Vitamin A Benefits For the Skin

Vitamin A Pills

Internal health plays a vital role in good skincare. Lacking adequate nutrition, topical skin care products can be ineffective and a temporary solution to solving skin concerns.

With that in mind, did you take your vitamins today? A vitamin deficiency can result in internal functions not operating efficiently.

Additionally, the lack of some vitamins can prevent the absorption of nutrients. My goal is to provide a simple explanation of the role vitamins have within the body and how we can use them to our benefit.

Today’s vitamin topic is Vitamin A, known as the healthy skin vitamin!

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A in its inactive form is Beta Carotene, a fat-soluble pigment composed of hydrogen and carbon compounds. The pigment color ranges from an orange, red, yellow, and green hue found in some fruit and vegetables.

The body stores Beta Carotene in tissues of the small intestine until your body needs to access it. Enzymes and protein break down Beta Carotene to transport it to the liver through the blood.

This new form resides in the liver as Retinyl Palmitate. To reach its most active form, which encourages cellular change, it goes through the stages listed below.

Beta Carotene➡ Retinol ➡ Retinyl Palmitate ➡ Retinol ➡Retinal( Retinaldehyde)➡Retinoic Acid

(antioxidant) (boost collagen production of fibroblast cells) (deep cell exfoliator) (repair UV damaged skin/ reduce wrinkles/ increase lactobacillus probiotic/ repair gut and organ lining/signal cell functions)

Why is Vitamin A Good For The Body?

  Vitamin A is an antioxidant that stabilizes free radicals in the body by lending an electron to the free radical without becoming unstable. Free radicals are chemicals with unpaired electrons, such as hydrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, and LDL proteins that carry cholesterol.

These radicals float freely in the body, looking for electrons to stabilize. A balanced amount of antioxidants and free radicals can help fight off viral and bacterial invaders.

A higher amount of free radicals creates an unstable environment, meaning the radicals are likely to react to any molecule or cell within the body to become stable. As a result, molecules and cells can lose their stability, creating more free radicals.

Additionally, a radical can stay attached to the cell and alter the function. Multiple systems in the body are affected by these reactions. In some cases, cellular aging, DNA altercation, and disease can occur.

  Another benefit of Vitamin A is that it can repair and strengthen the cellular lining of organs and the gut, making them less accessible to viruses and pathogens.

Vitamin A Food Sources

Beta Carotene and Retinyl Palmitate are the two forms of Vitamin A derived from consuming food. Beta Carotene comes from fruits and vegetables, such as mangoes, cantaloupes, papaya, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Retinyl Palmitate is available in animal products consisting of liver, eggs, milk, cheese, and fish.

Topical and Prescribed Vitamin A

You can buy Retinol without a prescription because it is generally regarded as safe to use. It has to transform to Retinal before transitioning into Retinoic Acid. Therefore, results may take longer to show than when using Tretinoin or Isotretinoin. However, this can be beneficial as it causes less irritation and toxicity.

Tretinoin is a topical cream version of Retinoic Acid. The body can immediately use Tretinoin without any further conversions.

The high-strength antidote requires a prescription to obtain. Brands of Tretinoin you may recognize are Retin A, and Adapalene.

Isotretinoin differs from Tretinoin because it is an oral form of Retinoic Acid.It can be a stringent solution to solving skin concerns.

Monthly checkups and a signed pledge are required to attain a prescription. Studies have proven its effectiveness in removing stubborn acne and oily skin but at the risk of side effects.

Pregnant women, and those planning to become pregnant, are advised to refrain from Isotretinoin due to the high risk of birth deformities. Doctors recommend birth control while taking the medication.

Skin Conditions Improved By Vitamin A

Acne- Improves acne by clearing pores and repairing skin cells.

Psoriasis– Speeds up skin shedding and promotes healing.

Stretch Marks/ Wrinkles- Boosts fibroblast production of collagen to rebuild and brighten the skin.

The Best way to use Vitamin A

Topical Vitamin A creams are to be used at night because they increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV light. Although it repairs UV damage in the cells, it can become unstable and reactive when exposed to UV light.

Results can take up to 3 months to become noticeable. The old cells gradually shed, and cells deeper within the skin are being repaired. You may notice excess dryness and flaking in the beginning. The skin is getting adjusted to the product.

When going outdoors, use a moisturizing sunscreen with SPF protection to protect the skin and prevent dryness caused by Tretinoin.

  Beta Carotene is best absorbed into the body with fat or oil since it can pass through fat cells.

Are You Deficient?

A Vitamin A deficiency can lead to multiple skin issues such as dry eyes, dry skin, acne, follicular hyperkeratosis, and hair loss. Alternatively, excess vitamin A in the system can have a similarly damaging effect in addition to yellowing of the skin and joint pain.

The safest way to get the right amount of Vitamin A is by consuming the inactive form, Beta Carotene. This form requires multiple conversions to become active Retinoic Acid.

Not all Beta Carotene will be successfully converted, therefore it’s low risk to the user.

Causes of Malabsorption

In some cases, the body cannot absorb or break down Vitamin A correctly, leading to a deficiency. Below are potential causes of malabsorption.

  • Leaky Gut
  • Congested Liver
  • Pancreas Insufficiency
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery
  • Parasites

Sources: Beta Carotene Benefits & What It Can Do For Your Body -published Jun 3, 2019, accessed March 2021
Vitamin A: Introduction – Biochemistry | Lecturio– published Jan 10, 2017, accessed March 2021
 The use of Isotretinoin in acne-published May-Jun 2009, accessed March 2021
 Free Radical Injury (HD)-published Apr 6, 2015, accessed March 2021– published Feb 11, 2019, accessed March 2021

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