Is Vitamin A safe in skincare? This is question that we consistently get asked on the gram and through our Q&A rounds. Whilst there is plenty of mis-information around this essential Vitamin there is very little information that is put into the context of skincare that is readily available and accessible to the average consumer.
The truth is that Vitamin A consistently shows outstanding results in dermatological studies with one of the safest records, yes even during pregnancy, delivering the most incredible results for your skin.
When is Vitamin A safe?
We often receive concerned messages asking about vitamin A and the online conversation about it being a cancer-causing agent and not safe for pregnancy. This misinformation stems from a very small study performed on mice that has since been written off widely by dermatologists and the EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. Other incidences of negative effects have been documented in people who come into contact with extremely high doses through their diet or occupation ie 10kg containers.
Vitamin A is extremely good for us, and is vital to the function of many life giving internal processes however Vitamin A can be toxic if we consume too much. Despite this, it is still one of the ingredients in dermatological studies with the safest track record, delivering the most incredible skin results which is why it is the go-to for most dermatologists treating ageing skin. Remember that the most important source of Vitamin A to be aware of contributing to your recommended daily intake (RDI) is in food and nutritional supplementation due to its absorption methods, with extremely minimal dermal absorption being agreed upon by the World Health Organisation and the EU Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety.
How does Vitamin A in skincare work?
Vitamin A works by encouraging surface skin cells to turn over and die rapidly, making way for new cells to develop underneath and move to the skin's surface. It also acts to prevent the breakdown of collagen and thickens the deeper layer of skin, strengthening it against wrinkle formation.
Because of this, Vitamin A is fantastic for:
+ ageing skin
+ dermatitis & eczema
+ most inflammatory skin conditions
+ and for treating scars
Vitamin A also helps to slough away brown spots and pigmentation whilst curbing the production of melanin, resulting in clearer skin and a more even skin tone. It has also been proven to assist with regenerating UV damaged cells on the skin's surface.
I am pregnant. I was told I shouldn’t be using Vitamin A?
The EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) consider Vitamin A (retinol, retinyl palmitate, and retinyl acetate,) safe when used as cosmetic ingredients at documented levels as the skin's absorption of this ingredient is extremely low and not considered to contribute to Vitamin A toxicity. This means that insignificant levels will reach the bloodstream when applied to the skin in appropriate doses. All of our brands at Nourished that contain Vitamin A have formulated their products according to FDA & EU guidelines.
As always, if you are concerned about using these products during pregnancy we recommend waiting until the second trimester or discussing with your doctor.
The SCCS also decided the Vitamin A in baby skin care products such as body lotions and creams are safe for 1- and 3-year old children. Vitamin A exposure to children younger than 1 year is not recommended as it has not yet been assessed.
Things to consider when using a skincare product with Vitamin A
Scientific literature shows us that the primary function of vitamin A is to speed up cellular turnover, replenishing the outer skin layers with fresh new cells. This is where the aesthetic benefits are to be found when it comes to our skin. This also means that these new youthful skin cells are ‘baby cells’ that are young, fresh and sensitive like that of a baby’s skin. That is why we recommend following the Aussie ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ guidelines of slipping on protective clothing, slopping on sunscreen daily and slapping on a hat whenever you are outside to protect your new 'baby skin'! We also recommend avoiding sun exposure in the hottest times of the day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the UV rating is at its most intense.
Our favourite Vitamin A skincare product
We can't go past the Activator 7 Oil & the Barrier Restore Butter from Sans [ceuticals].
Activator 7 Oil: This divine multifunctional body + hair + face oil has been coined a 'Miracle In A Bottle' by beauty industry experts due to its high-dose vitamin formulation & reparative qualities.
The Activator 7 Oil contains active levels of vitamin A, scientifically proven to stimulate skin repair, increase collagen production and boost skin strength and elasticity. Its unique blend of pharmaceutical grade, bioavailable oils that possess strong antibacterial properties also make it excellent for dermatitis and eczema. Its multifunctional nature allows you to create space in your bathroom, save money & reduce waste! This ‘Miracle In A Bottle’ can be used as:
+ Body oil
+ Scar Oil
+ Facial serum
+ Hair serum
+ Shave oil
+ Makeup remover
For best results cleanse skin using the Sans [ceuticals] Goji Cleansing Oil prior to applying the Activator 7 with the Complexion Perfection Duo!