What is Vitamin A and Where Does it Come From?Vitamin A is not just one nutrient, but rather a group of fat-soluble retinoids. In total, this vitamin is involved in vision, immune function, reproduction, and cellular communication as well as cell growth and skin health. There are two types of vitamin A: retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids include retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters. This form of vitamin A can be found in foods from animal sources such as fish, meat, organ meats, and dairy products. As for carotenoids, the most important of these is beta-carotene, a plant pigment that the body converts into vitamin A. Both retinoids and carotenoids are converted into retinol by the liver and either stored or transported throughout the body via the lymphatic system. The body can also absorb vitamin A topically when it is applied to the skin.
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin A for Skin?The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it is a retinoid-responsive organ. Simply put, this means that it can readily absorb vitamin A when it is applied topically and “soak up” its many benefits. When it comes to the skin-supporting benefits of vitamin A, there are many to consider. Here is a quick overview of the benefits of vitamin A for skin:
- Stimulates the production of new skin cells and supports skin hydration
- Proper vitamin A levels can prevent follicular hyperkeratosis, a cause of raised papules
- Can be used to treat acne in both adolescents and adults
- Stimulates collagen production to reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- Antioxidant-rich carotenoids prevent UV damage and premature aging
- Can reduce skin pigmentation and improve skin tone
1. Stimulates the production of new skin cells and supports skin hydration.Your skin is constantly shedding cells and renewing itself. Retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid play a major role in this process by supporting cell and tissue growth and by stimulating fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are the cells responsible for developing the tissue that keeps your skin firm.
2. Proper vitamin A levels can prevent follicular hyperkeratosis, a cause of raised papules.According to research published in Clinical Interventions in Aging, low levels of retinol can cause a condition marked by excess keratin in the hair follicles known as hyperkeratosis. When this happens, raised papules or lesions can form on the skin and the skin may also become dry and flaky - other forms of hyperkeratosis include eczema and psoriasis. By speeding skin cell turnover, vitamin A helps keep the outer layer of skin from thickening and developing those lesions.
3. Topical vitamin A can be used to treat acne.Pimples form when the pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. When this happens, it creates the perfect breeding ground for Propionibacterium acnes or acne-causing bacteria. Topical retinoids stimulate cell turnover, which is the same process that happens inside the pores, helping slow down oil production to keep the pores clear and the skin free from blemishes.
4. Vitamin A stimulates collagen production.Both retinol and retinoic acid stimulate collagen production, which improves skin cell turnover and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Exposure to UV rays, pollution, stress, and other factors can negatively impact collagen production, which causes the skin to lose some of its elasticity. When this happens, wrinkles start to develop, and they become more pronounced over time. Vitamin A can stimulate collagen production to strengthen the skin and fill in those lines, making your skin look smoother and healthier overall.
5. Antioxidant-rich carotenoids prevent UV damage.According to research published in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, a diet high in carotenoids can prevent skin cell damage and prevent skin aging. Carotenoids like beta-carotene are rich in antioxidants, and some can be converted by the body into vitamin A. Antioxidants protect the cells against free radicals that can damage the cell membrane and can also protect against UV damage and the signs of premature aging.
6. Vitamin A can reduce skin pigmentation.Sun exposure can lead to skin damage, pigmentation, and the formation of brown spots. Fortunately, vitamin A speeds skin cell turnover, which helps the skin shed damaged and pigmented cells from the surface, making room for healthy cells to grow underneath. Retinoids also block the enzyme required for melanin production, helping even skin tone and complexion. Now that you have a better understanding of the skin-related benefits of vitamin A, you may be eager to try it for yourself. Keep reading to learn more about vitamin A in our skincare products.
How Much Vitamin A Do You Need?Now that you have a better understanding of how vitamin A benefits your skin and where to find it in skin care products, you may be wondering how much vitamin A you actually need. Women should aim for about 700 mcg of vitamin A per day while men need about 900 mcg. Healthy food sources of vitamin A include proteins like eggs, meat, fish, and dairy products while bright green and orange plant foods like carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of beta-carotene. It is important to include sources of beta-carotene in your diet because your body will convert it into vitamin A. When it comes to topical vitamin A skincare creams, Yon-Ka Paris has options for you. Below you’ll find a selection of our most popular products packed with this skin-saving nutrient:
- Crème PG: This treatment helps diminish redness and skin irritation commonly experienced for oily complexions.
- Crème 93: Vitamin-enriched with a delicate and natural aroma, this balancing cream treatment features the essential oils of lime and Indonesian white flowers as well as anti-oxidant vitamins that protect from free radical damage.
- Vital Defense: Defend your skin with this vitamin-enriched day cream that protects the skin from aging, environmental pollution, and free radical damage to help it recover its original radiance, softness, and vitality.
- Crème 28: Quench your complexion with this vitamin-charged hydrating cream moisturizer that protects and hydrates the skin with age-prevention effects.