Benefits Of Vitamin A For Face


If you’re looking for a way to improve your skin’s health and appearance, vitamin A might be the answer.

We all know that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies, but did you know that it’s also one of the most important? It protects us from germs and bacteria, helps regulate our body temperature, and even helps us maintain a healthy mood.

But sometimes our skin can get worn down by stress or environmental factors. In this case, helping it stay healthy can be a challenge. That’s where vitamin A comes in!

Benefits Of Vitamin A For Face

How Does Vitamin A Benefit Your Skin?


Image: Shutterstock

Did anyone ever tell you that glowing skin can’t just be achieved with external skincare products? Your diet plays a major role in determining your skin’s health. And while there are many superfoods you should be consuming, Vitamin A is a multi-functional vitamin that can benefit your skin at many levels.

From reducing scarring due to acne to the appearance of wrinkles, we tell you all about this wonderful nutrient. Read on.

Benefits Of Vitamin A For The Skin

Whether consumed through foods and supplements, or applied through topical lotions and creams, vitamin A has multiple uses and can even address certain skin problems. Some of them are listed below:

1. Prevents Premature Aging

When you eat foods that contain beta carotene [1] and provitamin A carotenoids [2], their antioxidant properties destroy the free radicals responsible for breaking down collagen (leading to fine lines and wrinkles). Thus, it prevents premature ageing.

2. Protection Against Damage From The Sun

Consuming adequate amounts of Vitamin A can help protect the skin against damage from the UV rays of the sun. It will make your skin less sensitive to the sun and protect it against sunburn and pigmentation.

3. Promotes Healthy Cell Regeneration

The carotenoids present in Vitamin A — retinol and retinoic acid — are vital for the production of healthy cells. Vitamin A is also a known stimulant for fibroblasts, cells that develop tissues responsible for firmness of the skin at the dermis level.

Vitamin A promotes healthy cell production, which strengthens the outer layer of the skin – the first barrier against infections, bacteria and pollution. A lack of carotenoids and Vitamin A can weaken your skin and lead to problems such as slow healing wounds and skin dryness or pruritus.

4. Reduces And Smoothens Wrinkles

Several anti-ageing OTC products and dermatologist-prescribed creams contain retinol (Vitamin A) in topical form. Retinol and retinoic acid are proven ingredients that help fight early signs of ageing. They help generate new cells that produce new collagen [3]. These ingredients stimulate the production of collagen, which can break down due to external factors such as UV rays and pollution.

5. Gives Your Skin A Glow And Even Skin Tone

Using creams that contain Vitamin A can help reduce pigmentation and give your skin a glow. These creams increase cell regeneration that discards damaged and dead cells. Healthier, younger and newer cells rise to the surface, giving the skin an even tone.

Retinoids present in Vitamin A creams work as blockers of the enzyme that produces melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its colour. Reduced melanin production implies an even toned and glowing skin.

6. Controls And Removes Acne

Acne is generated due to clogged pores, bacteria, excess sebum and dead skin cells. These blocked pores are where the acne causing bacteria, Propionibacterium Acnes can breed, leading to acne and blemishes. Vitamin A creams help stimulate cell production and slow down oil production that prevents acne formation.

Whether OTC or prescribed by a dermatologist, retinoid creams and ointments can reduce acne and prevent their reappearance, since they are anti-inflammatory [4] in nature. Retinoids can also help remove dead skin cells, which prevents the recurrence of clogged pores. Topical retinoids are effective in treating acne for teenagers and adults according to research [5].

Pro tip:

If you need a strong topical Vitamin A cream, ask your dermatologist to prescribe one. It is likely to be more effective and stronger in dosage than OTC ones. It would usually have Retin-A included in the name.

Available Forms Of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is available through various sources, primarily through foods. Retinoids and carotenoids are the main forms of Vitamin A that need to be consumed. Here are some of the main sources:

1. Vitamin A In Foods

Retinoids are found in eggs, salmon, prawns, cod liver oil, beef liver and dairy products including milk, cheddar cheese and butter. Carotenoids are found in plant-based foods such as carrots, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, tomatoes; and fruits including plums, apricots, papayas and mangoes.

2. Vitamin A Supplements And Tablets

Vitamin A can also be consumed as a supplement or tablet. They are available in various versions such as retinoids like retinyl acetate [6] or retinyl palmitate [7]; or only beta carotene which is a carotenoid. Others are a combination of both retinoids and carotenoids.

Vitamin A is often found as an ingredient in multivitamin and mineral supplement combinations. It is also added to several products that are fortified with additional nutrients like milk and breakfast cereals.

3. Vitamin A In Topical Creams

There is a range of skincare products that have Vitamin A as an ingredient. These range from anti-ageing creams to sunscreens, anti-acne ointments and even sunscreens and oils reinforced with vitamin A.

4. Vitamin A Oil For The Skin

Vitamin A oil is available in the forms of oils, serums and capsules that can be broken and applied on the skin. However, it is safer to apply a little bit on a smaller area over a few days and check your skin’s reaction. If it works, you can use it all over your face and neck.

Did You Know?

  • A study conducted on women revealed that when they used prescribed Vitamin A creams for ten months to a year, there was much less wrinkling of the skin. When examined by experts, the collagen in their skin had increased by 80%.
  • Young mothers who are breast-feeding and those planning a family need more Vitamin A than other adults.
  • Vitamin A can regularise your blood flow which enables the nutrients in your cream to reach the deeper layers of the skin.
  • Vitamin A helps to reduce the redness caused due to rosacea.

How Much Vitamin A Do You Need?

According to reports, women should consume 700 mcg and men should consume 900 mcg of Vitamin A on a daily basis. Children need lesser quantities. If you prefer to take a supplement, it is best to consult your doctor to determine the quantity. Too much Vitamin A can cause harm if it builds up in the body.

Pro tip:

If choosing a supplement, opt for one that is a derivative of provitamin A [beta carotene], which can lessen your risk of toxicity. It is recommended you try and get your dose of Vitamin A through natural sources like eggs, carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes than a supplement.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin A?

There are several ailments and symptoms that can indicate whether your body is getting enough Vitamin A. These are some of the conditions that can occur due to a lack of Vitamin A:

  • Lack of Vitamin A can be a cause for eczema as Vitamin A has anti-inflammatory properties. Research proves that alitretinoin, a doctor prescribed formulation, can help to treat eczema [8]. In one 12-week study, people with chronic eczema who took 10–40 mg of alitretinoin per day experienced up to a 53% reduction in their symptoms [9].
  • According to studies conducted, if you don’t get enough of retinol, it can lead to a condition known as follicular hyperkeratosis [10], when the keratin in the follicles of the hair is in excess. This leads to bumps on the skin.
  • Vitamin A is an excellent supplement to heal acne scars, wounds after a surgery or for diabetic wounds according to studies [11]. Slow wound healing is a sign of low levels of Vitamin A.
  • Since retinol helps in the production of new skin cells, a deficiency can make the skin dry [12].

Can Vitamin A Be Harmful? How Much Is Too Much?

Too much of Vitamin A consumed or applied can cause damage and have side effects. Some of the harmful effects of excessive consumption of Vitamin A can include nausea, liver damage, dizziness, blurred vision, recurrent headaches and in serious cases, even a coma.

If your diet has an excess of beta carotene, your skin will take on a yellow or orange hue. You can reverse this condition by reducing the amount of beta carotene in your diet.

Wrapping Up

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for your skin health and overall wellness. Its deficiency can cause several problems. Consumed through plant and animal foods or supplements, it can provide multiple benefits to the skin and hair.

how to use vitamin a on face

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Retinol is often touted as a miracle skin care ingredient. But alongside the good stories come plenty of bad ones.

Some people say retinol ruined their skin, leaving others too scared to try it.

But does retinol actually have the ability to damage your complexion? Or is it the one thing that could transform your skin care regimen for the better?

Read on to find out.

Whether it’s a tried-and-true skin care regimen, how often you wash your hair, or the cosmetics you’re curious about, beauty is personal.

That’s why we rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their tips on everything from the way product application varies to the best sheet mask for your individual needs.

We only recommend something we genuinely love, so if you see a shop link to a specific product or brand, know that it’s been thoroughly researched by our team.

What’s the short answer?

Contrary to some beliefs, retinol is perfectly safe to use on your skin.

But if you rush into things and don’t use it properly, it can come with some unwanted side effects.

What is it?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that’s suitable for the skin. It belongs to a group of vitamin A derivatives, known as retinoids.

Some retinoids, including low-strength retinol, can be bought over the counter (OTC), without a doctor’s prescription.

Others, such as tretinoin, are more powerful and can only be prescribed by a doctor.

What does it do?

Retinol has multiple uses. It can be used to combat conditions like acne and can target areas of pigmentation.

It can also reduce signs of aging and sun damage.

As you age, “your skin cell turnover and collagen production slows,” explains Christopher Panzica, a licensed aesthetician from Brentwood, Tennessee.

“When applied topically, retinols help bring your skin cells and function back to a more youthful state,” he says.

How does it do this?

“This power boost helps speed up cellular turnover to keep pores unclogged, reducing acne breakouts,” Panzica says, adding that it also “improves texture, fine lines, and brightness of the skin.”

Plus, Panzica says, “retinol increases collagen production in the dermis to provide anti-aging benefits.”

Collagen is a substance needed to boost skin’s hydration and elasticity.



Get Your Best Skin from Within

Your skin is affected by more than what you put on it. Our 10-day newsletter challenge will show you the healthy habits to improve your skin from the inside.

Enter your emailSIGN ME UP!

Your privacy is important to us

Are there any side effects to be aware of?

Stronger retinoid medications like Retin-A and Accutane are known to have a long list of potential side effects.

“Those with sensitive or easily irritated skin should approach retinol use with caution,” Panzica says.

First-time retinol users have reported irritation, including redness, dryness, and peeling.

If you use too high a strength or apply retinol more frequently than you should, you may experience further irritation, like itchiness and scaly patches.

Some people have noticed acne breakouts after using retinol, though this is a rare side effect.

Eczema flare-ups, skin discoloration, swelling, and stinging are also rare occurrences.

Side effects are likely to disappear after a few weeks of regular use, so it’s important to give your skin time to adjust.

But if you’re worried, don’t hesitate to chat with a dermatologist.

Who should skip retinol?

“Retinols can be a beneficial addition for most skin types, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach,” Panzica says.

Board certified dermatologist Zenovia Gabriel, MD, notes that “people with sensitive skin conditions like rosacea cannot tolerate really strong topicals like retinols.”

Also avoid retinol if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in direct sunlight without proper sun protection.

Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it’s important to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day — even when it looks cloudy.

Some retinoids are also not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Always consult with a dermatologist before starting a high-strength retinol or if you’re concerned about retinol’s effects.

How can you add it to your routine?

“Even though you may have heard some retinol horror stories in the past, they can be safely incorporated into a complete skin care routine,” Panzica says. “Just remember that starting low and slow wins this race.”

Panzica advises working with a dermatologist or skin care professional to find “a good, lower concentration retinol” to try.

Start by applying it at night a couple of times a week.

“Each week, if your skin has done well, add at night until you’re applying it every night or as instructed,” Panzica adds.

When applying, first cleanse, tone, and exfoliate your face. (Only do all three of these steps if they’re included in your current skin care routine.)

Then apply a small, pea-sized amount of retinol to dry skin. Spread it over your face, avoiding your eyes and mouth.

Afterward, you can apply any brightening products, followed by serums or night creams.

“Because retinols can be drying, it’s ideal to follow with an effective moisturizer to help keep skin hydrated and [the] skin’s barrier protected,” Gabriel notes.

Finally, don’t forget to wear broad spectrum sunscreen during the day.

If you’re using any other topical acne treatment, speak to a dermatologist before using retinol.

It’s also a good idea to stick to gentle cleansers and ensure you’re only layering ingredients that work well together.

“For example, vitamin C and retinol used together can be way too harsh for most skin types,” Gabriel says.

What are some products to consider?

Start with a low concentration retinol —around 0.2 percent.

If you want to target deeper issues like fine lines and sun damage, you may eventually want to opt for a higher percentage.

“A great beginner retinol-like product is Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 moisturizer,” Gabriel says.

It uses a retinoid complex and vitamin B3 to target fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help improve dark spots, brightness, and skin texture.

Panzica recommends Cosmedix Elite Serum 24.

It can “treat fine lines, boost collagen production, and brighten and smooth the skin,” he says. It’s suited to anyone with a normal to dry skin type.

SkinMedica Retinol Complex is another highly rated option.

It comes in three strengths — 0.25 percent, 0.5 percent, and 1 percent — so you can gradually move up if needed.

La Roche-Posay Redermic R retinol cream is designed especially for sensitive skin, while The Ordinary 0.2% Retinol in Squalane is an ideal starting point for people with fine lines and pigmentation.

When can you expect results?

Remember: Retinol isn’t a quick fix.

While prescription-strength retinoids may have an effect in a matter of weeks, it can take up to 6 months for OTC retinols to produce the same results.

You may notice a difference in conditions like acne after 12 weeks, but sun damage and signs of aging can take much, much longer to improve.

What’s the bottom line?

Whether you have acne or pigmentation concerns, retinol can work wonders. But OTC products will take their sweet, sweet time to have an impact.

That doesn’t mean you should opt for the most potent product you can find. Instead, start with a low-strength formula a few times a week.

Build up slowly to avoid side effects and give your skin the best possible results.

13 Facts to Know Before Adding Retinoids to Your Skin Care Routine

Let your brain help you decide what your skin needs.


By now, you’ve likely heard how amazing retinoids are for the skin — and with good reason!

They’ve been proven in study after studyTrusted Source to encourage cellular turnover, stimulate collagenTrusted Source, help treat acneTrusted Source, soften wrinklesTrusted Source, fade pigmentation, and give the skin an overall youthful glow. Their existence to the skin care industry is what the Queen is to the world: royalty.

But with so many benefits, it’s easy to let word of mouth travel further than the science.

Here are 13 myths about retinoids that we’ll clear up for you so you know exactly what you’re getting into with this holy grail ingredient.

1. Myth: All retinoids are the same

Retinoids are a huge family of compounds derived from vitamin A. There are actually several forms from over-the-counter to prescription strength in topical and oral medication form. Let’s understand the differences!

Over-the-counter (OTC) retinoids are most often found in serums, eye creams, and night moisturizers.

AvailableRetinoid typeWhat it does
OTCretinolhas fewer side effects than retinoic acid (prescription strength), it converts on the cellular level of the skin, thus taking several months to a year for visible results
OTCretinoid esters (retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and retinyl linoleate)weakest in the retinoid family, but a good starting point for beginners or sensitive skin types
OTCAdapalene (better known as Differin)slows the process of excessive growth in the lining of pores and desensitizes the skin to inflammation making it an ideal treatment for acne
prescription onlyretinoic acid (retin-A, or tretinoin)works significantly faster than retinol since no conversion in the skin needs to take place
prescription onlyIsotretinoin better known as Accutaneoral medication that’s prescribed for severe forms of acne and requires close supervision by a doctor

SHOULD I GET A CREAM OR GEL?Cream forms are ideal for people that need a bit more hydration since they’re creamy and emollient. Gels, on the other hand, are preferred for oilier skin types. Since they’re also thinner than a cream, they penetrate faster making it more effective and stronger. But this can also mean more side effects.
This is really trial and error, depending on the individual and per your doctor’s advice.

2. Myth: Retinoids thin the skin

This is commonly believed because one of the side effects when first starting the use of a retinoid is skin peeling.

Many assume their skin is thinning, but quite the opposite is true. Since retinoids stimulate collagen production, it actually helps to thicken the skin. This is beneficial because one of the natural signs of getting older is thinning of the skin.

3. Myth: Young people can’t use retinoids

The original intent of retinoids was actually used to treat acne and prescribed to many young people.

It wasn’t until the 1980sTrusted Source, when a study published the skin benefits — like softening fine lines and lightening hyperpigmentation — that retinoids got remarketed as “anti-aging.”

But there is no age restriction on the use of retinoids. Instead, it’s about what skin conditions are being treated. After sunscreen, it’s one of the best preventive anti-aging ingredients around.

4. Myth: Retinoids will make me more sensitive to the sun

Many people worry that the use of retinoids will make their skin more sensitive in the sun. Hold on to your seats — this is untrue.

Retinoids break down in the sun, making it unstable and less effective. This is why they’re sold in metal tubes or opaque containers and are recommended for use at night.

But retinoids have been studied extensively and have shown with most certainty that they don’t increase the risk of sunburn. However, that isn’t permission to go out in the sun without proper sun protection! It would be pretty counterproductive since much of extrinsic aging is due to photo damage.

5. Myth: You’ll see results in 4 to 6 weeks

Don’t we wish this was true? For over-the-counter retinol, it can take up to six months and with tretinoin up to three months for full results to be visible.

6: Myth: If you have peeling or redness, you should stop using the retinoid

With retinoids, it’s often a “worse-before-better” type of situation. Typical side effects include dryness, tightness, peeling, and redness — especially when first starting out.

These side effects usually subside after two to four weeks until the skin acclimates. Your skin will thank you later!

7. Myth: It must be used daily to see results

Often, daily use is the goal, but you’ll still reap the benefits by using it a few times a week, too. How fast the results happen also depend on the strength and type of retinoid.

8: Myth: The more you apply the better the results

Using too much of the product can often cause undesirable effects like peeling and dryness. The recommended amount is about a pea-sized drop for the entire face.

9. Myth: You should avoid applying retinoids around the eye area

Most people assume the delicate eye area is too sensitive for retinoid use. However, this is the area where wrinkles usually show up first and can benefit the most from the collagen-stimulating effects of retinoids.

If you’re sensitive around your eyes, you can always layer on an eye cream first followed by your retinoid.

10. Myth: Stronger percentages of retinoids will give you better or faster results

As far as strengths go, many think it’s best to just jump right into the strongest formula, believing it’s better or will provide a faster result. This usually isn’t the case and doing so can even have annoying side effects.

For retinoids, building a tolerance will create better results.

Think of it as if you took up running. You wouldn’t start with a marathon, would you? From over-the-counter to prescription strength, there are several delivery methods. What works well for one person may not another.

When getting a prescription from your doctor, they’ll help you decide the best percentage strength, formula, and frequency for your skin type and conditions.

11. Myth: Retinoids exfoliate the skin

This is a widely believed misconception. Since retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A, they’re actually considered antioxidants.

In addition, they’re a “cell communicating” ingredient. This means their job is to “talk” to skin cells and encourage healthier, younger cells making their way to the surface of the skin.

It’s easy to assume the skin is exfoliating itself since some of the side effects are peeling and flakiness. However, those side effects are actually a result of irritation and dryness until the skin acclimates, as retinoids don’t have the ability to clear or dissolve dead skin cells on their own.

12. Myth: Sensitive skin can’t tolerate retinoids

The reputation of retinoids is that they’re a “harsh” ingredient. Sure, they can be a little aggressive, but people with sensitive skin can still happily use them with just a little modification.

It’s best to start off cautiously with once or twice a week application. It’s often recommended that you either layer it on top of your moisturizer or mix together with your moisturizer.

13. Myth: Only prescription-strength retinoids provide results

There are many OTC retinoids that provide some really great results.

Maybe you’ve seen Differin (Adapalene) at your local drugstore which was only prescribed by doctors but is now being sold over-the-counter. Adapalene works slightly differently than retinol/retinoic acid. It slows the process of hyperkeratinization, or excessive growth in the lining of pores, and desensitizes the skin to inflammation.

Studies indicate that Adapalene has less irritating side effects than other retinoids which is why it’s so great for acne. If you’re dealing with acne and aging at the same time (which is common), Differin may be a great option for you.

So, should you start using retinoids?

If you’re interested in treating or taking preventive measures for wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, scarring, and more, then your late 20s or early 30s is a great age to start with an over-the-counter retinol or even prescription-strength tretinoin.

It’s around this timeline when the body starts to produce less collagen, less rapidly than our earlier years. Of course it also depends on your lifestyle and how much sun damage you have accumulated in those years!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.