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A guide to Vitamin A


No matter your skin type, Vitamin A definitely should be part of your skincare routine. Thanks to its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines, acne, hyperpigmentation and so much more, it truly is a skin saviour when used correctly. To find out more about the different forms of Vitamin A, as well as how to use it and where to find it, keep on reading.

The Types of Vitamin A

While the term ‘Vitamin A’ comes up often within skincare, there are in fact several derivatives of Vitamin A that are utilised for slightly different reasons. Some of the most common are:

  • Retinol: the most recognised form of Vitamin A, retinol is used widely in the skincare industry. When using retinol, cell turnover and collagen production are increased, leading to skin that is firmer and younger-looking.
  • Retinoic acid: the strongest of the Vitamin A derivatives, retinoic acid is excellent for treating acne, as well as counteracting fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Due to its strength, it’s important to be careful with how much you use, as this derivative can have the most significant side effects.
  • Granactive retinoid: for those with sensitive skin, this is often the best form of Vitamin A to use. If you’ve tried out retinol before but suffered from irritated skin, it could be worth giving granactive retinoids a try. 

How To Use Vitamin A

Vitamin A works best on clean skin, so, it should be applied once you’ve cleansed, and before any other serums, creams or oils; it’s also crucial to apply it in the evening, as sun exposure reduces its effectiveness.

When using Vitamin A in your routine, use of sun protection becomes even more important; you should therefore ensure that your morning skincare routine includes an SPF. If you want to find out more about SPF, I’ve written a blog post breaking down why you need it in your routine.

Vitamin A products take time for your skin to adjust to; if you’ve not used Vitamin A in your skincare routine before, it’s best to start off using it once or twice a week, increasing this slowly. This will ensure that you don’t suffer from any adverse effects and, instead, see the results you’ve been looking for. Side effects such as irritation often disappear within two to four weeks as your skin adjusts, but if you’re worried, it’s always best to seek professional advice.

Where To Find Vitamin A

While many forms of Vitamin A are available in over-the-counter formulations, others, such as retinoic acid, are prescription-only due to their potency. 

Adding Vitamin A into your diet as well as your skincare routine can have significant benefits for your skin; as an antioxidant, it can help fight inflammation and promote overall skin health. Vitamin A-rich foods include orange and yellow vegetables, as well as leafy greens and salmon.

If you’re looking to incorporate Vitamin A into your skincare routine but aren’t quite sure where to start, I offer free consultations where we can go through your options together, supporting you on your journey to beautiful skin.

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