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Randomized controlled pilot study shows vitamin D3 can be delivered through the skin safely

Posted on: April 21, 2014   by  Will Hunter


A new study in International Journal of Biomedical Science has shown that vitamin D can be safely and effectively absorbed through the skin.

Administering substances through the skin in order to be absorbed and distributed throughout the body is known as transdermal administration. Transdermal administration is a relatively recent discovery in medicine and has been used and is currently used to administer various pharmaceutical compounds such as scopolamine (treats motion sickness), nicotine, and testosterone.

The current study used transdermal administration to address an overlooked problem with vitamin D supplementation. This is the problem in which vitamin D deficiency still occurs in people who are prescribed adequate doses of vitamin D.

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11 Responses to Randomized controlled pilot study shows vitamin D3 can be delivered through the skin safely

  1. PeterVermont

    It would be interesting to know whether this form of administration would result in self-regulation of the vitamin D serum levels. Since the vitamin D3 is coming in via the skin which is the same as the endogenous vitamin D3 production, conceivably the endogenous mechanisms preventing vitamin D toxicity via sunlight would work in the transdermal application as well.

    • Will Hunter

      I don’t see any reason that it wouldn’t. Obviously, the timing of application would have to be synchronized with the exposure to sunlight. The sunlight will not be able to degrade the vitamin D once it is fully absorbed by the skin.

  2. PeterVermont

    This article has a misspelled tag: trasdermal rather than transdermal

    • Will Hunter

      Thanks for letting me know. I fixed it.

  3. [email protected]

    Neat that it has been proven that you can increase your vitamin D levels topically
    The full study is at http://vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page_id=5218
    Note that there are many companies selling topical vitamin D, including one in which it is combined with Aloe Vera – as was done in this study. The link above includes the product on Amazon
    By the way: For years I have been applying Vitamin D oil once every 5 days to eliminate psoriasis on my knee

    Also: there was a good review of topical use of vitamin D in March 2014
    I find it amusing that the current science says that vitamin D must go thru the liver and kidney before it can be used, but vitamin D applied to a portion of the skin helps that portion – without seeming to need to take a detour thru the liver and kidney.

  4. Rita and Misty

    This is exciting news.

    By the way, a little personal anecdote here:

    I used to be in love with Retin A…really, my last penny would go towards the purchase of this very expensive prescription face cream…and for those who know me, this was amazing, as I am a very frugal girl.

    But, vanity thy name is woman.

    Two years ago, I made a brazen move. I tossed aside my beloved Retin A for a new love–vitamin D. I started applying 1,000 iu D3 nightly to my face. Within a month the texture of my skin greatly improved–and it was pretty good at the start of this experiment.

    To keep to the point: I never returned to pursue my Retin A treatments. I have been totally faithful to my vitamin D applications.

    I’m 49 years old and folks tell me I look 30 (I don’t believe them, but I say thank you anyways πŸ˜‰ )

    I am Retin A and Botox free.

    And totally committed to my vitamin D.

    Just an aside: Up until reading this article, I wondered if the topical D had anything to do with my youthful appearance. Many have told me that D cannot be absorbed thru the skin. So I thought that perhaps my optimal 25(OH)D level might be responsible for great skin.

  5. fredglass

    Rita, how did apply the vit D? Did you use a plain liquid formulation? Did you mix it with aloe vera as in the Saudi study? I have read that Vit D is only soluble in a lipid. If so how can it be combined in aloe vera which I presume is water based. Thanks, Fred

  6. Rita and Misty

    Fred–the 1000 iu D3 is in a Shea butter base. I purchase it as a cream. My skin looks great.

  7. allometric24

    Why has my contribution to this disappeared?

  8. Rebecca Oshiro

    Rita, do you mix the cream yourself or purchase it ready to go? If so what is the link to the product?

  9. Rita and Misty

    Hi Rebecca~I was just thinking of you! πŸ™‚

    I have at times utilized a liquid D3 as a facial elixir, but mostly I am enamored with this cream (and no I do not work for the Life-flo company πŸ˜‰ )


    Rebecca, I am telling you that my skin is awesome, and I don’t wear make up. The photo I use here as a profile was taken two years ago, at the start of my vitamin D journey. My skin is way better now. If you visit the VDC FB page, you can find me and click on my photos, as they are open to the public. You will see how vitamin D3 has improved my skin.


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