If one were asked what is the best thing you can do to ensure brighter, more youthful looking skin, you might suggest eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, taking vitamins and drinking plenty of water. While all these things are very beneficial for your skin, did you know one of the best ways to care for your skin is through daily topical application of vitamins? Applying topical supplements such as vitamins A, C and E directly to the skin, can make a significant difference in preventing premature ageing and protecting the skin from damage caused by UV rays. Vitamin A is vital for healthy skin and has many benefits. It reduces sun damage and skin ageing, treats acne, reduces wrinkles, improves hydration, fades dark discolorations and promotes faster wound healing. Vitamin A also encourages cells to grow and therefore it thickens the skin much to the contrary belief that it thins the skin. The skin will also become softer as the top layer of old, dead skin cells become exfoliated, flatter and more compact. Wrinkles will be lessened by slowing the breakdown of collagen and stimulating the production of new collagen.
Vitamin A is highly sensitive to UV light and is depleted from our skin with daily exposure to sunlight. Skin that is deficient in Vitamin A tends to age faster and shows more signs of sun damage. Simply applying daily applications of Vitamin A to our skin will replenish the Vitamin A that is lost every time we go out into sunlight. This theory should be put into place at a very young age. We must not wait until we visibly see the signs of sun damage or ageing to start applying vitamins to our skin. The skin functions are the same in our younger years as it is in our adult life and while we can’t prevent the depletion of vitamin A from our skin, we can easily replenish it each and every day with topical creams. It takes several days before diet alone can restore the normal levels whereas Vitamin A cream applied topically, can restore levels within hours. The quick degrading from light and air also makes it necessary to look for creams that are packaged in an airless pump rather than jars which can allow light and air in.
Vitamin A comes in many forms and not all are easy for the skin to accept. When the skin is depleted of Vitamin A you must slowly adapt your skin to using it, so the form we choose to apply becomes an important factor.
Prescription strength vitamin A is retinoic acid, also known as Tretinoin. It is very active and acidic, so much that many people have a hard time complying to the recommended dosage because it can make the skin quite irritated with redness and peeling. The skin will eventually adapt but it may take several weeks and unfortunately many people stop using it before that it subsides.
Retinol is the alcohol form of vitamin A and can cause skin irritation as well, but less than retinoic acid. It is the “buzz” word these days in the cosmetic industry and is found in the latest night creams of many big, brand name companies. The problem with these creams is the amount of Retinol that is actually in them, which may not be enough to produce the results most people are expecting.
Retinyl acetate and retinyl palmitate are other forms of vitamin A. They are much less irritating to the skin and will be converted into retinoic acid in the cells and will give the same results as without the irritation.
Vitamin A should be used every day and we should start at a young age. The higher the dose the better the results, but you must slowly work up to the higher amounts to avoid adverse reactions. Start at a mild level and gradually increase the amounts as your skin becomes acclimatised to it. Seek guidance from your skin care professional who can analyse your skin and advise you what form is best for your skin type. Start incorporating daily topical applications of Vitamin A to your skin and watch your skin become healthier, softer and more radiant. Many of us eat healthy, exercise, take vitamins and do what we can to ensure our inner self is nurtured, but what about our bodies largest organ – our skin? Did you know the best way to take care of your skin is through daily topical application of vitamins? We must “feed” our skin daily the vitamins and antioxidants it requires through topical applications and protect it from damaging UV rays in order to give it the chance it deserves. No matter what your age, your skin will benefit from applying vitamins.