Does Your Skin Really Need Vitamin D?

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For as long as we can remember, we've been told all sun exposure is evil. We've slathered on our SPF 70, hidden under hats and umbrellas, avoided going outside during peak UV exposure hours, and generally just shunned the sun like albino hermits. Then the skin care experts were all like "Oh hai guys, by the way, not getting any sun is bad for you and now you're all vitamin D deficient. Okay, bye!" Fabulous.
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"Three out of four people in the US are deficient in vitamin D," says Dr. Dennis Gross, an NYC dermatologist. "Skin is an organ, and like all our other organs, it needs all vital vitamins in order for it to function properly. Vitamin D replenishes hydration and boosts elasticity, helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles, enhances the skin’s radiance, and helps correct sun damage and dark spots."
The moment news broke of this whole vitamin D debacle, the market was suddenly flooded with new supplements to help you boost your D levels. Unfortunately, according to Dr. Gross, the problem with these supplements is that they contain inactive vitamin D — you still need to expose your body to UV rays in order to activate them and get the health and beauty benefits. Bummer.
Enter topical vitamin D skin creams. Dr. Gross' new Active Vitamin D Serum-Oil features ergocalciferol, the active form of vitamin D that instantly penetrates the skin to give you all the benefits of vitamin D, without having to expose yourself to the sun. "Topical application of vitamin D has dramatic, visible anti-aging effects," says Dr. Gross. "There’s a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, and skin appears younger and firmer. Hydration levels are increased, which yields more radiance, elasticity and bounce. The overall complexion will also improve as pores begin to appear reduced and acne scars are diminished. Taking a vitamin D supplement orally, while benefiting the body, will not give you the same skin care benefits as daily, topical application."
So, what do you think? Is everyone overreacting about vitamin D, or are you going to be first in line to stock up on these new potions?
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Active Vitamin D Serum-Oil, $65, available at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare.
Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Dennis Gross
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