It is no secret that vitamins are good for us – imagine if we tried to claim that as a fresh take – but some people don’t realise just how many benefits topical vitamin A skincare products can have for the skin… Case in point, our very own Skin Protein.
If you are using great skincare but still feel a bit “meh” about your results, it could be that you’ve been sleeping on vitamin A and it deserves a spot in your routine just as much as Kelly Rowland deserved her spot in Destiny’s Child (we love you, Kelly).
What are the benefits of vitamin A skincare?
Vitamin A naturally exists in our bodies, and we get it through our diets. We can get “ready-made” vitamin A from animal food sources or we can convert beta-carotene, the plant-based precursor to vitamin A, into vitamin A ourselves. Claps for our amazing bodies!
Although in this piece, we’re talking about topical vitamin A, we also believe that it is important to feed your body with vitamin A. Topical skincare can’t reach your dermis, the living layer of your skin, which is why we advocate for a nutrient-rich diet to act as a serum for your insides.
What does topical vitamin A do?
When it comes down to what applying vitamin A to your skin can do, it’s a lot in one go. Vitamin A is the supreme multitasker, the person with two jobs and a podcast who sleeps for three hours and still looks like Gisele Bündchen.
Essentially, vitamin A can re-educate the skin to behave in a different way. Many believe that this is due to the human tendency towards vitamin A deficiency, in particular, Dr. Des Fernandes who has championed this theory for decades.
Our 21st century diets don’t include as much vitamin A as before, and due to changes in our climate, our skin isn’t as well protected against UV either. UV rays can deplete our skin’s store of vitamin A and it is this deficiency that Dr. Fernandes believes causes skin to age faster and behave badly.
The tangible benefits:
- Firmer, younger-looking skin with a reduction in the appearance of lines and wrinkles – vitamin A helps our skin to make its own collagen
- Better oil balance – promotes the health of sebaceous glands, our skin’s sebum pumps
- Supports general skin health – as a vitamin, it’s essential for the skin
- Retinoids help to thicken the skin and pore walls – thicker skin means skin that is less lax and plumper, reduces the appearance of dark circles, and healthier pore walls means tighter-appearing pores
- Helps to reduce congestion – vitamin A speeds up skin cell turnover so that our skin exfoliates itself, meaning less likelihood of clogged pores
- Antioxidant protection – as a potent antioxidant, vitamin A protects our skin from environmental and UV related damage
The vitamin A in Skin Protein
Even if you think you’ve never heard of using vitamin A in skincare before, you probably actually have. We know because we are inside your brain. Sorry, that’s a lie – it’s because retinol is vitamin A.
Retinol is well-known as the premium anti-ageing product, but it’s also infamous for redness, flaking, inflammation and irritation in the skin while the skin gets used to it. At The Skin Nerd, we have thousands of happy Nerd Networkers and our clients prefer a low and slow approach – meet retinyl palmitate.
If you haven’t heard of retinyl palmitate before, we’ll fill you in. Retinyl palmitate is a retinoid with similar effects to other retinoids but without the same likelihood of irritation. It’s the fat-form of vitamin A, a skin-loving ester that the skin converts to retinol itself.
Skin Protein contains a low to moderate level of retinyl palmitate, making it a fantastic introduction to vitamin A or the vitamin A to go for if your skin has been sensitive to retinol before. Unlike a potent retinol, Skin Protein can be used both AM and PM daily, as it doesn’t have the same light-sensitising effects as a preformed retinol can have.
Being a team of high-achievers who want it all (kiss our butts, Carrie Bradshaw), retinyl palmitate alone did not Skin Protein make. We’ve paired Skin Protein with some other key skingredients. Inside, you’ll find beta carotene, the plant form of vitamin A, two forms of vitamin C, vitamin E, good fats, antioxidants and a patented peptide that promotes the skin’s production of collagen to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Yeah, baby.
Can I use it with retinol/prescription retinol?
The question on everyone’s lips: can you use your other vitamin A product with Skin Protein? For the most part, we would say that you don’t need two vitamin A products because you’re realistically duplicating ingredients in your routine. If you are on a low-level retinyl palmitate or retinoid product that you aren’t fully in love with, you can switch to Skin Protein when you’re finished.
If you’ve been using vitamin A, in the form of a prescription retinol, an over-the-counter retinol, or a potent retinyl palmitate product for two years or so, you can bring in Skin Protein alongside it for heightened results so long as you promise us to be careful.
Besides, we’re always here if you have questions: just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With results-driven ingredients like vitamin A, too much is too much, and can cause something known as a “retinoid response”, including the usual flaking, redness and irritation associated with retinol. So take it easy.
Who can’t use vitamin A?
- People who are pregnant, undergoing IVF, or planning pregnancy: it’s advised not to use this level of vitamin A if you are pregnant, or if you may become pregnant
- Those with a known allergy or intolerance to vitamin A
- If you have very sensitive skin, we recommend introducing it gradually, starting by using it only every second or third night and working your way up to daily use
You can use Skin Protein while breastfeeding if you ignore our “nipples up” rule. For that period, keep the vits off your tits.