Vitamin A – essential for your skin

Vitamin A Skin Care

Vitamin A – Facts, Types and Use

Vitamin A skin care products improve the health of your skin. They work by normalising how your skin functions, which in turn helps your skin to stay strong and healthy. This makes it a powerhouse in your skin care regime. It was conclusively proven in 1996 that Vitamin A as a topical skin ingredient is capable of reprogramming cellular function – WOW! This is why everyone (almost) should be using it. Not only to help you age more gracefully and have clear skin, but more importantly, so your skin is healthier as you age.

Choosing your Vitamin A serum can be very confusing though, as there are many different forms. Of course, all touting that they are the best. Whether you purchase from your local salon, pharmacist, super market or doctor by prescription the label may include names such as Renova, Retin A or Tretinoin just to name three.  Our favourite is stabilised Retinaldehyde, found in many of the Vitamin A Serums we stock. The skin likes this form due to how it works at the deep cellular level. When combined with a penetrating delivery system, it’s able to reach the required cells quickly. Jumping in and healing with no or minimal irritation, sun sensitivity or redness. Your skin needs to start out using small amounts of Vitamin A in a gentle and effective formula, slowly building up it’s tolerance, before you can jump into the stronger more active versions.

A Brief History of Vitamin A in Skin Care

Back in the 1980’s Vitamin A was used to treat acne. Over time it was discovered how well it healed not only Acne, but ageing skin conditions also. Since then it’s been widely studied and used amongst the skin care industry. Hence you will find it in many anti-ageing treatments. 

How Do Vitamin A Serums Work?

What does it actually do for your skin? Vitamin A serum benefits your skin by thickening and stimulating the dermis – where your collagen, elastin and blood vessels are. This thicker and healthier skin reduces wrinkles and increases blood flow to the surface of the skin. Vitamin A actually increases the deposition of collagen; therefore it slows the normal ageing breakdown of your collagen and elastin.

Your Vitamin A Serum Improves The Following

  • Normalises blood flow – taking nutrients and Oxygen to the cells.
  • Helps to reduce the symptoms of Rosacea.
  • Increases the rate of wound healing – treating acne scarring.
  • Exfoliates – making skin smooth and even-toned.
  • Repairs the cellular structure of the Epidermis – optimising your UV protection.
  • Decreases clustering of Melanin granules – thus reducing brown spots or pigmentation.
  • Decreases sebum production and thus treats acne brilliantly.
  • Promotes a healthy Cellular Membrane – improving hydration.
  • Helps in the eradication of Pre-Cancerous skin lesions.
  • Improves hydration both in and around the cell by doing all of the above – decreasing wrinkles!

Which Vitamin A Skin Care Should You Use?

All forms of topical Vitamin A serums and creams are potent and effective. However, by using chirally correct products with no added irritants or nasty chemicals, you will enhance the results whilst minimising these side effects. So, don’t be fooled, not all Vitamin A skin care products are created equal. Some will cause more adverse reactions to your skin rather than healing and strengthening.

Please keep in mind that if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a medical issue that leaves their skin impaired you need to check with your Doctor before using a Vitamin A product. During these times your skin is naturally more sensitive. Although you may want to improve your skins health, this may not be the time to start using such strong anti-ageing products. Instead consider using a “look alike” product such as Osmosis MD Replenish. It is gentle on your skin and filled with antioxidants to boost your skins health.

What’s So Special About Our Vitamin A Products?

What are these Chrially correct products mentioned earlier, I hear you ask? They have delivery systems to help your skin care products reach deep in the skin. What is significant in medical-strength skin care is the way active ingredients (like Vitamin A) are transported to the basal layer and the dermis. This is the area they need to reach to heal and strengthen your skin.

The two main types are the retinaldehyde-liposome and AGP (arabinogalactan-protein), a molecular transport antioxidant.  Other types of skin care products rarely have the ability to go so deep without irritation. Both these delivery systems carry the active Vitamin A through all the skin’s structures to the receptor on the cell. In this way, there is no drying of the skin, no redness and no irritation. Of course, other necessary ingredients are carried along as well; many have their own delivery systems too.

You will feel activity in the skin. Some people like this feeling and some don’t. The secret to achieving a Vitamin A tolerance is to listen to your skin and slow down the active products if you don’t like what you are seeing or feeling. Always follow the directions provided, as you need to start slowly and build up how much you use each week. Making sure your skin is not reacting to your new skin care routine.

Which % of Vitamin A Should I Use?

You will notice many of our brands carry more than one type of Vitamin A. This is because you need to build up your skins tolerance, starting with a low dose of Vitamin A and building up the strength as your skin becomes used to it. When you are choosing your Vitamin A, always start with the lowest % available and each time you finish a product, consider if you’re ready to increase the strength, depending on your skin’s health. This way you will avoid adverse reactions and see a gradual improvement, which is what you’re aiming for.

With this in mind, you can always take it slowly if you have very reactive or sensitive skin. Gradually building up it’s strength. This can take weeks, depending on the type of Vitamin A you have chosen. If your skin becomes red, flaky and irritable, decrease your Vitamin A, increase your antioxidant nourishing product and slowly increase again in 2–3 weeks.

Optimal Use

Use your Vitamin A serum or cream at least twice a week and you will reap benefits. However, for maximum effect use every night and, if tolerating well, any of the Osmosis MD Vitamin A products can be used morning and night. Keeping in mind that your skin will naturally start healing itself while you sleep. Hence starting at night – to boost your body’s natural functions. Always try to work with your body’s natural rhythm, not against it! 

Important Reminder!!!

A day in the sun, wind or sudden stress, will increase cellular activity. If you allow both UV’s and Vitamin A into your skin, they are attempting to do opposite things. One to damage and one to heal, leaving you feeling irritated and red. Don’t use your Vitamin A on these days! Instead use nourishing antioxidants and be vigilant using your sun block.

Always nourish your skin with antioxidants and use sun protection EVERY DAY when using a Vitamin A product.  

* WARNING * If pregnant, thinking of being so or breastfeeding, please discuss the use of any Vitamin A serum with your doctor. We recommend that you stop using Vitamin A during this period, as it is not known if a developing fetus will be affected. As well as this, your skin during this time is affected by constant hormonal fluctuations. This can make it very sensitive and likely to have an adverse reaction. For further information please read our article on caring for your skin whilst pregnant and breast feeding.


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  1. Anonymous says

    I do know that vitamin A is important for skin. But all this information is new to me and i am surprised that vitamin A is that much essential. Thank you for sharing all this!

  2. Anonymous says

    This is very informational and well-written post. I am a professional dietician.
    Vitamin A is also known as retinol and has several important functions.
    These include:
    1. Helping your immune system to work as it should against infections
    2. Helping vision in dim light
    3. Keeping skin and the linings of some parts of the body, such as the nose, healthy
    4. Good sources of vitamin A
    5. Good sources of vitamin A include:
    oily fish
    fortified low-fat spreads
    milk and yoghurt

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