As the sun begins to hide and the temperature begins to drop, our main source of vitamin D says a not-so-friendly goodbye and heads on a northern holiday for a few months. For a lot of us, this can lead to a deficiency in vitamin D.
Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption, healthy bones, a healthy immune system and healthy muscles. So, we need it in our lives. And yes, despite living in sunny Australia, vitamin D deficiency is pretty common. I personally have been deficient multiple times – and as such make sure to always take supplements over winter.
And yes, while supplements are an effective way to up your vitamin D intake during the winter months, there is a multitude of other ways to increase your vitamin D during this time.
- The Sun
While the sun is less strong and therefore more difficult to absorb vitamin D from in the winter, it is still possible.
To get the recommended levels of vitamin D sit in the midday sun for about 2-3 hours per week. Getting vitamin D this way does depend on your schedule and the weather conditions, but for some people can be quite feasible.
Just remember to take into consideration your skin colour – it will be way easier for people with fairer skin to get their recommended vitamin D than for people with darker skin. This is for the same reason that fairer skins burn more easily – melanin helps to block out UV rays.
At least, the delicious feeling the warm sun on your skin in winter can be felt everyone – regardless of skin colour.
To make sure you’re hitting the ideal absorption level, it’s okay to skip the sunscreen and expose as much of your skin as the winter chill permits. Just make sure that your skin care routine is still looking after your skin – you can still get sunburnt in winter. Using natural skin care products will ensure your skin is able to stand up to both the winter wind chill and the sun.
- Skin care
Move over vitamin C and AHAs, vitamin D is the next big thing in skin care. With more and more products containing the magical ingredient, it is becoming easier and easier to obtain.
A vitamin D serum is a great addition to your organic skin care routine. It’s anti-inflammatory and reduces the impact of pollution – perfect for city-dwellers. Plus, vitamin D serums deliver all of the nutrients directly through your skin, as if coming from the sun itself. This allows them to be easily absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
- Vitamin D Cream
Vitamin D creams are the happy medium between oral supplements and skin care. With the strength of a supplement with the ease and moisturising benefits of a cream, these creams allow the vitamin D to be absorbed directly into the skin and then directly into the bloodstream.
An added benefit if you have psoriasis - a vitamin D cream may be the perfect way to help prevent and soothe those nasty, sore red flakes.
Mushrooms are one of the best food sources of vitamin D. Why? Well, they process sunlight in a similar way to you and me - they absorb sunshine and convert it into vitamin D.
Because of this, they have a high level of vitamin D which we can then absorb either through eating or through directly through the skin using skincare products containing mushroom extracts.