Vitamin A has a host of benefits for our health, including our skin. This versatile and adaptable ingredient has become a staple in many of our skin care routines for clients, including our own daily rituals. Read on to learn about this superstar ingredient and its multi-layered benefits for our skin. 

What is Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient that is essential for a variety of bodily functions, including immune system support, promotion of cell growth, and maintenance of the health of our largest organ – the skin. Vitamin A interacts with specific receptors in our cells called retinoic acid receptors (RARs), which regulate cellular processes including cell growth and metabolism. 

The Skin Science of Vitamin A

In the mid-1980s, researchers discovered the extraordinary potential of Vitamin A in repairing severely sun-damaged skin. These studies revealed that applying different forms of Vitamin A directly to the skin could significantly improve the harm caused by excessive sun exposure. Since then, we have learned numerous positive attributes of Vitamin A when incorporated into daily skin care routines, including: 

  • Unclogging pores
  • Aiding in wound healing
  • Fading hyperpigmentation
  • Helping repair sun-damaged skin
  • Reducing wrinkles by stimulating collagen and cell turnover

Benefits of Vitamin A for All Skin Types

Understanding how Vitamin A can impact specific skin issues and cater to various skin types empowers us to make informed choices when incorporating this powerhouse nutrient into our skincare routines, such as:

  • Improved Skin Texture: Vitamin A encourages skin cell turnover, which helps damaged skin cells to make way for new ones. This process can lead to smoothing out skin texture, reducing the appearance of roughness and unevenness.
  • Acne Management: Vitamin A regulates oil production in the skin. This can help prevent excessive oiliness and reduce the likelihood of clogged pores, reducing the risk of breakouts.
  • Anti-Aging Properties: Vitamin A helps skin produce collagen. Collagen is a protein that is responsible for the structure and firmness of the skin. Vitamin A can help improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen levels. This contributes to firmer, glowing skin.
  • Sensitive Skin: This ingredient enhances skin’s immunity, strengthens the natural skin barrier, and protects against environmental stressors. Our professional Skin Therapists encourage proper introduction to Vitamin A,  especially for sensitive skin, to gradually build tolerance, ensuring a balanced and resilient complexion.
  • Hyperpigmentation Control: Vitamin A can inhibit the production of melanin, the pigment that is responsible for dark spots and uneven skin tone. Vitamin A is a valuable tool in the fading of hyperpigmentation and the promotion of an even complexion, helping to restore a harmonious and luminous skin tone.
  • Scar Reduction: Vitamin A aids in the repair of damaged skin by promoting cell turnover and supporting the skin’s natural healing processes. It accelerates skin cell repair, minimizing the appearance of scars. Vitamin A’s healing properties contribute to a smoother and scar-reduced skin surface.
  • Hydration and Moisturization for Dry Skin: To help hydrate the skin, some Vitamin A toners may also contain moisturizing ingredients. Proper hydration is essential for the maintenance of skin health and the prevention of dryness and flakiness. The result is skin that is supple, comfortably moisturized, and free of dry patches. 

Uses of Vitamin A In Skin Care

The versatility of Vitamin A is showcased through the (many) number of product types and formats that this ingredient can be utilized:


Vitamin A serums contain a concentrated form of the vitamin and are formulated for deep penetration. Serums are ideal for targeting specific skin issues like fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. 


Moisturizers infused with Vitamin A offer daily hydration along with the benefits of this nutrient. They are adaptable for regular skincare routines, aiding in maintaining skin health. We often reach for Environ’s Vitamin A Step-Up System, which strategically introduces increasing concentrations of Vitamin A in order to avoid side effects that can be common with lower quality retinol products. Using this step-up system, the skin can progressively build tolerance from Vita-Antioxidant AVST Moisturizer 1, ensuring the full benefits without causing undue stress to the skin. This five step systematic approach guarantees that users can experience the advantages of Vitamin A safely and in a controlled manner. 

For those with extra sensitive skin or who prefer a gel formula to a lotion, Environ AVST Gel can be used as an alternative to Environ AVST 1 Moisturizer. This lightweight formula contains a low concentration of skin-friendly Vitamin A to help protect delicate skin. 

Eye care

Revitalizing the eye area can be aided with the help of Vitamin A as well. Vita-Peptide Eye Gel, part of the Environ Youth EssentiA collection, is a Vitamin A-enriched eye cream safe for use around the eyes. It targets fine lines and wrinkles while providing essential hydration to this sensitive area by stimulating the production of healthy collagen and elastin.

When and How to Use Vitamin A in Skincare

Vitamin A is a multifaceted powerhouse in skincare products, offering a wide range of benefits for various skin types and goals. Vitamin A is versatile, with its ability to promote skin health, improve texture, combat acne, reduce signs of aging, and address issues like hyperpigmentation and scars make it a valuable addition to any skincare routine. Our Skin Therapists teach a gradual approach to Vitamin A, starting gently and slowly increasing potency to ensure optimal results without undue skin sensitivity. For best results, we recommend speaking to a professional Skin Therapist for help getting started. 

Additionally, as some forms of Vitamin A can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, it’s crucial to wear sunscreen daily, especially when first incorporating Vitamin A products into your skincare routine. Consult our FX Skin Therapists for personalized guidance on selecting the right Vitamin A product for your unique skin, tailored just for you and your skin goals. 

FAQs: Vitamin A

Vitamin A encompasses a family of fat-soluble nutrients known as retinoids. Retinoids include retinol, retinaldehyde, retinoic acid, and our favorites: retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and retinyl propionate. Vitamin A is crucial for various bodily functions, including supporting the immune system, cell growth, and maintaining skin health.

Vitamin A offers a range of benefits for the skin, including unclogging pores, aiding in wound healing, fading hyperpigmentation, repairing sun-damaged skin, and reducing wrinkles by stimulating collagen and cell turnover.

Yes, Vitamin A helps to regulate skin cell turnover and oil production in the skin, which can help reduce the likelihood of clogged pores, ultimately reducing the risk of breakouts.

Yes, Vitamin A can benefit sensitive skin by enhancing its immunity, strengthening the natural skin barrier, and protecting against environmental stressors. However, it's important to gradually introduce gentle formulas to build tolerance, rather than jumping straight to the strongest products.

Start with a low concentration of Vitamin A and gradually increase potency to ensure optimal results without undue skin sensitivity. It's best to consult a professional Skin Therapist for personalized guidance.

It's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using Vitamin A products during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, as high concentrations may not be advisable.

Results may vary depending on individual skin types and concerns. Generally, improvements in skin texture and tone may be noticeable within a few weeks to a few months of consistent use.

Recommended Vitamin A Skin Care Products

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