How Does Vitamin A Affect Skin?

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Vitamin A is an important nutrient for the body both in terms of maintaining good health as well as for beauty purposes. Not only does this healthy nutrient boost many functions of the body internally, but also acts an important ingredient in everyone’s beauty regimen.

This healthful nutrient is available in two types. The first is retinoid that can be derived from animal products and the second is beta carotene which can be supplied from plants.

Getting an adequate dose of vitamin A in your diet ensures that many of the body’s regular functions are maintained.

One of these is the ability of vitamin A to act as a booster for the immune system. It is particularly active in keeping the skin and mucous membrane cells healthy. Vitamin A improves the rate of skin turn over and is effective in preventing the formation of comedones that cause acne.

On the flip side, lack of vitamin A can lead to scaly, dry and rough skin. One form of vitamin A known as retinol is particularly effective in decreasing the signs of aging on skin. Regular application of skin care products containing retinol can improve skin texture by softening skin and reducing the look of wrinkles. Retinol also helps slow down collagen breakdown which ensures that skin remains resilient and firm longer.

To get a fair supply of vitamin A in your diet, consider including some of these rich sources like cod liver oil. Other foods with vitamin A include egg yolks, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and collards.

Not only is vitamin A essential for skin care as it prevents skin aging, but is equally important for improving the quality of hair, bones and teeth. Vitamin A strengthens weak hair, conditions the scalp and adequate doses are needed for normal bone and teeth health.

But when cooked, the nutritional value of vitamin A is reduced by 20%. However, the second type known as beta carotene that is provided by plants can be included in your diet to reap maximum benefits.

While not all vegetables are easy to eat in an uncooked form, many fresh fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw. The beta carotene in fresh produce is abundantly found in orange yellow fruits and green leafy vegetables. Other food sources containing good supplies of beta carotene are red peppers, carrots, dry apricots, raw spinach, fresh watermelon, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Another useful benefit gained from including vitamin A in skin care is that it protects skin from sun damage by reflecting solar rays,  improves skin immunity and decreases susceptibility to sunburn.