Preventing Vitamin A Deficiency in the Skin

Vitamin A serves an essential function for the skin, as it is a key ingredient for cell renewal. Skin that lacks sufficient amounts of Vitamin A can be caused by dietary deficiencies, exposure to UV rays, free radical damage and chronological ageing. Replenishing Vitamin A reserves in the skin is a crucial step to maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin A offers the skin many benefits. It acts as a sun filter, prevents sunburn, treats and prevents nonmelanoma skin cancers, slows and corrects signs of premature ageing, and increases cell turnover. An effective way to prevent Vitamin A deficiency is to apply Cloud’s Vitamin A cream topically to the skin daily. 

There are a variety of factors that contribute to low levels of epidermal Vitamin A. Poor diet can lead to a lack of vitamin A in the skin. According to an article in “Dermatology” titled, “Topical Retinoids in Skin Ageing:  A Focused Update with Reference to Sun-Induced Epidermal Vitamin A Deficiency”, by Olivier Sorg and Jean-Hilaire Saurat, the authors state that, “A deficiency of many essential nutrients leads to epidermal vitamin A deficiency.” The authors add that, “it is believed that a significant proportion of the world population suffers from epidermal vitamin A deficiency.” This is a concern, since insufficient amounts of vitamin A in the skin can lead to various skin maladies, including skin cancer development.

Another contributing factor to the depletion of vitamin A is exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The same article in “Dermatology” found that, “In vivo exposure of human skin to UVB radiation leads to functional epidermal vitamin A deficiency by repressing the expression of RAR-y and RXR-a, the main nuclear retinoid receptors of the skin.” Not only does the sun create UV rays that deplete stores of vitamin A, but it also creates oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is also caused by other types of environmental factors, such as pollution and smoking. A proliferation of oxidative stress, or free radicals, can cause inflammation, damaged cells, and the replication of more damaged cells. 

Lastly, a primary cause of inadequate amounts of epidermal vitamin A is chronological ageing. A study by Sorg and Saurat showed that, “The accumulation of oxidation products, the sensitivity of vitamin A to oxidation and the decreased antioxidant defense of the skin observed during ageing lead to physical and functional deficiency of epidermal vitamin A.” Therefore, as we age, it is imperative to ensure that healthy levels of vitamin A are sustained.

Maintaining necessary levels of vitamin A is important for overall skin health. Vitamin A and its derivatives, including retinoids, retinol, retinyl esters and retinyl palmitate, offer the skin many benefits. According to Sorg and Saurat’s recent article in “Dermatology”, the authors indicate that, “Owing to their long conjugated double bond system, retinoids absorb UV light with a high extinction coefficient in the 320-390 nm range. This property renders epidermal retinoids able to act as sun filters.” This is significant, because topically applied Vitamin A can provide sun protection and prevent sunburn by filtering the sun’s rays. Additionally, the authors indicate that vitamin A can aid in the prevention and treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers, stating that, “More importantly, vitamin A deficiency, in particular in the skin, is a risk factor for cancer development, which explains the use of certain retinoids as chemotherapeutic agents in some cancers.”

Not only does Vitamin A offer many health benefits, but it also improves the appearance of the skin. Vitamin A prevents premature ageing by increasing cell turnover to keep skin even toned and smooth. It corrects natural signs of ageing by softening fine lines and wrinkles and increasing elasticity.

The best way to ensure that the skin remains healthy inside and out is to prevent vitamin A deficiency. Applying Cloud’s Vitamin A cream topically every day is an excellent solution to maintain adequate stores of Vitamin A in the skin and defend against UV rays, nonmelanoma skin cancer development, environmental damage, and premature ageing.

Articles referenced:

  • Dermatology 2014;228:314-325, “Topical Retinoids in Skin Ageing:  A Focused Update with Reference to Sun-Induced Epidermal Vitamin A Deficiency”, by Olivier Sorg and Jean-Hilaire Saurat.



May 21, 2015 by Cathy Mohr
previous / next