Vitamin A Vs Vitamin C for Skin
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Both vitamin A and vitamin C are very common in modern skincare regimens. People who are looking for ingredients to address skin issues such as wrinkles, acne, skin dullness, and dark spots often weigh up the benefits of vitamin A vs vitamin C for skin. Both ingredients have impressive skin benefits and it seems quite tricky to pick between them. Wanna know which is better? Keep reading till the end.
In this article, we’ll be weighing up the benefits of using vitamin A vs vitamin C for the skin in a scientific manner. But before we get into how vitamins A and C can help with skin, it’s worth knowing the basics of these two ingredients a little bit more. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is vitamin A?
- What is vitamin C?
- Benefits of vitamin A vs vitamin C for skin
- Vitamin A vs vitamin C for skin: final words
What is vitamin A?
Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble vitamin (micronutrient) that’s crucial for the development and maintenance of healthy skin, eyes, and immune response, as well as the reproductive system. It's considered an essential micronutrient because the human body cannot produce it on its own, but needs to get it externally through foods or supplements for proper functioning.
Vitamin A comes in various forms. It has two major classifications - preformed vitamin A, also known as retinoids, and provitamin A. There are three retinoids - retinol, retinoic acid, and retinal or retinaldehyde.
Some carotenoids (plant pigments) found in colorful vegetables and fruits work as a precursor for vitamin A and are known as provitamin A. Beta-carotene is considered the most efficient provitamin A.
Vitamin A is broken down by the liver and then transported throughout the body cells by the lymphatic system or stored in the liver until the body requires it. Although all forms of vitamin A provide quite similar skin benefits, their strengths vary depending on the conversion processes they go through to be effective for the skin.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C or otherwise known as ascorbic acid is a water-soluble nutrient primarily found in citrus fruits and vegetables. It has tremendous antioxidant properties and also has an incredible capacity to increase collagen production, making it legendary in the entire skincare world.
It’s considered one of the most effective as well as safest nutrients for the skin. Both dietary and topical vitamin C has beneficial effects on the skin that can help prevent and treat a wide range of skin conditions ranging from sun damage to skin inflammation to signs of aging. This is the reason why vitamin C is widely used in cosmetics and is also available as a dietary supplement.
Benefits of vitamin A vs vitamin C for skin
As a skincare ingredient, vitamin A has been extensively studied and used. This tried-and-true ingredient has an impressively long list of proven benefits. Let’s take a look at what its list includes:
Benefits of vitamin A for skin
- Stimulates the formation of collagen in the skin
- Reduces ultraviolet light-induced cell damage
- Helps address acne and its associated scarring
- Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
- Exfoliates the skin surface and facilitates new cell regeneration, providing glower, smoother, and healthier skin
- Improves skin tone and texture and helps fight hyperpigmentation
- Improves immune response and may help treat autoimmune skin conditions such as psoriasis
- Has anti-inflammatory effects that can help alleviate inflammatory symptoms such as redness and also post-inflammatory discoloration
Vitamin C, on the other hand, is a normal skin constituent that is present in both layers epidermis and dermis. It plays many important roles, especially when it comes to anti-aging and preventive effects.
The amounts of vitamin C content declines with aging. Besides, environmental stressors such as pollutants and UV rays also reduce the vitamin C content in the skin, resulting in various signs of aging such as hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and fine lines.
The use of vitamin C in both topical and oral supplementation can effectively enhance skin vitamin C levels and help combat these issues. Let’s have a look at some common vitamin C benefits for the skin:
Benefits of vitamin C for skin
- Protects skin cells from damage induced by free radicals including pollutants and UV radiation
- Helps keep the skin well-hydrated
- Stimulates the formation of collagen and elastin and restores a smoother and more youthful appearance
- Helps alleviate undereye circles
- Helps treat dark spots or hyperpigmentation
- Mends redness and other inflammatory symptoms
- Heals wounds
Vitamin A vs vitamin C for skin: final words
In essence, comparing the benefits of vitamin A vs vitamin C doesn’t offer an either-or solution for us. Each has its own way of working in the body and offers distinct benefits as well. It depends on your skin type and of course your specific beauty goals to determine which one will work better for you.
In general, if you want to get rid of acne scars or improve the overall texture of your skin, vitamin A could be the answer. But it’s obviously as long as you don’t show any allergic reactions, or aren't breastfeeding or pregnant woman because vitamin A has an impact on hormone levels.
And, if you want to increase your collagen and elastin production and improve your skin’s tone or want to provide extra protection to slow down your skin aging, vitamin C could be a way to go. It’s relatively gentler than other skincare ingredients and suits nearly every type of skin. Consider working with a qualified naturopath or dermatologist to determine which one is better for your specific skin type.
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Here you can see Vorst’s high-quality Vitamin C Orange Flavor Tablets