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How Vitamin A Benifits Your Skin

Updated on July 25, 2013

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A also known as retinol has many important functions in the body, it provides immunity from infection, it helps us to see better in low light and keeps the skin healthy.

Vitamin A can be found in many food stuffs including:

  • Cheese
  • Oily fish
  • Eggs
  • Fruit
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Liver*

Vitamin A is a major ingredient in many products aimed at reducing wrinkles and slowing down the aging process and vitamin A is one of the major components of prescription drugs that are used to treat severe cases of acne.

When used as a cream or lotion Vitamin A quickly absorbs into the skin and promotes the growth of new skin cells and increases collagen production leading to fuller, stronger and younger looking skin.

* Liver is a rich source of vitamin A but should be avoided if you are pregnant, large amounts of vitamin A can harm your unborn baby. consult your doctor or midwife if you are taking any vitamin A supplements.

Oily Fish for Vitamin A

Oily fish like mackeral or tuna are a great source of vitamin A.
Oily fish like mackeral or tuna are a great source of vitamin A. | Source

Retinol and Skin Care

Retinol or vitamin A is one of the main ingredients found in many products aimed at anti aging or wrinkle reduction. These products come in many forms such as creams, serums and lotions that are applied directly onto the skin.

Retinol thickens the skin which helps to remove fine lines around the eyes and smooth out deeper wrinkles around the mouth and forehead. Retinol also moisturises the skin helping to bring back the healthy glow of youthful skin.

Other forms of vitamin A used in skincare are Tretinoin, and Retinyl Palmitate.

Retinol products for wrinle reduction make claims that people who use their products often show improved skin tone reduced wrinkles and smoother skin within the first few days of using the products but it can often take up to 3 months before people notice a significant improvement.

Retinol for Acne

Used in the treatment of acne Vitamin A has been proven to show a positive improvement where antibiotics and other treatments have been ineffective.

Vitamin A is also used for other skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, cold sores, wounds, burns, sunburn, keratosis follicularis, ichthyosis, lichen planus pigmentosus, and pityriasis rubra pilaris.

Retinol on Sensitive Skin

Retinol can have a negative reaction on people who have sensitive skin including redness,stinging or scaling. Test any products on a small area of skin at least 24 hours before using them.

Kidney Stones

Vitamin A produces calcium phosphate which can help prevent kidney stones.
Vitamin A produces calcium phosphate which can help prevent kidney stones. | Source

Health Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A or retinol can also be taken as a supplement in your diet, it has many health benefits as well as being good for your skin.

  • Immunity, Vitamin A is important in the production of white blood cells that help the body to fight infection.
  • Bones and Teeth, Vitamin A is essential in the production of dentin which forms the hard area of our teeth and vitamin A also helps to replace worn tissue in teeth and bones.
  • Eyes, retinol is important to our eyes as it helps the eye to distinguish between light and dark vitamin A also prevents cataracts and other age related eye problems.
  • Kidney Stones, Vitamin A produces a mineral called calcium phosphate in the body that prevents the formation of kidney stones.
  • Reproductive System, Vitamin A is essential in reproduction in both males and females, in females Vitamin A is essential in embryonic development and in males vitamin A helps in the production of sperm.
  • Cancer, Vitamin A is a strong anti oxidant and helps the body to fight off impurities that cause cancer.

Side Effects of Vitamin A

Most people who take Vitamin A or retinol supplements have no adverse reactions but there is a possibility that some people will suffer side effects from using the products,

The side effects of taking vitamin A products can be very serious and you should consult your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms after taking it.

Sickness or nausea, diarrea, stomach pain, headaches, dizzyness, blurred vision, fatigue, drowsyness, dry skin and lips, brittle nails, hair loss, joint or muscle pain, fever, bulging eyes, weight loss, depression, delerium, pneumonia, yellow skin (liver damage) or even coma.

Vitamin A or retinol supplements should not be taken by Pregnant women or women who are breast feeding.

Vitamin A supplements can have a negative effect if mixed with other supplements or prescription drugs always consult your doctor if you are on antibiotics or other drugs prescribed by your doctor.


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    • lisasuniquevoice profile image

      Lisa Brown 

      5 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for the information on vitamin A. I just started taking vitamins again and hope to reap the benefits of this one especially.


    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      You don't typically hear much about Vitamin A, as compared to D or B. This is a very thorough article and it certainly touches the important things to know. Up and useful

    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 

      6 years ago from Birmingham

      Great information about Vitamin A. Voted up!

    • rcrumple profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Great information told in a way anyone can underestand! Came out of curiosity and leaving with knowledge. Great Job!

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 

      6 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Very informative hub with valuable subject matter. Thanks for sharing. Vitamin A plays an important role in night vision and in smoothening out wrinkles.


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