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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Vitamin A


Taking your vitamins isn’t just about the food we eat. Vitamin-infused skincare products are everywhere we turn, and it can be daunting to decide what’s really worth incorporating into your beauty routine (especially when your nighttime skincare ritual is starting to cut into your precious time to unwind at the end of a busy day).

Want to simplify your beauty steps but still achieve a radiant, younger-looking complexion? Add some vitamin A to the mix. Not only is it a crucial component to a healthy diet, but this powerhouse vitamin is a miracle-worker when it comes to your skin, thanks to its ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, stimulate collagen production, reduce hyperpigmentation, and encourage cellular turnover.

First, What is Vitamin A?

Before you start slathering on vitamin A, let’s break down what it is–and why it’s so essential. Vitamin A is responsible for the proper development and function of our eyes, skin, and immune system. This intricate group of compounds includes active forms (also known as retinol and retinoic acid) and provitamin A carotenoids (which we get directly from the food we eat). Once these beta-carotenes enter our system, our liver converts them into the retinol form of vitamin A.

What Does Vitamin A Do?

There’s obviously no shortage of ingredients on the market that boast amazing results when it comes to skincare, but vitamin A stands out above the rest for its ability to treat and address a bevy of skincare concerns. The skincare benefits of vitamin A include everything from anti-aging to cellular turnover, and we’re here to break down exactly how it works wonders for your complexion.

1. It’s An Anti-Aging Powerhouse

If you want to turn back the clock on aging, look no further than vitamin A. This miracle-worker stimulates collagen production, which, in turn, helps you achieve a youthful glow. “It is one of the only ingredients to be most effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles by enabling natural cell turnover,” says Adriana Martino, aesthetician and SKINNEY MedSpa founder. 

2. It Boosts Cell Growth

Not only does it reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but it encourages cell growth. “Vitamin A increases the turnover of skin cells and makes cells less likely to stick together and clog up pores,” says Dr. Hadley King, NYC-based dermatologist. It also normalizes cellular functions, influencing cells to behave in a younger, healthier way. The result? Radiant, youthful-looking skin. 

3. It Strengthens Your Immune System 

By strengthening our skin and encouraging cell production, we’re strengthening our body’s defense against disease, bacteria, and infection. Our skin serves as our body’s first line of defense, so the stronger that barrier is against harmful aggressors, the more protection we’re armed with when anything attempts to attack the surface of our skin.

How to Add Vitamin A to Your Skincare Routine

Even if you haven’t been using vitamin A in your beauty routine, the good news is you’re already ingesting it on a daily basis thanks to nutrient-dense foods (like eggs and dairy products). Orange and green leafy vegetables (like sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, and cantaloupe) contain an ample amount of beta-carotene, which our body then converts into vitamin A.

In order to reap the anti-aging benefits and maximize cellular turnover, your best bet is to apply vitamin A topically. When incorporating the nutrient into your skincare routine, it’s best to introduce it on a gradual basis and allow your skin to build up a tolerance to it. Start by applying a pea-sized amount on your face every other night for a few weeks and gradually work up to daily use. Be sure to use a sunscreen during the day, as a topical retinoid leaves your skin more susceptible to UV damage.

Our Favorite Vitamin A Products to Try Now

SWEET CHEF Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot

1. SWEET CHEF Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot: This superfood serum glides on and feels oh-so-refreshing, thanks to its jelly-like consistency (translation: no greasy or sticky feeling here). It’s also packed with omegas and nutrients, so it’s basically like a multivitamin for your complexion. Antioxidant-rich vitamin A, all-natural beet, and seaberry fruit extract smoothes texture and minimizes the appearance of pores and wrinkles. Simply apply it on clean skin in a tapping motion until it’s completely absorbed–and you can use it both day and night, too.

CLARISEA Pretty Skin Vitamin A + C Oil Serum & Boost

2. CLARISEA Pretty Skin Vitamin A + C Oil Serum & Boost: This lightweight oil is packed with oleic acid, making it a miracle-worker for acne-prone skin. It clears up blemishes and nourishes your complexion, leaving you with a healthy, radiant glow. Start off using it gradually by mixing one pump in with your moisturizer. After a week, once your skin builds up a tolerance, you can increase usage.

OFRA COSMETICS Vitamin A & C Serum

3. OFRA COSMETICS Vitamin A & C Serum: This moisturizing serum firms your neck and skin, all while reducing blemishes and minimizing pores, leaving you with a radiant, hydrated glow. Before applying moisturizer, apply a pump to your fingertips and massage into face and neck. Suitable for use twice a day, in the morning and at night. 

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Article Last Updated May 13, 2020 12:00 AM