5 Reasons Your Skin Needs Vitamin A

Your skin is a window into your general inner health and is often one of the first places to indicate a possible vitamin deficiency, which may present in the form of dry, cracked, inflamed, or irritated skin. Vitamins are essential for maintaining the health, appearance, and function of your skin; however, many vitamins cannot be synthesized by the body and therefore need to be obtained through the food you eat. Often the question is raised, what vitamin deficiency causes oily skin? Vitamin A is a skin-loving, immune-system-boosting, reproductive-health-promoting, and vision-improving vitamin that you do not want to be deficient in.

There are two main types of vitamin A: retinol and carotenoids. Retinol is derived from animal sources and is known as the “active” form of vitamin A, whereas carotenoids are derived from plant sources and have to be converted during digestion into retinol before they can be utilized by the body.

5 Reasons Your Skin Needs Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for many physiological processes and plays an important role in maintaining the integrity and function of all epithelial tissues including the skin, lining of the respiratory tract, digestive tract, bladder, inner ear, and eyes.

Vitamin a and skin healing practically go hand in hand. Vitamin A supports the daily replacement of skin cells, including both the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and dermis (second layer of the skin) and ensures that issues such as the conjunctiva of the eye are able to produce mucous and provide a barrier to infection. This is why when asked what vitamin deficiency causes oily skin, people usually jump to vitamin A for assistance. See: High-Fat Diet Skin Benefits to Help You Glow

When applied topically, vitamin A and skin healing have been shown to stimulate collagen synthesis, improve connective tissue, and repair sun-damaged skin. One research study showed an improvement in collagen synthesis and fibroblast growth after just seven days of topical application of vitamin A.

Most people wonder, is vitamin A good for oily skin? Vitamin A has been shown to help reduce acne, which is partly due to the vitamin’s ability to reduce excess sebum (oil) production when applied topically and taken internally as a supplement. This definitely answers the question of is vitamin a good for oily skin. See: Do You Know The Close Connection Of Your Diet And Healthy Skin?

You may have heard of Roaccutane, a popular medication for treating acne, comprising a high dose of synthetic vitamin A. Roaccutane is very harsh: it can dry out the skin and increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, heightening the risk of burning and skin damage. It is therefore highly recommended to always wear sunscreen if you are taking this medication or applying any high-dose source of retinol topically.

Vitamin A is also essential for vision, reproduction, growth and development, and for maintaining a healthy immune system. The skin plays a critical role in the body’s immune system as it is the first line of defence against pollutants, bacteria and infection. Vitamin A helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier, protecting you from these unwanted pathogens entering your body.

The recommended daily amount of vitamin A from all sources is 700μg RE (retinol equivalent) for women and 900μg RE for men. If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, do not take vitamin A supplements, medication or topical forms without consulting your doctor, as when taken in excess of 3000μg RE vitamin A can cause birth defects.

It is always best to acquire vitamins through organic fresh food, as this way you are reaping the benefits of all the additional nutrients the particular food has to offer. To enhance absorption of vitamin A from your food include healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, nuts or seeds. See: 5 Edible Aloe Recipes to Moisturize Your Body from Within

Food sources of vitamin A

Fruits and vegetables

  • Dark leafy vegetables such as amaranth, spinach and chard
  • Orange sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Yellow maize
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas

Animal sources

  • All animal liver
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, including breast milk, which contains enough vitamin A for children up to six months of age. After six months, complementary foods alongside breast milk should contain small amounts of vitamin A-rich foods
  • Goat’s and feta cheese
  • Butter


  • Cod liver oil

DIY Vitamin A&D Cream

For this simple recipe, you can standard vitamin A and D capsules or tablets, which can be found in the vitamin section of the supermarket.

  • Remove two teaspoons of your favorite moisturizer, and place the product in a small bowl. If this is intended for your face be sure to select a brand that has been formulated for use on the face, or it may clog the pores and cause pimples.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon of retinol or crushed vitamin A&D tablets to the moisturizer, and stir until both products are thoroughly blended.
  • Use fingertips to apply the cream to the face, smoothing in gently with soft, upward strokes until all affected areas have been covered and moisturizer has been completely absorbed.

If you prefer to use natural products instead of using retinol. Make a moisturizing mask by combining dry milk, plain yogurt, and egg yolk. All three are natural sources of vitamin A &D.

  • Simply place the ingredients in a bowl, and stir with a fork until smooth.
  • hen spread over your skin and leave in place for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse away with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.