Vitamin A For Skin Whitening

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The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and it serves as a protective barrier for all other organs. It consists of multiple layers that perform different functions. These layers include epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.

The epidermis is the topmost layer of the skin that protects us from pathogens, UV radiation, and mechanical damage while retaining water in our bodies. The dermis contains blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, sweat glands, fat cells, and collagen fibers. The hypodermis is located below the dermis and consists of adipose tissue or fat tissue as well as blood vessels that supply nutrients to this layer of skin.

In this article, we will discuss how vitamin A for skin whitening works by helping you understand its role in maintaining healthy skin along with its benefits on your overall health condition such as reducing acne breakouts or improving your vision problems like night blindness due to lack of proper nutrition intake which might lead to eye damage if left untreated so let’s get started!

Vitamin A For Skin Whitening

You’ve heard about vitamin E and vitamin C, but let’s chat about our pal vitamin A.

The nutrient is touted as a fix for wrinkles, acne, and sunspots. But what does it actually do — and what’s the best way to reap the benefits?

While food sources of vitamin A are beneficial for a bunch of reasons, they may not be the most potent solution for your skin. Here’s what you should know about how vitamin A works its magic, the best way to use it, and the risks to keep in mind before giving it a try.

vitamin a for skin

How does vitamin A help skin?

Vitamin A plays a bunch of key roles in the body, and it’s essential when it comes to the health of your skin. It’s involved in the production of fresh, new cells, which keeps your skin both functioning and looking its best.

Vitamin A contains retinoids, compounds that are well known for performing several skin-friendly jobs, like:

  • minimizing fine lines and wrinkles by boosting the production of the skin-smoothing protein collagen
  • fighting signs of UV damage like hyperpigmentation and sunspots (which can help your skin look more youthful and potentially reduce the risk for some skin cancers)
  • combating acne by sloughing away dead skin cells (helps prevent clogged pores and inflammation)
  • improving skin tone by stimulating the production of new blood vessels
  • promoting wound healing

Studies have shown that people with higher vitamin A concentrations in their skin tend to look younger, while those with lower vitamin A concentrations tend to look older.

In short, getting your fill can make noticeable difference in the way your skin looks — and have a long-term effect on your health.

Nutritionally speaking: How to get more vitamin A

It’s recommended that men get 900 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A per day and women get 700 micrograms. You can get your fill by eating plenty of red, orange, or yellow veggies, along with some animal products.

Some of the top sources are:

  • sweet potato (1,403 mcg in one medium sweet potato)
  • carrots (459 mcg in 1/2 cup raw)
  • milk with added vitamin A (149 mcg in 1 cup)
  • cantaloupe (135 mcg in 1/2 cup)
  • red bell pepper (117 mcg in 1/2 cup)
  • dried apricots (63 mcg in 10 halves)
  • eggs (75 mcg in one large egg)
  • salmon (59 mcg in 3 ounces)
  • plain yogurt (32 mcg in 1 cup)
  • canned light tuna (20 mcg in 3 ounces)

Pro tip: Your body can only absorb vitamin A when you eat it with fat. So if your A source doesn’t have much fat on its own (like in the case of raw fruits or veggies), pair it with a higher fat food like olive oil, avocado, or nuts.

As for supplements? Most people can meet their vitamin A requirements through food alone, and taking high doses of vitamin A could be dangerous. Talk with your doctor before taking a vitamin A capsule, and make sure your daily intake doesn’t exceed 10,000 micrograms.

Finally, keep in mind that consuming vitamin A — as food or in a supplement — likely isn’t the fastest route to clearer or smoother skin.

Research suggests that eating a diet rich in vitamin A long-term can be a good preventive and pro-aging strategy and potentially lower your skin cancer risk.

But loading up on carrots or sweet potatoes won’t reverse skin damage that’s already done, and likely won’t help improve your acne either.

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Apply generously: Using topical vitamin A

Skin is ace at absorbing the retinoids in vitamin A. So if you’re looking to make real gains in your battle against wrinkles, acne, or sunspots, topical vitamin A is the way to go.

There’s loads of science to back this up. Retinoids, specifically one called tretinoin, are known to trigger changes that boost the production of fresh skin cells, and have been shown time and again to minimize fine wrinkles, make skin appear visibly smoother, and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Tretinoin is also considered an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne.

If you’re wondering which topicals work best, you’ve got plenty of options. For extra glow or heavy-duty or acne-fighting, you’ll want to see a dermatologist about prescription tretinoin, or other powerful prescription retinoids like tazarotene or adapalene.

You can get gentler goods over the counter too — look for creams containing retinol or other retinoids:

  • For acne, try Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment or La Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment.
  • For wrinkle reduction and skin firming, try RoC Retinol Correction Anti-Aging Retinol Night Cream or Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream.

They’re not as potent as a prescription, but they can help still help make your skin look clearer or smoother.

Whichever option you choose, keep in mind that consistency — and patience — is key. It’ll take at least 3 months of regular use to see a noticeable improvement in your skin, and up to 1 year before the full effects take hold.

Risks: Who shouldn’t use vitamin A?

Vitamin A can be a legit savior for your skin, but the stuff isn’t perfect. It has some downsides that you definitely need to factor in, and it’s very much possible to get too much of a good thing.

With topical products, the main concern is irritation. Retinoids are powerful, and they can actually sort of make your skin worse — think red, dry, and peely — before things start to improve.

You can head this off as much as possible by starting with a product that contains a very low retinoid concentration and using it every other day. Over time you can build up to applying the stuff daily or trying a product with a higher retinoid percentage.

Since your skin is more sensitive while you’re using a retinoid cream, take steps to baby it as much as you can.

Avoid overexposure to sunlight, wind, or extreme cold, and steer clear of using additional skin products that are drying or abrasive — think scrubs, peels, astringents, or acne products containing benzyol peroxide or salicylic acid.

Thinking about supplementing with vitamin A pills? Remember, doses above 10,000 micrograms daily can be dangerous. Excess vitamin A intake can cause nausea, diarrhea, headaches, skin irritation, joint pain, bone thinning, and even liver damage.

If you’re unsure whether your supplement is causing you to take in too much A overall, talk with your doctor. In some cases, it’s better off to steer clear of vitamin A supplements altogether.

Excess vitamin A is linked to birth defects, so you should avoid supplementing during pregnancy. Vitamin A supplements can also be dangerous if you’re taking anticoagulants, cancer drugs like bexarotene, hepatoxic drugs, or prescription retinoids.

vitamin a dosage for skin

  •  to get vitamin A
  • Using it safely
  • Promoting skin health
  • Takeaway
closeup of woman applying vitamin A serum to skin under eyes 1
Guido Mieth/Getty Images

What is vitamin A?

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that supports skin, eye, and reproductive health, as well as immune function.

Preformed vitamin A, or retinoids, is found in animal products like meat, poultry, and dairy. ProvitaminA, or carotenoids, is found in plant products like fruits and vegetables.

Your liver converts both types to retinol. Then, it’s either stored in your liver or transported by the lymphatic system to cells throughout your body.

Your skin is retinoid-responsive, which means it can readily absorb vitamin A when you apply it topically.

What does vitamin A do?

Vitamin A does quite a bit for your body and skin.

It plays a role in:

  • vision
  • reproduction
  • immune system function
  • function of organs like your heart, lungs, and kidneys
  • skin health, including acne

The benefits of vitamin A for your skin

Vitamin A can benefit your skin by:

Improving the appearance of wrinkles and sagging

EvidenceTrusted Source suggests topical retinoids — vitamin A, in other words — work to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production.

Retinoids like retinol can also improve skin elasticity and sagging by helping remove damaged elastin fibers and promoting angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels.

Reducing hyperpigmentation and other sun damage

A diet high in carotenoids, such as beta carotene, can help prevent cell damage, skin aging, and skin diseases. Carotenoids can also help protectTrusted Source your skin from environmental factors like pollution and UV radiation, which can also affect skin health and appearance.

Retinoids promote skin cell turnover. So, they can help improve hyperpigmentation, age spots, and sunspots, plus lead to a more even skin tone overall.

Helping address acne

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends topical retinoids to help treat acne in both adolescents and adults.

Retinoids can help exfoliate skin on the surface, removing dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from pores to prevent pimples.

They also penetrate the skin’s surface to stimulate collagen and elastin production, which can help reduce the appearance of pores and acne scarring.

Helping treat psoriasis and other skin conditions

Both topical and oral prescription medications used to treat psoriasis contain vitamin A.

Topical retinoid reduces the formation of raised skin patches and the formation of cytokines and interleukins that cause inflammation.

A healthcare professional might also prescribe oral acitretin, another retinoid, to treat severe, refractory psoriasis.

Bexarotene (Targretin), a vitamin A-based drug, is also used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of cancer that can cause skin changes like rashes, dryness, itching, and thickness.

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Is vitamin A deficiency common?

In the United States, commercially fortified products like breakfast cereal and milk contain vitamin A, as do many nutrient-dense foods like cheese, butter, and fruits and vegetables.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)Trusted Source, people over the age of 4 should consume 400 mcg RAE of vitamin A each day. You can meet this requirement from both plant and animal sources.

Most people in the U.S. get enough vitamin A from the foods they eat. That said, premature infants and people living with cystic fibrosis may need additional amounts of this vitamin. Young children generally require less vitamin A than adults of reproductive age and people nursing infants.

Though vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in areas where nutritious food is readily available, it commonly affects people in many African and Southeast Asian countries.

Ways to take and use vitamin A

Vitamin A in foods

You can support the health of your skin by eating a diet that includes a wide range of foods high in vitamin A.

Retinoids can be found in animal products, such as:

  • salmon
  • beef liver
  • dairy products, including milk, butter, and cheese
  • eggs
  • fish
  • cod liver oil
  • shrimp

Carotenoids can be found in plant products, such as:

  • carrots
  • tomatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • leafy green vegetables
  • fruits, including mangoes, apricots, and plums

Vitamin A supplements

Most people get all the vitamin A they need through their diet, but if you’re considering vitamin A supplements, you have a few options, including:

  • multivitamins, most of which contain some vitamin A
  • beta carotene (provitamin A)
  • retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A)
  • a combination of provitamin A and preformed vitamin A

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