Where Can You Find Vitamin A?
Vitamin A can be found in many foods:
• Oily fish
It can also be made in a laboratory.
What Does Our Body Use It For?
Vitamin A is necessary for the development and functioning of our eyes, skin, immune system, and many other parts of our bodies. It:
• Reduces complications of diseases such as malaria, HIV and measles
• Eases heavy menstrual period pain
• Raises sperm count
• Improves vision—especially in disorders such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts
• Helps with gastrointestinal ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and urinary tract infections
• Eases sinus infections, asthma, persistent headaches, and hay fever
• Controls the normal activities of the DNA of the nucleus of the cell as well as the mitochondria
• Is necessary for the formation of healthy blood cells in the bone marrow
Vitamin A And Your Skin
Today Vitamin A is recognised as an important factor in making the skin look younger. Vitamin A can help new cells form, can help cells grow, and can aid sebum secretion. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that neutralises the harmful elements in our skin, helps to prevent wrinkles and allows the skin to resist infections.
Controls the normal activities of skin cells and Relieves skin conditions such as:
o Cold sores
o Scaly skin
• Helps to repair the damage that light does to the skin
• Thickens the skin
• Pulls skin cells into line
• Increases blood flow to the surface of the skin
• Decreases the clustering of brown spots (melanin)
• Eradicates some precancerous lesions
• Promotes wound healing
• Has a stimulatory effect on the skin
• Promotes cell division
• Increases enzyme activity
• Helps the skin become more elastic (which reduces wrinkles and fine lines in number, area, length and width)
• Promotes the retention of moisture, so the skin appears clearer, has a healthier colour, and blemishes become less conspicuous
Vitamin A deficiency is the greatest vitamin deficiency of the skin. It has a damaging effect on the DNA of the skin cells. Vegetarians tend not to suffer from Vitamin A deficiency, because Vitamin A is found as beta-carotene in many vegetables.
So What Is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A has many forms:
• Retinyl palpitate
• Retinyl acetate (these two are esters)
• Retinyl aldehyde
• Retinyl propionate
• Retinyl linoleate
• Retinoic acid
How Do You Apply Vitamin A?
As early as 1955, it was found that if people took Vitamin A orally, it could help their sunburn. Some Vitamin A can also be taken orally to treat severe acne. This was originally developed as a chemotherapy medication.
Cosmetic researchers were keen to develop a Vitamin A cream or lotion which could be applied directly to the skin. However, too much Vitamin A on the skin can cause problems. In fact, using the wrong formulations of Vitamin A for your skin can have some serious side effects, such as dryness, peeling, erythema and pruritus (itching.)
Because of the number of side effects, people tend to stop using it. A lot of research is aimed at finding new forms of Vitamin A which do not have harsh side effects.
Most Vitamin A creams today contain retinol palmitate, which is an ester. Because esters are not soluble in water you can put them on your skin and they have a good lubricating effect. Retinol palmitate doesn’t require a prescription, because it’s not retinoic acid. However, the chemical processes in your skin do, in fact, change it into retinoic acid, so some people experience some of the side effects. The new formulations that includes retinol palmitate store Vitamin A better in the skin until it’s needed and this is preferable for overall skin correction.
Vitamin A is extremely sensitive to sunlight, and particularly to UVA. In fact,
Vitamin A is damaged by exposure to light. It should be protected from ultraviolet light, so you should use a UVA sunscreen at the same time.
Because Vitamin A is difficult to absorb, you have to keep applying it. If you don’t replace Vitamin A, your skin will begin to look older. You need to apply it every evening to address the daily loss of Vitamin A. In fact, ideally, it should be used twice daily. The best thing to do would be to start putting Vitamin A on your skin at an early age and to continue to do this into old age. This would help to maintain young, healthy looking skin.
How Skin Correctives Can Help You.
Because Vitamin A has so many side effects on different types of skin, it is very important that your Skin Correctives consultant helps you to choose the correct form of Vitamin A. This will ensure that you do not use the wrong type or concentration of Vitamin A.
Not all forms of Vitamin A are suitable for all skin problems. There have been new forms of Vitamin A developed, which are expressly to help specific conditions. We can help you to select the ones that are most beneficial to you.
Skin Correctives also uses Vitamin A in preparation for other treatments. Prior to a skin peel or laser treatment or surgical procedure it is very important to prepare the skin. Vitamin A plays a significant part in the pre-treatment of any patient undergoing any procedure on the skin.