Jan. 26, 2023

Vitamin A, a new ingredient for your skin care routine?

No cosmetic product has been tested as intensively in recent years as vitamin A. This ingredient has a strong skin rejuvenating effect. But is that molecule really as efficient as claimed? And which type of vitamin A produces the best results for your skin? How can you tell if a cosmetic product contains vitamin A? So many questions! We give you all the answers in this blog.

Vitamin A in all kinds of forms:


Most people may mainly know vitamin A as the drug ' roaccutane ' or the cosmetic ingredient ' retinol ' . In general, there are two forms: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A.

  • Preformed vitamin A is known as the active form that your body will absorb immediately. It contains the components retinol, retinal and tretinoin (retinoic acid) and is found in products such as meat, chicken and fish.

  • Provitamins are the inactive forms of vitamin A and are only converted into the active form in the body. They consist of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and are found in plants.

In this blog we limit ourselves to retinol and tretinoin (or retinoic acid) , the active form.

How was vitamin A discovered?

The anti-aging effects of vitamin A were actually discovered by accident. The ingredient tretinoin was originally intended as an active substance to treat acne . Vitamin A can be taken orally (as in the case of Roaccutane) or applied to the skin.
Not only does it reduce acne, the skin is also visibly younger afterwards. And that was an interesting observation. However, the result does depend on the correct dosage and concentration.

What effects does vitamin A have on your skin?

Skin rejuvenating results are achieved as vitamin A stimulates collagen production. The protein 'collagen' decreases with age, causing skin aging.
Topical vitamin A creams increase the production of type I and type III procollagen in your skin , which makes the skin more firm, contains fewer wrinkles and looks younger.

By means of a DNA skin analysis, Nomige determines whether you have genetic "defects" that increase the risk of collagen breakdown.

Scientific research proves that this vitamin stimulates skin differentiation and proliferation. This means that the daughter cells in the lower layer of the epidermis change structure/function as they move towards the skin surface, where they are ultimately secreted. This process forms the basis for healthy cell renewal in the skin and ensures smooth skin without acne.
It is important to know that oral retinoids, or roaccutane, can have negative side effects . Therefore, the blood and liver values ​​and the mental health of those who use them must be closely monitored. This is one of the reasons why Nomige does not include vitamin A in its products.

Other forms of vitamin A: Retinol

The effectiveness of topical tretinoin, an inactive form of vitamin A, as an anti-aging ingredient has been sufficiently proven. Unfortunately, tretinoin is a prescription-only drug. That's why cosmetic companies are looking for other forms of vitamin A that can be used to combat skin aging.
A possible alternative that has become particularly popular in recent years is retinol . Retinol does have positive effects on your skin , but also a few disadvantages . Retinol blends are easily broken down by exposure to oxygen and light and are therefore unstable and difficult to make.
In addition, like vitamin A acid, it has an irritating effect on the skin . Therefore, creams always contain relatively low concentrations of retinol, which obviously reduces their effectiveness. An effective concentration of topical retinol should range between 0.3 and 1%. However, most cosmetic products contain lower concentrations (approximately 0.08% or less).

Our advice:

Effective concentration: Look for a product with the highest possible retinol concentration. Products with less than 0.3% may not have any positive effects on your skin.

Packaging is extremely important: Vitamin A and derivatives are very unstable ingredients that oxidize quickly. That is why it is important that you choose a product with light-tight and airless packaging so that the ingredients are well shielded from oxygen and light.

Not all forms of vitamin A are equally effective: As with many vitamins, the pure form is the most effective. Some forms are more stable but less efficient. The aim is to find a product with a good balance between effectiveness and stability.

Use it temporarily to give your skin a boost: vitamin A is very effective, but also highly irritating. That is why it is better to use it (temporarily) to give your skin a boost instead of every day as part of your facial care.

Apply vitamin A in the evening: Stem cells in the bottom layer of your skin, which are responsible for cell renewal, are mainly produced at night: they replace old cells and thus reduce the signs of skin aging. Since retinol and other forms of vitamin A stimulate this natural process, it is best to use these ingredients in the evening.
Sun protection: Since vitamin A helps the skin to replace old cells with young, new cells, skin treated with this cream is more susceptible to sunburn. That is why you should definitely protect your skin against the sun. If you use vitamin A, a (day) cream with SPF 50+ is highly recommended. For the same reason, we also recommend that you always start a vitamin A treatment in the winter.

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Vitamin A deficiency vs too much vitamin A

Correct dosage of vitamins is crucial . Therefore, always ask your doctor, pharmacist or dermatologist if you are considering supplements or a facial cream with vitamin A, because you can also absorb too much vitamin A. Keep in mind that 700-800 micrograms of vitamin A per day is the recommended amount. The maximum amount is 3000 micrograms per day.

A deficiency of vitamin A will affect your immune system. The healthy glow disappears from your skin, your hair is brittle and dull, you have dental problems and even vision loss can occur. In short, your resistance deteriorates. Prevent a deficiency and eat vitamin A rich foods such as liver, fish, butter and dairy products. Fruits and vegetables such as carrots, mangoes, tangerines and green leafy vegetables contain beta-carotene and are a source of provitamin A.

However, do you notice that your appetite decreases and headaches, nausea, muscle pain or fatigue appear? Then it is possible that you have absorbed too much vitamin A , also called hypervitaminosis . This is possible if you consume more than 3000 micrograms of active vitamin A daily, but it does not happen often. Supplements are often the culprit.

Vitamin A and pregnancy

This ingredient is not without danger . Retinoids taken orally can be harmful to unborn babies, so pregnant women should not take them. Retinoids applied topically to the skin are less harmful to unborn babies, but should also not be used as a precaution. So avoid vitamin A during your pregnancy or when you want to become pregnant.

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