Everyone knows that Vitamin D is good for you. It is the “sunshine vitamin” that your body synthesizes from exposure to sunlight. It is essential in your body’s internal distribution of calcium and phosphorus, as well as for your bone development, skin health, and overall energy and wellness.
Not everyone gets enough Vitamin D. If you live up North, certain times of year offer very little sunlight. The light is weak, the hours are few and, because the temperatures are low, your skin is always covered up! This is prime time to find yourself with a deficiency. There are other situations that can lead to a Vitamin D deficiency as well.
Chronically ill or housebound people often lack Vitamin D. Pregnant women and people who are overweight need a lot more Vitamin D than the average person. Those with darker skin also need more sunlight than a lighter skinned person in order to absorb the same amount of vitamin D. Older people are often Vitamin D deficient as well because, as a person ages, their skin also thins, making it harder for them to absorb as much Vitamin D through sun exposure. In fact, it’s estimated that over 40% of people over 65 are deficient in Vitamin D, regardless of their home climate.
All of these different factors can lead to a deficiency. However, your body doesn’t just generate Vitamin D from sunlight, it also absorbs it from the foods you eat. Milk, eggs, small fish such as herring, sardines, and mackerel, as well as larger ones like tuna and salmon, fortified cereal and breads are all sources of Vitamin D. There are also supplements you can take such as NOW Foods Vitamin D Softgels that will boost your levels. It is important to have your blood levels tested before taking a supplement, as it is possible to have too much Vitamin D in your system. A test will show whether or not you need the supplement and how much of it will be ideal. Because most Vitamin D in foods and supplements comes from animal products, vegans are almost always low in the vitamin and need to be vigilant to keep their levels up.
All of these different forms of obtaining Vitamin D, skin synthesis in sun exposure, food, and supplements, all provide an inert form of the vitamin. In order to be useful to you, first your liver and then your kidneys need to transform this inert form into the active form that your body uses, often referred to as D3. Many creams on the other hand, supply pre-activated forms of Vitamin D for rapid absorption.
At first, scientists didn’t believe Vitamin D could be absorbed from a skin application into the blood stream, where it was needed. However, Vitamin D creams and lotions were still useful because they had a number of benefits on the skin. The main benefit is in managing psoriasis.
Many prescription drug therapies for psoriasis include high doses of Vitamin D applied topically. It has been found to reduce the skin cell replication rate, one of the main factors that leads to the formation of psoriasis plaques. These fast-multiplying layers of skin are dry and itchy and they make their bearer feel embarrassed and self-conscious. Moderate sun exposure, as well as moisturizing Vitamin D creams, can have a fantastic effect on soothing irritation and reducing plaque appearances.
New research has also found that this topical application of Vitamin D does boost the presence of Vitamin D in the blood stream as well. This means that Vitamin D creams are effective at delivering a mild increase over time of this essential vitamin into your system.
Whether you have a skin condition and need relief, or a vitamin deficiency and want balance, here are some great creams to get you back where you want to be:
|Vita Sciences||1.7 oz.||$$$$||5|
|NOW Foods||4 oz.||$$||4.5|
|AnuMed International||3 oz.||$$$||4|
1. Vita Sciences
Vita Science’s Maxasorb D3 Vitamin D Cream is a great cream for healing skin issues and moderately improving Vitamin D blood levels. The pump bottle delivers a perfect dosage of 1,000 IUs of Vitamin D per pump, with at least 30 pumps in the bottle. This makes it a perfect, one-month supply of Vitamin D for deficient skin.
The formula is hypoallergenic, non-greasy, and odorless, and has also been tested to be compatible with many other medications. The water, aloe, and coconut oil base make it easily absorbable through your skin, and added Vitamin E helps keep your skin blemish-free.
It’s a little expensive, but it is the best option for people on other medications who want to be certain of no interference. Vita Science’s money back guarantee means you can always get a refund if you don’t like it.
2. NOW Foods
NOW Foods Vitamin D-3 Cream comes fully loaded with 1,000IU per gram of easily absorbable Vitamin D. IU stands for International Units and is the measurement used all over the world for vitamins. This is an effective concentration for treating moderate skin problems, as well as for raising blood concentration levels. It is also gentle enough for regular use and is mild enough for people who are sensitive to Vitamin D creams.
Vitamin D isn’t all this cream does. It’s also packed with 500 IU of Vitamin A and 50 IU of Vitamin E. These nutrients keep your skin healthy and glowing, restoring collagen production, fighting free-radicals, and fading blemishes.
The formula is paraben-free, and made with a fantastic medley of natural, skin-moisturizing materials. These include aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba oil, and meadowfoam seed oil. Just rub it all over, or target particularly dry and scaly patches, for soft and soothed skin. It has a thick consistency, which makes it great for targeting specific spots and staying put. The cream also has a mild, citrus scent and is non-greasy. The product comes in an easy-to-use squeeze bottle.
3. AnuMed International
AnuMed International has two different Vitamin D creams on the market. The first is the standard Vitamin D3 Cream, with a very high concentration— 10,000 IU per gram. It is very potent and effective at relieving psoriasis and eczema, as well as raising Vitamin D levels in the blood stream. This means you never have to use a pill and instead you can use this nice moisturizer! Added magnesium helps with absorption and helps resolve issues that frequently arise alongside Vitamin D deficiency. It’s a bit pricey, but it has the highest concentration of a Vitamin D cream, spreads well, and delivers excellent results. It has a slight menthol scent.
AnuMed’s second cream is called Vitamin D3+K Cream with Magnesium. It comes in the same size pump bottle, but has a lower dose of Vitamin D, which is better for some people with more sensitive skin or for those who just don’t need as much to balance a more mild deficiency. The 5,000 IU per gram concentration is more than enough to slow down cell turnover and reduce psoriasis, and it is potent enough to moderately raise blood concentrations.
This formula, in addition to the magnesium, incorporates 150 mcgs of Vitamin K. This helps fade bruising and dark spots, as well as boosting circulation to reduce under-eye bags and help with the absorption of the vitamin.
Many people have tried Vitamin D creams, not really knowing what to expect, and have been thrilled with the results. Late winter is a great time to give it a try and see if it doesn’t ease some aches and pains you didn’t even know were from a lack of this essential nutrient! You can get some relief from psoriasis, or just make your skin happier. A quality Vitamin D cream is sure to make you feel like you just bathed in sunshine.