vitamin DI feel like it’s a good idea for me to mention this at least once per winter. Tons of people are deficient in vitamin D, especially now that a lot of us are using SPF more regularly. Our bodies are perfectly designed to get vitamin D through sun exposure on the skin, so well designed in fact that if you get enough sun exposure during the summer, your body will hold on to its vitamin D and use it all winter. However, if you are light skinned and didn’t end up getting 10-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure per day during the summer or if you are darker skinned and didn’t get a bare minimum of 20-60 minutes of unprotected sun exposure per day, you may need to supplement with a vitamin D pill this winter. To know for sure you need your doc to check your levels.

Vitamin D helps in wound healing, cell differentiation, and in moderating inflammation, 3 things that are important to acne sufferers. While there is little published research attempting to link vitamin D levels to acne, it can’t hurt to make sure your levels are in the acceptable range. I would love to see more research on this in the future.

I am light skinned and I try to get unprotected sun exposure during the summer whenever I can, but I work during the day and very often don’t get the time in the sun that I like. The last time I had my vitamin D levels checked they were right on the line between acceptable and deficient, so I take a 10,000iu vitamin D pill a few times a week during the winter. 10,000iu is the upper limit recommended by the Vitamin D Council per day. Your body can produce 10,000iu – 25,000iu in a day of moderate sun exposure. When taking vitamin D, look for D3, which almost all leading authorities recommend over D2, and as always, if you have specific medical issues, be sure to talk to your doctor before supplementing.

Vitamin D Questions and Answers:

What about fish oil?  It doesn’t contain vitamin D (with the exception of Cod Liver Oil), but since we’re talking about supplements, does fish oil break people out like some people say?

I can’t imagine a reason why fish oil would break people out.  Before agriculture came about, humans ate much higher amounts of omega-3 fats in their diets.  Omega-3s are an extremely natural part of the human diet.  I would urge people who think that fish oil is breaking them out to remain open minded and look for other variables that might be the culprit.  Supplementing with fish oil, or eating a diet rich in wild fish is a healthy lifestyle, and in my research seems to point toward a potentially positive impact on acne.

Why was the Vitamin D Council I linked to in my comment edited out?

We do not allow hyperlinking in blog comments.  Unfortunately, there are simply far too many spammers to allow it.  However, the Vitamin D Council is a great resource, so there’s a link.

Ancient History of Acne Questions and Answers (note:  there are lots of interesting responses in the comments section of that particular blog post):

Why is acne localized mostly on the face?

We have many more sebaceous follicles on the face than elsewhere on our bodies. Acne generates within these follicles.  The only place where we do not have sebaceous follicles is on the palms of our hands and soles of our feet, which is why it is impossible to get acne in those areas.

Maybe eating grains causes acne?

Humans have only been subsisting on agriculture for about 5,000 years.  We evolved as a species for hundreds of thousands of years prior to that, and ate very little or no grains. Studying a possible diet and acne link is interesting, but eliminating grains in one’s diet is almost impossible for any modern human.  We tried it here on Acne.org a few years ago, and out of 25 of us who attempted to eliminate grains entirely, only one or two of us managed to even come close, and in the end, we all ended up quitting.  It really is that hard.

What do you think of SMT_D002?

For those of you who are not familiar with it, SMT_D002 is an oral drug which its owners claimed may reduce sebum much like Accutane without the side effects.  This sort of claim sounds intriguing, but the drug appears to have only been entered into a small Phase 1 trial (18 subjects), and its owners have since dropped it in lieu of possibly developing a topical medication instead.  Of all the new drugs which show initial promise in treating a disease, an extremely small percentage make it through trials and to market.  At this point, I don’t know if it is worth much of our time keeping up with this one in particular, especially since the company has put it effectively on hold.

New Moisturizer Questions and Answers:

Whatever happened to the new labels?

The new labels are more of a long-term project at this point.  Please know that I have heard your input on them, and that we are working hard on transitioning to a new look eventually. For now, they will be remaining much the same.  If the Acne.org on there really bugs you, feel free to put a sticker on there.  I tried it just for fun to see how it would look and it actually doesn’t look bad at all.

What are your recommendations about using the AHA+ as an overall moisturizer?

The AHA+ is still a great moisturizer to use from time to time, even if you are now using the new Acne.org Moisturizer.  I still recommend using the AHA+ 2-3 evenings a week if you desire, but it is not mandatory.  It will improve skin tone and still provides extra insurance that your skin will appear smoother if you have an important event coming up.  Also, even though it is now approaching winter, remember that AHA will make you more sensitive to the sun, and it is still important to stay aware of this.

Do you still recommend adding jojoba oil to the new moisturizer?

I made certain that the new moisturizer has the same percentage of jojoba oil as the previous moisturizer.  Thus it is perfectly fine to continue adding a few drops of jojoba oil into the new moisturizer each time you apply it if you would like.  If you use a full two pumps of the new moisturizer, which I very highly recommend that you do, you may not require the additional jojoba.  If you still need more flakiness control, however, feel free to add jojoba into the mix.

I need a good eye cream.  Is it safe to use the new moisturizer under the eyes?

Absolutely, with this one caveat:  Anything that goes over benzoyl peroxide can bring the benzoyl peroxide along with it.  If you have sensitive skin around the eyes, be careful not to let this happen during application.

How does the new moisturizer work on oily skin?

It seems to work brilliantly on people with oily skin.  This makes sense because it contains jojoba oil and is specifically designed not to leave sheen on the skin.  Feel free to ask people on the messageboards or look through the reviews of the new moisturizer.

How do I know if I have the old version of the moisturizer or the new one?

The old one is white.  The new one is yellow due to licochalcone, the licorice root extract which is in the new formula.

Irritation Page Questions and Answers:

What about tissues that contain lotion?  Can they break you out?

Great question.  I did a search and it appears that the lotion contained in these tissues may be suspect.  At times they contain emollients such as isopropyl palmitate, which impart a silky feel to the skin, but which also present as top offenders in comedogenicity studies.  Other brands sometimes contain less offensive but still questionable ingredients such as shea butter.  I think it may be best to stay away from tissues with lotion until we get more feedback from Acne.org users on whether they do indeed break people out.  If you have used these types of tissues, please post your experience on the boards.  In the meantime, I’ll be sure to add this information to the irritation page.

SPF Questions and Answers:

I want the SPF now!  Can you just release it at a high price?

I feel more comfortable releasing this at an affordable price.  In these economically troubling days in particular, I think it is my responsibility to make sure we price things within reach.  I have no doubt this is possible, and I will make it happen.

Shaving Cream Questions and Answers:

Hey Dan, will you try (brand X) shaving cream?

I looked into each suggestion, and each one contained ingredients am not currently comfortable recommending, including either stearic acid, palmitic acid, SLS, or Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20.  If you are completely clear and your skin looks good using these shaving creams/gels feel free to continue.  However, if you are experiencing any issues with your skin, your shaving cream/gel may be the culprit.  In that case I would very highly recommend you switch to simply the lather from a gentle cleanser for a while and see if that clears you up.

I did some research on zinc. When taken internally it acts as an anti-inflammatory which can help with acne symptoms. Just be sure not to take it on an empty stomach and not to take more than 100mg a day–50mg is what is normally recommended in what I’m reading.