Healthy skin is one of the key components to living a healthy lifestyle, well after all it is the biggest organ in our body.
Our skin can say a lot about our overall health so it is important we look after it, especially when it comes to eating healthy and drinking plenty of water, as well as what we put on our skin.
To ensure healthy glowing, smooth skin, there are different types of creams and moisturisers you can put on your face to rejuvenate it, but it is Vitamin A which has a lot of benefits to help you achieve healthy skin.
What is Vitamin A?
Without getting too technical, Vitamin A is known as a fat-soluble vitamin and is a powerful antioxidant in our bodies.
The key role Vitamin A plays is the maintenance of our vision and our neurological function, as well as healthy skin - which we will discuss in more detail.
Vitamin A is also known as a ‘retinoid’, which really is a general term for all the different types of vitamin A. Some terms include retinoic acid, retinol, retinaldehyde, retinyl palmitate, tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, which you may have heard of, but they are all just the different strengths and forms of vitamin A, some are natural, synthetic or prescription.
When referring to our skin, retinaldehyde would be the form of vitamin A we would talk about. This is the form of vitamin A that is used in the skin and is a more gentle form of the vitamin. It is very close to what our body produces naturally so not a lot needs to be processed before it can be taken to the cells to do it’s best work.
Stronger forms of vitamin A, however, can take longer to be processed in the skin, which can leave the skin feeling dry, tight and irritated.
What are the benefits of vitamin A for our skin?
Vitamin A normalises our skin function, which essentially tricks it into thinking it is younger.
The benefits include:
UV protection - although NOT a sunscreen, vitamin A works to reduce the inflammation caused by UV damage and also takes on some of the ageing caused by UV radiation.
Anti-wrinkles - the breakdown, as well as the slow production of collagen over time, is what causes wrinkles in the skin. With the application of vitamin A, it helps to increase the number of cells used to produce collagen, stimulates the existing collagen and works on the enzymes that breakdown the collagen.
Acne - is caused by irregular shedding of cells, which contributes to pore congestion and acne creation. By stimulating and regulating the cellular turnover, vitamin A can help eliminate acne issues. Also, vitamin A helps normalise skin function and encourages cells to align in the epidermis, which prevents new pimples to form.
Cell renewal - when we are younger, skin cells take around 28 days to replenish, but as we get older the process gets longer as cell turnover becomes slow and shedding the dead cells less effective. The slowing down of this process can cause dull, rough looking skin. However, vitamin A works to stimulate the turnover of cells and acts to exfoliate the dead cells, making skin look brighter and smoother.
Pigmentation - due to ageing, hormones and UV exposure, our skin tone can change. The good news is vitamin A works to help the appearance of pigmentation in the skin by exfoliating the cells but also encourages the distribution of melanosomes in the skin that stops pigment cells from staying together.
The uses of vitamin A on the skin
Now you know all the amazing benefits of vitamin A and how it works, it is time to start using it on your skin. You need to find quality vitamin A that is appropriate for your type of skin. You need to be aware that not all the vitamin A creams and serums are made the same.
You want to make sure you buy one with a high-quality ingredient, in the right level of concentration so it penetrates your skin.
Once you have found the right one, you need to allow your body to adapt. This can be done by firstly applying it every second day and then moving up to daily.
By Skin Health Science.