2

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Anyone Else Notice Their Tan Doesn't Fade Much Due to Vitamin D Supplementation?

Answered on March 13, 2015
Created February 13, 2011 at 9:20 PM

I fully expected my tan from last summer to fade within weeks and leave me with what would have been my normal much more pallid hue. This hasn't really occurred however. In fact, I'm not sure that it has faded much at all over the past few months, and I'm around the 45th parallel.

I can only assume that the body uses serum 25-OH vitamin D levels to regulate the amount of melanin in the skin cells. By beginning supplementation with 5000IU within days of stopping sun exposure (usually 20-30 shirtless minutes around solar noon) I think I have tricked my melanocytes into continuing to produce melanin since they "think" that I must still be exposed to UVB in substantial quantities.

Am I going nuts or is this a common phenomenon?

Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

(1669)

on August 14, 2013
at 06:51 PM

ah...interesting...haven't sup'd with Vitaman D...live on the bay so I'm always outside.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 12, 2013
at 07:24 PM

Hypervitaminosis D is insanely hard to induce, paricularly since supplementation is with a provitamin, not the active form.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 02, 2013
at 11:20 PM

I don't supplement vit D, but I get lots from the sun, and I don't burn now that I have been on paleo a couple years. I can spend 4 hours above 11,000 full sun and not get burned or darker.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 15, 2011
at 12:34 AM

Melanin production is also a means by which the body can decrease and thus regulate vitamin D synthesis. I don't see why there is any implication that vitamin D should be created in the absence of UVB.

5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on February 14, 2011
at 10:13 AM

Travis, I find your logic a litte bit off. Melanin and Vit D are both produced after exposure to UVB radiations, but Vit D synthesis does not cause melanin production. Melanin is a consequence of sun damage. On the other hand, melanin does not produce Vit D, but inhibits its synthesis. If it's true (as you suggest) that high levels of Vit D can trick your body into producing melanin because it "thinks" that you are being exposed to UVB, then, when you are tanned, you should be able to trick your body into producing lots of Vit D because it would also "think" that you are being exposed to UVB.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 14, 2011
at 04:00 AM

Hey, how about that. That's how you know you're not crazy, because someone else is pointing it. My GF had pointed out how I still had a tan recently and I hadn't really thought of it since you get used to how you look in the mirror day after day. I'm hoping it stays for a few more months so that I don't have to worry about slow induction of sun exposure.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 14, 2011
at 03:57 AM

Well I think the skin doesn't whiten when you don't get sun, it has to actively produce melanin to tan. If you never got sun I don't believe that you would tan simply with vitamin D because the effect is simply to maintain the amount of melanin that you already have.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 14, 2011
at 12:38 AM

No :( I wish...

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 13, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Hm, interesting observation and theory, but since I get lots of sun, I don't supp much, so could not say.

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9 Answers

2
4a474da367441f0e49e2d3261a57093f

on February 14, 2011
at 12:47 AM

I have had the same experience! I have very fair skin and supplemented vitamin D for the past year. I was able to get a much better tan this summer without burning than ever before. I have had no appreciable sun exposure since early September but my tan is still quite evident although it is slowly fading away.

1
21a2813241857e7532967e32e490061b

(50)

on February 14, 2011
at 06:35 PM

After years of avoiding the sun and using a lot of sunscreen (because I would burn easily) I was white as a snow.

I changed my diet 13 months ago and last summer I experimented with sunbathing without sunscreen to get my vitamin D and to test on myself if I would burn less.

The result: I got really nice tan quickly without burning (with one minor exception). Where I live it??s not even that sunny so I was really surprised and so were people around me. I have never in my life gotten so many compliments on my tan, before if people commented on my skin tone it was to make fun of how white I was. The few times I got some tan it wouldn??t last very long and wasn??t that noticable.

Since August I haven??t had any real sun exposure because summer is very short where I live. Six months later the tan has faded but it??s more like the tan I used to get before.

I think this is very interesting and might explain part of it. http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/01/study-people-prefer-carotene-complexion.html

The carotenoids in the food might contribute to it. But I did eat a lot of foods like that before I changed my diet so I think that avoiding the bad food has made the difference.

I have also been supplementing with vitamin D because of lack of sun but I don??t know if that has anything to do with it.

1
D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

on February 14, 2011
at 12:50 AM

Yes, I have definitely noticed this and so has my dermatologist. I have had several basal cell carcinomas removed from my back from years of sunburns (former tanning bed owner and major sun worshipper). I went to Jamaica this summer and I had a great tan (responsibly-no sunburns anymore) and I started supplementing with D in September. When I went for a checkup in November the doctor chastised me for using tanning beds again, and I assured her I was not. She exclaimed that was a long time for a summer tan to last. In January I noticed that my tan was finally completely faded, and prior to D supplementation a tan would have been gone in about three months. So for me, many skin conditions such as acne and dandruff have cleared up and the tan seems to last 2-3 month longer.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 14, 2011
at 04:00 AM

Hey, how about that. That's how you know you're not crazy, because someone else is pointing it. My GF had pointed out how I still had a tan recently and I hadn't really thought of it since you get used to how you look in the mirror day after day. I'm hoping it stays for a few more months so that I don't have to worry about slow induction of sun exposure.

0
4a5b2b6990aae40c895226e3cf454731

on March 13, 2015
at 11:39 AM

Thank you Paola, your interpretation sounds logical.??

But still, I wonder: I am taking fish oil regulary for years now (at least 5) and it's??the first winter I am still wearing last summers' tann - while??was at the seaside for a week only. It more woories than satisfies me, think it's not normal...

0
1dfb0e84dc8484bc6a4c9bddb927ba79

(0)

on August 14, 2013
at 04:38 PM

For my situation my Vit D was an 18 and the blood work was taken in july. Mid summer. I am taking 5000U prescribed by my physician in which I have to be retested in 6 months to see where my level is at. Normal levels supposedly is over 30. Personally I think all women should be tested regularly, especially if they live in the north as I do. I had no idea what was wrong with me or why I was so tired and developing asthma. My energy is better, breathing is better. Still working on feeling fully normal. Hoping my next set of blood tests come back better.

0
229faa9f9cb551cbf9d1d766b84cf8f5

on August 12, 2013
at 05:32 PM

"I can only assume that the body uses serum 25-OH vitamin D levels to regulate the amount of melanin in the skin cells."

This statement is not based on known medical science.

"By beginning supplementation with 5000IU"

This level of supplementation is extremely dangerous and can lead to vitamin D toxicity if it was not prescribed to you due to inadequate blood serum vitamin D levels. I am assuming you did not receive a blood test, diagnosis, or prescription before beginning this regimen.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 12, 2013
at 07:24 PM

Hypervitaminosis D is insanely hard to induce, paricularly since supplementation is with a provitamin, not the active form.

0
1dfb0e84dc8484bc6a4c9bddb927ba79

(0)

on August 12, 2013
at 05:22 PM

I have the same experience. I was very low in Vit D and the doctor had me start taking suppliments. I usually turn red and it fades. (I'm Half Irish) This summer the tan is turning brown and staying much longer than usual. I thought maybe it was the Vit D. I'm not in the sun that much as it is (office job) but notice when I am, it's not fading very much at all.

0
6ddde81b6204c08483ffad980a7e470c

on August 02, 2013
at 11:01 PM

I get sun exposure for abou 2 weeks once a year and my tan doesn't fade for the hole year really I'd do 5 mins on a sunbed once like every two months and I'm still dark and I'm Irish even tho I'm not the palest I was born wi a bit of colour but since I left Mexico last year I havnt faded my pure dark colour a tall what's up wi that?

0
5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on February 14, 2011
at 12:11 AM

According to your reasoning, supplementing with Vit D should give us a nice tan, which I don't think is the case.

A possible alternative explanation of what's happening to you is that because you keep supplementing Vit D you don't need to produce it through tanning, and thus your skin does not need to "whiten" so quickly. But then, I might be wrongly assuming that a phenomenon that takes generations to appear can manifest in a person's (seasonal) lifetime.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 14, 2011
at 03:57 AM

Well I think the skin doesn't whiten when you don't get sun, it has to actively produce melanin to tan. If you never got sun I don't believe that you would tan simply with vitamin D because the effect is simply to maintain the amount of melanin that you already have.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 15, 2011
at 12:34 AM

Melanin production is also a means by which the body can decrease and thus regulate vitamin D synthesis. I don't see why there is any implication that vitamin D should be created in the absence of UVB.

5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on February 14, 2011
at 10:13 AM

Travis, I find your logic a litte bit off. Melanin and Vit D are both produced after exposure to UVB radiations, but Vit D synthesis does not cause melanin production. Melanin is a consequence of sun damage. On the other hand, melanin does not produce Vit D, but inhibits its synthesis. If it's true (as you suggest) that high levels of Vit D can trick your body into producing melanin because it "thinks" that you are being exposed to UVB, then, when you are tanned, you should be able to trick your body into producing lots of Vit D because it would also "think" that you are being exposed to UVB.

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