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What You Should Know About Vitamin A and Retinol

In a perfect world, I would have the skin of my ten year old self. The harsh reality is that with the passing of time our skin changes and it ages day by day.

Are there things we can do to slow down the clock? Absolutely! Hey, some things even get better with age!

Skincare has really come a long way, and it’s given us a great tool to help skin look younger and firmer. What might this tool be you ask? Vitamin A.

Today will be diving into what vitamin A is and why it’s so powerful when it comes to reversing the effects of aging on the skin.

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a group of retinoids that works by protecting the skin at a cellular level. It helps support cell growth, including the daily replacement of skin cells.

Vitamin A Molecule

Vitamin A Molecule

There are two basic forms of vitamin A, there is retinol and beta-carotene. Retinol promotes the renewal of skin and enhances collagen production. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals.

Here’s three ways vitamin A can help your skin:

  • It ensures that skin tissues are able to produce mucous and provide a barrier against infections.
  • It protects your skin against those pesky free radicals, preventing them from breaking down collagen.
  • It promotes the replacement of cells, such as fibroblasts, that help make up the deepest layers of the skin.


Image via Malachite + Elephant


Three Benefits of Vitamin A

Evens and brightens skin tone. Vitamin A stimulates the turnover of cells. Meaning that your skin will replace older cells with new ones, creating a brighter and more even complexion.

Smoothes wrinkles. Vitamin A stimulates collagen production, which in turn helps erase wrinkles. Wrinkles can occur due to damaged collagen in the skin.

Helps clear up acne. With the increase in cell turnover produced by vitamin A, it helps keep pores clear resulting in less acne. Vitamin A will not help with all acne though, and should be avoided if the acne you’re experiencing is inflamed and irritated.

With that being said, if you’re using or considering a product with retinoids or vitamin A, make sure to also use sunscreen. Retinol, paired with some skin types, can react with UV rays and leave your skin more vulnerable to sunburn.

For dry skin types, I recommend pairing retinol with a hydrating ingredient like hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid serum is a humectant, which draws moisture like a magnet and locks it in for skin to absorb.

Looking for a moisturizer? Try our Ginseng Green Tea Moisturizer which pairs retinol and hyaluronic acid for deep wrinkle repair and smoothing blemishes!


ginseng green tea moisturizer

For people with sensitive skin, starting off slowly will be your best friend. Start off any product with a patch test on a small area of skin for one to two days.

For extra sensitive areas like the eyelids and around the eyes, be very gentle and apply gradually. Start off with a patch test, and then once or twice a week if your skin is able to tolerate it.

For an extra gentle eye cream, try our Ginseng Green Tea Retinol Repair Eye Cream.

Ginseng Green Tea Eye Cream

Once your skin has adjusted, apply it every other day. Gently exfoliating on the days you don’t apply your vitamin A, and applying a nourishing and hydrating serum or cream.

If you’re thinking about adding vitamin A to your skincare regimen, we’d recommend evaluating how it will work with your current routine. Have you used any products with vitamin A or retinol before? How have they worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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