Vitamins are essential for maintaining optimal levels of skin health, appearance, and function. Eating nutrient-dense foods, taking vitamin supplements, and using topical products containing vitamins can all be beneficial. In addition to helping skin look its best, vitamins can also be used to manage a variety of skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, and the effects of photo-aging.
In this article, we look at the different forms of vitamin A and how you can use it to benefit your skin.
What is vitamin A?
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that supports skin, eye, and reproductive health, and immune function. There are two types of vitamin A: retinoids (preformed vitamin A) and carotenoids (preformed vitamin A). Both types are converted to retinol by the liver. There, it’s either stored or transported by the lymphatic system to cells throughout the body.
Skin is a retinoid-responsive organ, able to readily absorb vitamin A when applied topically.
Retinol stimulates the production of new skin cells. Without it, skin can become overly dry. According to research reported in Clinical Interventions in AgingTrusted Source, a deficit of retinol can also cause follicular hyperkeratosis, a condition marked by too much keratin in the hair follicles. This causes raised papules to form on the skin.
Benefits of vitamin A on skin
- Anti-wrinkle: Retinoids work best against the most visible effects of aging, the fearsome wrinkles. They are often found in the form of gels or serums.
- Firming: Retinoic acid (the active form of retinoid on the skin) regulates the queratogenesis and this is necessary to keep the skin smooth, fresh and moist. A vitamin A deficiency can cause dry, itchy skin or dry hair. On a systematic level, it can produce any of the following symptoms: Night blindness, dry and inflamed eyes and reduced resistance to infections
- Pigmentation: Vitamin A is an element that likely contributes more to maintaining healthy skin and helps promote a natural tan, since it encourages the pigmentation development in the skin.
- Acne treatment: Isotretinoin is a drug derived from retinoic acid (vitamin A) which has a big effect on cystic or severe acne. Its original form helps sebum regulation.
- Antioxidant: Beta-carotenes have an antioxidant action, meaning that they protect the body from illness and aging by blocking the action of so-called free radicals which are compounds that damage skin cells. They can be included in some treatments in a concentrated form.
- Healing: Vitamin A promotes the healing and softness of our skin and regulates the metabolism of cellular regeneration in the horny layer.