Can we wash off vitamin D?
Hi guys I’m James Spurgeon and if your watching
this you’re likely already familiar with the
concept that when our skin is exposed to sunlight,
it synthesizes vitamin D. But, you may have
also read on health blogs that if you shower
after laying out in the sun you will wash
off this vitamin D. So let’s run through this.
First off, you don’t make vitamin D in the
oils on TOP of your skin, which some people
Some say that if you shower right after you
lay out in the sun you’ll wash off these beneficial
oils and therefore wash off vitamin D. That’s
now how it works.
So how does it work?
When you’re outside, more so through the hours
of 11am – 3pm, UVA and UVB light penetrate
exposed skin, assuming you’re not wearing
But what layers of the skin do they penetrate.
If you look at this picture you can see there’s
these top two layers – the stratum corneum
and the stratum lucidum.
Now those are dead skin layers, which could
be layers you could wash off while showering.
So if vitamin D were made here maybe these
people would have a point.
Vitamin D is made in living cells.
If you look deep within the epidermis you
will see the stratum spinosum and stratum
basale, this is the basal layer.
These are deep within the epidermis and are
The top two skin layers don’t have DNA, they
don’t have a nucleus – they’re dead.
They’re not making vitamin D. UVB light penetrates
deep into the epidermis – the stratum spinosum
and the basal layer beneath that.
UVA can also mildly make vitamin D and it
can penetrate deep into the DERMIS.
So it’s not possible to wash this stuff off
because it’s being made deep within the epidermis.
The other thing to consider is, these vitamin
D precursors being made in the skin aren’t
ALWAYS just staying in the skin.
Sometimes they’re being delivered to the bloodstream
to be converted to the active form of vitamin
d and then delivered to various areas of the
body that need vitamin d most.
So to summarize, you don’t make vitamin D
in the oils on top of your skin, you don’t
make it in the dead skin layer that could
possibly be washed off while you shower.
It’s made deep within the epidermis in living
It’s not possible to wash this off.
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