Is Vitamin A able to clear acne? And what properties allow it to achieve such a feat?
You may be interested to find out that Vitamin A is necessary for cell growth and healthy skin maintenance. Its purpose is not only needed but essential for the normal functioning of the body's cells.
In addition to cell growth and healthy skin, Vitamin A is essential for immune health, prenatal development, and vision. Vitamin A also aids in the maintenance of surface tissues including the skin, intestines, lungs, bladder, and inner ear. It aids immune function by promoting white blood cells that defend the body against infection. (1)
To break down the properties of vitamin A further, it has antioxidant properties that protect cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are substances that might harm your body if their quantities are too high. This protection from free radicals and assistance in optimal cell growth can help reduce the signs of aging and keep skin looking younger. (2) Below, we discuss how Vitamin A can be used as an acne treatment and provide further tips on how to avoid acne breakouts from surfacing in the first place.
Does Vitamin A Improve Help With Acne?
So, is Vitamin A good for acne? The answer is yes! Vitamin A can help reduce and prevent inflammatory acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. (4) Exciting! Now let’s dive a little deeper into how it’s actually able to help you achieve clear skin. do so.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Acne
Eating Following an anti-acne diet that includes foods that are naturally high in vitamin A promotes healthier skin from the inside out. The more popular way to treat acne using Vitamin A is through topical formulas, such as topical creams and serums containing Vitamin A. (4)
Vitamin A is so beneficial to the skin because of its ability to decrease inflammation, protect against free radicals, reduce sebum production, and increase skin cell growth which can reduce the appearance of acne scars and signs of aging.
Vitamin A is one of the most highly effective and sought-after ingredients found in many topical skin care products for the entire face, eye area, and neck because of these benefits. (4)
Forms of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is available in two forms through food. Preformed Vitamin A, such as retinol and retinyl esters, is derived from animal products like dairy, liver, and fish. On the other hand, provitamin A carotenoids are found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and oils.
Both types of Vitamin A must be converted to retinal and retinoic acid, the active forms of the vitamin before they can be used by the body. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, therefore it is stored in body tissue to be used at a later time. (5)
Vitamin A can be found in a variety of antioxidant-enriched foods from plant-based and animal-based diets. Vitamin A is abundant in carrots, sweet potatoes, orange and yellow vegetables, leafy greens, beef, salmon, apricots, cantaloupe, and mangos. (4)
Although the AAD explains that no single diet has been proven to treat or combat acne-prone skin in full, it is proven that sugar, milk, and other dairy products may increase acne breakouts in those who are already struggling with severe acne. And even though consuming Vitamin A through your diet can result in having healthier skin, it can't solely cure acne this skin condition by itself. (6)
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to relieve acne with the proper diet and supplements that target the root cause. Vitamin A can be available in many oral multivitamins and supplements. CLEARSTEM Skincare offers a unique vitamin A-based supplement, MINDBODYSKIN that aids in healing hormonal acne.
MINDBODYSKIN Our hormonal acne supplement controls acne at the source by targeting oil, digestion, detoxification, stress, PMS, and hormones at the same time. The supplement pairs digestive support with liver detoxifiers while balancing hormones synergistically with a de-stressing neuro-support element that also serves to boost immunity as it metabolizes.
Because it addresses overall body functions such as liver and hormone metabolism versus narrowly focusing on just a few vitamins the body can optimize digestion and detoxification while regulating the hormones that lead to mild to severe acne.
The expected result is clearer skin in 7-10 days, with continued results that progress over time. With a reduction in inflammatory breakouts, the skin’s collagen is able to thrive and regenerate faster. Redness and oil will decrease and skin will appear visibly smoother and healthier. Foods that previously triggered a breakout may not do so any longer.
Another popular yet concerning form of Vitamin A in an oral form is Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane. Accutane is a form of A in a prescription form used as a medication to treat severe acne that is not responding to other therapies.
Because this medication is a Vitamin A derivative the body reacts to it similarly to Vitamin A. Something to remember is that Vitamin A can accumulate in the body’s tissue. If you are taking isotretinoin, Vitamin A supplements should be avoided.
Some side effects of Accutane are dry skin and dry and chapped lips and skin sensitivity, especially to the sun. Hair loss and skin discoloration can also result.
Some of the more serious side effects of Accutane can result in miscarriage and severe birth defects if pregnant as well as mood changes, mental health problems such as depression and suicidal thoughts, and even pressure in the brain which is a life-threatening symptom. (7)
CLEARSTEM Skincare’s MINDBODYSKIN hormonal acne supplement is a revolutionary and powerful yet natural treatment for hormonal acne that targets the issue at the root cause. It's a 100% non-toxic hormonal acne supplement that is specially formulated with 5-HTP, DIM, glutathione, vitamin A, and vitamin B5. It’s highly potent and can effectively treat and diminish hormonal acne at the root without the damaging effects of synthetic Vitamin A.
Topical retinoid is another popular acne treatment most known to reduce signs of aging such as lines and wrinkles and promote collagen production, which can help even out skin tone, reduce the signs of aging, and reduce oil production.
When treating acne, topical retinoid is thought to be beneficial for diminishing acne because of their anti-inflammatory properties. They also aid in the sloughing off of skin cells, which helps to prevent clogged pores. However, as previously mentioned, topical retinol has been linked with excessive UV damage, so we wouldn’t recommend it. (8)
Topical Vitamin A toxicity can result in acute or chronic toxicity. In chronic toxicity, the consumption is spread out over a longer period of time. Skin irritation, particularly erythema and peeling, is the most prevalent side effect of topical retinoids. Teratogenicity is the most serious side effect of systemic retinoids. (9)
How Much Vitamin A Should I Take for Acne?
Getting Vitamin A through diet and Vitamin A supplements can improve your overall immune system and positively affect the health and condition of your skin.
Vitamin A deficiency can be harmful to one's health, but too much of it can be detrimental as well. That is why pharmaceuticals like Accutane and Isotretinoin are “black label” and known to cause severe side effects. Their levels of Vitamin A are far beyond what we would ever naturally want to take.
Although very rare, it is possible to get Vitamin A toxicity if taking too much for too long. To avoid toxicity it is recommended to not exceed the upper daily limit of 25,000 mcg for adults. Though it is possible to consume too much Vitamin A from animal sources such as Vitamin A-enriched food, toxicity is typically connected to excessive dietary supplement consumption in extremely high doses, or by accidentally taking multiple oral vitamin supplements with high levels of Vitamin A. (8)
Taking Vitamin A can be an effective and powerful way to reduce and diminish acne, acne scars, and signs of aging. With its ability to reduce inflammation, reduce excess oil production, and encourage skin cell turnover, Vitamin A offers noticeable results when used consistently and correctly.
Whether orally or topically, retinoids are highly potent. However, it's crucial to ensure you aren't over-using topical retinol products as they can compromise your skin barrier and lead to accelerated aging. This type of topical retinol is not advised for people who enjoy outdoor lifestyles.
Although Vitamin A is a highly effective and powerful way to control breakouts and achieve clear skin, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and taking care of your physical and mental health are critical components in optimal skin health as well. Vitamin A should be just another resource to use within your skin care regimen and should not be the only ingredient you rely on to treat acne. (3)
When combined with other vitamins that are known to balance hormones (like DIM) and liver detoxifiers like dandelion, Vitamin A becomes much more useful. A blended approach to skin health is always in your best interest, whether topically or internally.
While many acne supplements have much of the same standard vitamins, MINDBODYSKIN actually places Vitamin A very strategically with other acne-fighting vitamins, along with a stress-support element called 5-HTP (we all know stress is a huge acne trigger).
This synergistic combination of ingredients supports the key areas of the body that affect acne, and you will find that this blended approach is far superior to treating acne than simply a standalone Vitamin A supplement for acne.
- What Is Vitamin A? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a#what-it-is
- How do free radicals affect the body? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318652
- Is Vitamin A Good for Acne? https://www.healthline.com/health/vitamin-a-for-acne#research
- Vitamin A https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/#:~:text=Preformed%20vitamin%20A%20is%20found,plant%20pigments%20into%20vitamin%20A.
- Can The Right Diet Get Rid of Acne? https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/causes/diet
- Effects of Isotretinoin (Accutane) on the Body https://www.healthline.com/health/accutane-side-effects-on-the-body#Central-Nervous-System
- Vitamin A For Skincare https://www.healthline.com/health/vitamin-a-for-skin#usage
- Vitamin A: Benefits, Deficiency, Toxicity, and More https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a#benefits
- Vitamin A Toxicity https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30422511/#:~:text=In%20chronic%20toxicity%2C%20intake%20is,of%20Vitamin%20toxicity%20are%20reported