Sun & Vitamin D Conversion

Amir Karam MD Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Founder / Creator of KaramMD Skin

Vitamin D is both a nutrient and a hormone our bodies make. It helps absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus for bone health, reduces cancer cell growth and inflammation, and controls infections. Vitamin D is produced in the presence of the sun’s UVB rays, earning the nickname “the sunshine vitamin.”

Undoubtedly, this is an essential vitamin for your overall health and well-being. But as we know, unprotected sun exposure is one of the most significant facial aging factors and should be avoided at all costs. Whenever I post advocating for obsessive sun protection, people in the comments always ask about Vitamin D and how they will get it if they’re always wearing sunscreen. In the below Instagram reel, I discuss what you need to know about the sun and Vitamin D conversion.

You don’t need much sun exposure for Vitamin D conversion

The truth is, you don’t need that much exposure to sunlight to absorb and convert Vitamin D. Since your body doesn’t need much sun exposure to absorb and convert Vitamin D, you only need fifteen to thirty minutes a few times weekly to get what you need.

Also, your face does not need to be in the sun; it could be any part of your body to absorb the nutrients you need effectively. Unless you cover every inch of your body with sun protection, some exposure will still provide what you need.

So…Vitamin D absorption is no excuse not to protect your face from the sun! Your skin will thank you, and you will age much more gracefully if you put sun protection first.

Other ways to get Vitamin D

Supplements can give you that extra Vitamin D support if you feel you are lacking, without damaging your skin.

Another way to get Vitamin D is with your diet. Foods naturally rich in vitamin D include the flesh of fatty fish and fish liver oils, such as:

  • Cod liver oil

  • Salmon

  • Swordfish

  • Tuna fish

  • Sardines

Smaller amounts are naturally found in:

  • Egg yolks

  • Cheese

  • Beef liver

  • Some mushrooms

Many foods and supplements are fortified with vitamin D, including the following:

  • Orange juice

  • Dairy and plant milks

  • Fortified cereals

Sunscreen is the best anti-aging secret

Even if you avoid direct sunlight on your face, general sun exposure is a given in life. The best way to prevent and pause the aging effect of the sun is by protecting yourself with the right sunscreen for your face and skin. Simple skincare secrets for proper sunscreen protection can revitalize the condition of your skin, taking it to the next level. To learn more about these sunscreen tips, check out the below video. If you start early, in your 20s and 30s, you’ll be ahead of the game.


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