Affectionately referred to as the "Sunshine Vitamin," vitamin D can build up by exposing the body to teeny amounts of sunshine per day (5-15 minutes). Not too bad of a deal...or so we thought. Dermatologist Neal Schultz, M.D. cautions that going out into the sunshine without proper SPF protection can cause premature aging and increase your risk for cancer—sun bunnies, take note.
Perhaps this is one reason we've seen vitamin D-infused beauty products popping up everywhere. Our recent scopes include Life Extension Vitamin D Lotion by Cosmesis, Dr. Goldfaden's Vitamin D Face Cream, and Dr. Dennis Gross' Active Vitamin D Serum-Oil, which is marketed as the "first and only serum created to provide sufficient levels of vitamin D through topical application." An impressive claim? You betcha.
We tested the serum, and fell in love with its texture (it's super light and easily absorbed). We were also impressed that we could use it as a primer to boost skin elasticity and hydration, reduce pore size, and amp up radiance. All thumbs up.
But not all dermatologists agree that topical application will give you enough Vitamin D. "I always recommend [that] my patients [get] real sunlight exposure (with SPF protection)," says L'Oreal Professional Brand Ambassador and dermatologist Gervaise Gestner, M.D. "A lot of people aren’t getting that 15 minutes of sun." She also says Vitamin D supplements and some foods are a good source of the nutrient. For example, "nearly every cereal is fortified with Vitamin D," she says.
Dr. Schultz warns against exposure to sunlight without adequate SPF, and says he hasn't seen any clinical evidence to support the claim that a daily dose of Vitamin D (typically around the range of 600-800 units) can be received and metabolized through topical application only.
What are your thoughts on the vitamin D craze?