Today it is acknowledged that Vitamin A is not only good for ageing skin, but also essential for rejuvenation. Vitamin A has a major function to protect us and has an important role in maintaining normal healthy skin. With the increasing dangers posed by a thinner ozone layer, photo-damage of the skin happens more rapidly.
While sunscreens can give protection, the safety of the skin will depend to a large extent on adequate levels of vitamin A and other antioxidants in the skin. Vitamin A is fundamentally one of the most important vitamins because it controls growth and differentiation of all of our cells right from the embryo through to full maturity.
Vitamin A derived from the diet works with other hormones e.g. thyroid and adrenal hormones. Its effects are most easily observed on the skin because that is the most visible and largest organ of the body.
Vitamin A is normally found in our skin in low concentration but is absolutely essential for healthy skin. However, vitamin A is rapidly destroyed by exposure to light, so our skin develops a chronic, unrelenting deficiency of vitamin A that manifests as pigmented blotches, wrinkles, thin skin, and pre-cancerous lesions that eventually can develop into skin cancer.
Vitamin A is the dominant vitamin of the skin because it has a fundamental role in the control of normal activities of cell nucleus and is extremely sensitive to UVA sunlight. A heavy sunburn radically depletes the cutaneous stores of vitamin A. It’s been proved that people who suffered bad sunburn could be improved by oral administration of vitamin A in high dosage.
Even with the development of modern sunscreens we are not able to give adequate protection of the skin from UV- A and so vitamin A is still damaged by exposure to light, even when a person is wearing a sun protection factor of 30 or 40. It’s important to have retinoid topicals and a diet high in vitamin A. Natural sources like Carrot Juice, Paprika, Red Pepper, Cayenne, Chili Powder, Sweet Potatoes, Dark Leafy Greens, Butternut Squash, Dried Apricots and Cantelope.
Retinoid topicals, particularly as retinyl palmitate, is probably the safest way to protect skin from solar effects and to be used in interval periods and should be used gradually until the skin can adjust.
A great deal has been written about the harmful effects of retinoids in pregnancy. It’s becoming customary for manufacturers of vitamin A products (usually retinoic acid or retinol) that topical vitamin A cannot cause any fetal abnormality and recommends that topical vitamin A should not be used during the first trimester of pregnancy.
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