When it comes to having youthful, clear skin, many of us believe that a visit to a dermatologist is the answer. Not really. You don’t need to spend a lot of money just to have flawless complexion.
If you want to improve your skin’s natural ability to renew and heal itself, there is one simple solution to having healthier skin - and that is Vitamin A.
Vitamin A and Vitamin A SourcesVitamin A is a fat-soluble organic compound that we can find in many foods. There are two main types of Vitamin A. The first one is Retinol (preformed vitamin A) that is found in animal food sources such as poultry, dairy products, fish, and meat. The other one is Carotenoids (provitamin A) that is found in plant food sources such as fruits and vegetables.
Both Retinol and Provitamin Carotenoids must be converted within the cells to their active forms retinal and retinoic acid to perform their important functions in our body. Vitamin A helps us to maintain good eyesight, a healthy immune system, and normal cell function. It also helps us avoid various skin disorders and promote healthy skin cell rejuvenation.
Preformed Vitamin ARetinol and retinyl ester are the two forms of preformed vitamin A. In dietary supplements, they are usually in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate, the main form in which retinol is stored in our body.
Provitamin A Carotenoids
Beta carotene and other carotenoids that can be converted to retinol (usable active form) fall into the provitamin A category. Like retinol, beta-carotene is also available in supplement forms.
The Role of Vitamin A in Skin Health
There’s more to Vitamin A than just helping you see clearly. Antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C, E, and A can affect the health of the skin both from the inside and out.
Retinol or Vitamin A is one of the most recognized vitamins for beautiful skin. In fact, retinoids and vitamin A-derived compounds have been clinically proven to treat acne and signs of both natural and premature aging or photoaging. These signs include wrinkles and fine lines, rough texture, uneven tone, and pigmentation or skin discoloration. (1) Other skin conditions that can be treated with vitamin A include psoriasis, warts, eczema, and sunburn. (2)
The human skin is highly responsive to retinoid. As a matter of fact, applying vitamin A, specifically topical retinol to our skin can improve the appearance of wrinkles associated with aging. It can also help promote natural skin rejuvenation because vitamin A helps increase collagen production, a protein that constitutes a major part of the skin. (3)
While vitamin A is effective when used topically, oral retinoids are often used for severe and stubborn cases of both acne and psoriasis. Retinol is a highly effective anti-inflammatory compound that’s why it is an effective solution to these chronic skin problems.
Recommended Vitamin A Intake
The Institute of Medicine recommends 900 mcg or 3,000 IU of retinol for men and 700 mcg or 2,333 IU for women.
The safe upper limit dose per day is 3,000 mcg (or 10,000 IU) which is 3 times more than the current recommended intake level. It is important to note however that higher doses of retinol is associated with an increased risk of hip fracture as it may interfere with vitamin D functions. (4)
Vitamin A: Skin Superhero?There’s a lot of reasons to love vitamin A. It promotes natural skin cell renewal plus helps ward off various skin problems and infections painlessly. For acne sufferers, no need to hide and keep on feeling insecure. With the right topical retinol treatment, you can easily treat your condition right in the comfort of your own home.
Taking a good quality vitamin A supplement is a great way of taking your daily dose of skin-boosting retinol. You can easily take liquid vitamin A as a dietary supplement. This ensures you get enough of this essential skin and vision vitamin to avoid adverse consequences both in your eye and skin health.