Vitamin A has wide acclaim as a component for improving vision, ensuring healthy teeth, bones, and other areas of our physical health.
While we focus on its effects in these areas, many people don't realize that vitamin A is also an excellent anti-aging nutrient that is important for skin restoration, health, and beauty.
Unlike our general perception, vitamin A is not a single compound but a group of compounds. It comprises active forms of retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid. It also contains other provitamins like Beta-carotene and other similar carotenoids.
Beta-carotene and other carotenoids come from our plant-based meals, while the active forms come from animal-based meals. When we consume beta-carotene, it converts to vitamin A in its retinol form in our bodies.
What Vitamin A Does for Skin: Fighting Premature Aging
1. Powerful antioxidant and Nutrition
As we stated earlier, plant-based meals contain several carotenoids, including beta-carotene - the antioxidant responsible for warding off free radicals. Free-radicals invade our cells, damage the DNA, and collagen in our skin cells, which leads to premature aging.
Beta-carotene as a component of vitamin A, protects our skin cells from damage, thereby ensuring young and glowing skin.
Also, the synthesized vitamin A, retinoids, is a primary component of many prescription creams for treating various skin issues, including acne. It also works effectively in treating damaged and prematurely aged skin stemming from exposure to Ultra Violet rays.
Besides these two compounds, many products around us contain vitamin A. Consider Rosehip oil and Carrot oil, for example. They are some of the most sought-after nutrients and are present in many skincare products.
According to research done in reviewing topical methods of vitamin A acid derivatives to counteract aging skin, the topical retinoid can help inhibit the breakdown of collagen and protect against UV damage to the skin.
Vitamin A is highly effective for reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging on the skin. It stimulates the skin's dermis, which houses the blood vessels, collagen, and elastin. This stimulation increases blood flow and improves skin health.
2. Protection and Repairing
Vitamin A slows down the breakdown of elastin and collagen that take place as we age. The body also produces less elastin, so it cannot replenish as much as we lose. The more these components break down, the less elastic our skin becomes, until they begin to sag and look old.
Vitamin A reduces the breakdown process to preserve the skin's youthfulness and firmness for as long as possible.
The vitamin also combats oxidative stress, which occurs when the body cannot protect itself from free radicals. Vitamin A improves the body's defense, helping it to manage oxidative stress and free radicals. It increases the cellular plasma antioxidant capacity.
Oxidative stress causes a world of damage to the body, including some kinds of cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and inflammatory diseases.
When the skin suffers damage from extensive exposure to Ultra Violet rays, the effects are visible as freckles, fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and other skin conditions. This situation is called photoaging and occurs due to changes that happen within and around the skin cells.
Vitamin A has amazing antioxidant powers that protect against collagen damage while fixing any skin damage resulting from exposure to Ultra Violet rays.
Risks: Who shouldn't use vitamin A?
Vitamin A is not harmful to anyone, as it is a natural compound. However, retinoids can cause some skin irritation when you start using them. But no worries, because the effects which show up as dry, red, scaly skin won't last long. Once your skin adapts, you will begin to see improvements.
The best way to ease into vitamin A products with fewer side effects is to begin with skincare products that contain low amounts of retinoids.
Once you get comfortable with the daily application, you can attempt using a product with higher retinoid concentration. Your skin will find it easier to adapt to the compound this way.
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