, biotin and other nourishing ingredients to support digestion and immunity, and strengthen your hair, skin and nails*. There are 30 packets in each box, and each single serving packet has 20 mcg (400 IU) of vitamin D, which is 50% of your RDA. Stir a packet into eight ounces of cold or room temperature water and enjoy once a day.
The nutrients in this daily supplement aids in boosting your metabolism and energy level, decreasing body fat, satisfying your appetite and improving skin health*. It contains a powerful combination of antioxidants, including 10 mcg (100 IU 50%) of vitamin D and hearty amounts of vitamins C and E, too. The product includes 90 individual packets, which each contain four capsules, three softgels and one caplet. Take one packet twice a day, about an hour before eating a meal.
Designed for head-to-toe health, Nutriceuticals Skin & Total Body is rich in vitamin D (there is 200 IU in the Super Antioxidant tablet and 33 IU in Calcium/Magnesium tablet for a total of 233 IU per dose). It also contains calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids—and this impressive nutrient profile keeps your heart, skin, nails, hair, eyes, teeth, bones, joints and muscles in tip-top shape*. Each box contains 60 packets consisting of 3 softgels, 2 capsules and 3 caplets. Take one packet per day, with a meal.
Combining Perricone MD supplements with an anti-inflammatory diet (and the right skincare products) is the safest and most effective way to get the vitamin D you need to improve your overall health—and the quality and appearance of your skin.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Product packaging may vary.