You must be knowing about the list of wonders that Vitamin A does to your body. But, are you aware of the benefits that it offers to your skin?
Being one of the essential nutrients for collagen production in your skin, vitamin A plays an important role in your skin’s health.
In this article, we help you understand why your skin needs vitamin A and how you can use it safely.
- What Does Vitamin A Do For Your Skin?
- Which Vitamin A Is Best For Skin?
- Benefits Of Vitamin A For Skin
- What Are The Different Ways To Get Vitamin A?
- Can You Put Vitamin A Directly On Your Face?
- How Much Vitamin A Is Good For Skin?
- What Are The Side Effects Of Too Much Vitamin A?
- How To Use Vitamin A For Skin Safely?
What Does Vitamin A Do For Your Skin?
Your skin needs vitamin A to maintain its optimal health, function, and appearance. Also, it is essential to revive your skin from a variety of conditions such as photoaging, acne, psoriasis, etc. “From simulating the production of new skin cells to protecting your skin from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, vitamin A has a significant contribution in ensuring the well-being of your skin,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
Which Vitamin A Is Best For Skin?
Vitamin A is available in nature in two forms: Retinoids and Carotenoids. Both the forms are important for the health of your skin.
“While the retinoids help in controlling photoaging and acne, carotenoids prevent cell damage and other skin ailments, being a rich source of antioxidants,” says Dr. Zeel.
Retinal, retinoic acid, and retinol are the active forms of retinoids that are mostly found in animal-based foods. Similarly, beta-carotene is one of the carotenoids that are abundantly found in plant-based foods. Your body converts beta-carotene to retinol form before utilizing it.
Deficiency of retinol in your skin can cause a condition called follicular hyperkeratosis, which leads to the formation of papules on your skin.
Benefits Of Vitamin A For Skin
1. Controls Acne
When your skin sheds dead cells in excessive amounts, the sebum in your skin pores traps the dead skin cells and creates a blockage in your skin pores. When bacteria infect such clogged skin pores, it results in acne. Vitamin A slows down the production of dead skin cells as it contains antioxidants that prevent cell damage. It also helps in controlling overproduction of sebum, thus preventing acne formation by keeping your skin pores clear.
2. Fights Wrinkles & Slows Down Aging
Wrinkles form when the collagen in your skin gets damaged due to different factors such as UV exposure, heat, dehydration, etc. Vitamin A helps to smoothen the skin and makes it wrinkle-free by stimulating collagen production. Collagen is essential in strengthening your skin by filling in the fine lines on your skin surface.
3. Promotes Healthy Growth Of Skin Tissue
Vitamin A stimulates the production of fibroblast cells, which are essential in the development of the firm and healthy layers of your skin tissue. Lack of vitamin A can cause weakened skin tissue that is susceptible to external damage. It also results in different skin problems such as slow healing of wounds, dryness, aging, etc.
4. Shields Your Skin Against UV Damage
Vitamin A provides natural protection to your skin by absorbing UV radiation. It also helps in preventing pigmentation and redness caused by overexposure to the sun. However, it is recommended to use it in combination with vitamin C to prevent photosensitivity.
5. Defends Your Skin Against Infections
Your skin acts as the first line of defense against infection-causing microorganisms. Vitamin A boosts cell production, which strengthens your skin barrier against microbial infections. It also prevents skin damage from harmful irritants and other external factors.
6. Evens Your Skin Tone & Enhances Glow
Vitamin A helps in lightening the dark spots on your skin caused by pigmentation and suntan. Retinoids control the melanin production in your skin by blocking the enzymes responsible for it. Thus, vitamin A imparts even skin tone with enhanced complexion.
What Are The Different Ways To Get Vitamin A?
1. Foods Rich In Vitamin A
- Leafy green vegetables, carrots, kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, etc. are some of the vegetables that contain vitamin A.
- Among fruits, apricots, mangoes, plums, red grapes, watermelon, papaya, passion fruit, guava, etc. are rich in vitamin A.
- Eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, butter are some of the dairy products that have vitamin A in the form of retinoids.
- Shrimp, salmon, bluefin tuna and other fish, cod liver oil can be a good source of vitamin A among seafood.
2. Vitamin A Supplements
When you have a vitamin deficiency, your doctor may prescribe you vitamin A in supplement form. Some of these supplements come with a combination of retinoids and carotenoids. Also, vitamin A is the most common ingredient in most of the multivitamin supplements available in the market.
3. Topical Applications
- Face masks made of Ayurvedic herbs such as basil, amalaki, hibiscus, saffron, etc. can supply vitamin A to your skin in reasonable amounts. You can also include these herbs in your daily skincare regimen to keep your skin healthy.
- The topical application of essential oils such as peppermint oil, thyme oil, and rosemary oil can also work great to nourish your skin with vitamin A. However, you should not use these oils directly on your skin.
Vedix Tip: Always, add a carrier oil such as argan oil or olive oil to a few drops of any essential oil before applying them to your skin. Also, do a patch test before using it on your skin.
- There are several vitamin A-infused moisturizers, sunscreens, night creams, serums, cosmetics, etc. available in the market. You can use them too.
- You can also find vitamin A in capsule form that can be opened and applied on your skin topically.
Can You Put Vitamin A Directly On Your Face?
Your skin is a retinoid-responsive organ and it absorbs vitamin A readily on direct application. Hence, you can treat your facial skin directly with vitamin A in the form of retinol and retinoic acid.
“Vitamin A is found in most of the OTC as well as prescribed anti-aging skin products,” says Dr. Zeel.
How Much Vitamin A Is Good For Skin?
- 900 micrograms of vitamin A is recommended for adult men daily.
- 700 micrograms of vitamin A is recommended for adult women daily .
What Are The Side Effects Of Too Much Vitamin A?
Too much intake of vitamin A causes hypervitaminosis  which can result in the following side effects:
- Blurry vision
Besides, intake of more than 10,000 micrograms of vitamin A supplements per day for a significant period can result in:
- Birth defects in newborns
- Liver damage
- Bone thinning
- Joint pains
- Skin irritation
- Headaches, etc.
How To Use Vitamin A For Skin Safely?
Factors such as alcohol consumption, excessive iron levels in the body, taking cortisone medication for a long time, etc. can deplete the vitamin A levels in your body. Under such conditions, your doctor may suggest you take vitamin A supplements.
Below are some of the aspects you need to strictly consider for the safe intake of vitamin A:
- Avoid taking vitamin A supplements when you are already using other medications to treat T-cell lymphoma, psoriasis, and obesity. It’s because these medications may also contain vitamin A.
- Vitamin A supplements can interact with certain medications such as anticoagulants, bexarotene, hepatotoxic drugs, etc. Hence, talk to your doctor before taking vitamin A supplements when you are under such medications.
- Avoid taking vitamin A supplements and oral retinoid drugs together prescribed by your doctor to prevent hypervitaminosis.
- If you are pregnant or expecting a pregnancy, seek your doctor's advice before consuming vitamin A supplements. It’s because these supplements can lead to birth defects when taken in excess amounts.
- Prescription retinoids are strong and can cause sun sensitivity  in your skin. Hence, consult your doctor to know the type of sunscreen lotion you need to use to minimize the risk of sun damage on your skin.
Do not consume vitamin A supplements without discussing your skin conditions and medical history with your doctor.
The Last Word
Among all the sources, intake of vitamin A with the help of a rich and balanced diet is the best way to nourish your skin as well as body. Also, Ayurveda has many potential herbs that benefit your skin with their rich vitamin A content. The best part is these herbs do not cause any side effects.
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