The unexpected role of sunlight on our microbiome

Sun protection is often the first rule of skincare. During the summer months, we are reminded to slather on sunscreen to prevent sunburn and the consequences of excessive sun exposure — whether health or beauty related. However, a certain amount of sunlight is beneficial to our health, and even our microbiome.

As approximately 80% of our Vitamin D requirements come from ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure (1), a certain amount of time in the sun, without intense exposure, is a natural way to avoid Vitamin D deficiency.

Whilst it has long been known that Vitamin D is important for bone health, recent findings suggest another role for it — in our microbiome. Canadian researchers have recently found a positive correlation between Vitamin D levels and microbial diversity in the gut. And as many previous studies show, a diverse gut microbiome is associated with better health and well-being outcomes.

This research provides further reasoning to suggest that we need to be mindful about our Vitamin D intake.

And as we head into the winter months (except our lucky Southern Hemisphere countries), and SPF protection is still a must-have in skincare routines, we need to keep a watchful eye on our Vitamin D. Lots of time outside and a nutritious, varied diet will help combat any possible deficiencies associated with the winter months.

You can find more insights around skincare trends that leverage the skin microbiome and our interviews with experts in the field right here on The Secret Life of Skin.

sunlight on the microbiome


[1] Medical Xpress – Where the sun doesn’t shine? Skin UV exposure reflected in poop

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