Why is Vitamin A good for your skin?

a selection of foods rich in vitamin a

We do love a clever play on words here at Lovoir Beauty, which is why you’ll see us delivering a consistent A grade to our vitamin of choice throughout the following ode.

A little disclaimer before we get stuck in: We could probably fill hundreds of pages detailing all the benefits offered by Vitamin A, but that would a. Take way too much time and b. Prevent you from booking one of our awesome treatments (shameless plug. #sorrynotsorry).

Instead, we will be honing in on how Vitamin A is just so goddam good for your skin, and how you can benefit from it. Ready?

First, a bit of science.

You may have heard of retinal, retinol and retinoic acid; these are just some of the active forms of the group of compounds making up Vitamin A, found in animal foods. Carotenoids – such as beta-carotene – are another source and can be found in the plant-based foods we eat. Vitamin A is always converted to retinol by the liver, where it is then transported to cells throughout the body.

Of course, many forms of Vitamin A also exist in its skincare variations, too, with Retinal Acetate and Retinal Palmitate two of the most commonly used. But no matter where you get it from – diet, supplements and/or topical treatments – you can be sure its protective and nourishing properties will help to keep your skin firm, healthy, radiant and functioning at its very best at all times.

Read more about good sources of Vitamin A here

a woman smiling and exfoliating her skin in the mirror

Image: mahmoud99725, Flickr 

Vitamin A benefits

Anti-ages

You’ve got the antioxidants found in carotenoids to thank for quashing the free radicals that would otherwise break down collagen (your skin’s support structure), resulting in fine lines and saggy skin. Research continues to show that topical applications of retinol can stimulate collagen production- also beneficial in minimising age spots.

Produces healthy skin cells

Retinaldehyde, retinol and retinoic acid all help contribute towards healthy cell production and growth. Vitamin A also stimulates fibroblasts – the cells responsible for creating tissue in the deep layers of your skin that keeps it firm and healthy.

Evens skin tone

By increasing cell production and growth, your skin is helped to shed the pigmented, damaged and rough outer layer, making way for a healthier surface which, in turn, enables light to bounce off more evenly (hello naturally glowing skin!). If that wasn’t enough, retinoids may even block the enzyme involved in melanin production, also paving the way for a brighter, more even-toned complexion.

Protects

Carotenoids-based antioxidants are also responsible for providing natural protection against the sun, reducing redness and pigmentation, as well as infection. This is because your skin is the first line of defence against bacteria, so by enhancing healthy cell production, it also helps strengthen the barrier against any nasties you’d rather not welcome into your body.

Fights acne

Spots form when pores become clogged with dead skin cells, bacteria and oil. Thanks to the cell turnover stimulation achieved by Vitamin A – and the anti-inflammatory properties of retinoids – this process will be swiftly stopped in its tracks.

rubbing cream on face

Some things to keep in mind 

  • Vitamin A creams, oils and serums can cause sensitivity, redness and dry and flaky skin until you become acclimatised to retinoids. To minimise these side effects, build up the amount you use slowly over several weeks (or leave it to the experts – like us – to indulge you in one of our luxurious Vitamin A-infused treatments!). Book here.
  • Wear sunscreen and reapply during the day to protect the healthy new cells Vitamin A is creating.
  • Too much ingested Vitamin A can carry side effects, such as headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, liver damage and nausea.
  • Retinol and retinoids are not advised when pregnant. However, there are gentler forms which are very beneficial during this exciting time! Call us for advice on +64 3-358 8410 – we’d be delighted to talk through the safer ways you can prevent a Vitamin A deficiency.

Our Vitamin A treatments

We’re spoiling you, we know, but here at Lovoir Beauty we offer a whole range of different ways your skin can get its fix:

  • O Cosmedics Peel. Included in our range of facials is the retinol peel.
  • Our tool of choice for microneedling needles in retinaldehyde to your skin.
  • Infusion facial. Also uses retinaldehyde. So much to choose from … where will you start?

Book today!

Further reading:

Uncovering Face Peels: How Do They Work?

Dermapen Review: Can It Be Used On Any Skin Colour?

Exploring The Electroporation Facial

 

Featured image: Evan Lorne, Shutterstock

 

Beauty is skin-deep: How to nourish the body from within

A selection of rainbow-coloured fruit and veg

Beauty ideals – and the millions of cosmetic products that help us achieve them – vary worldwide. What remains consistent, however, is the reality that what we put into our bodies has a very real impact on achieving both skin and body health. What exactly do we mean when we say that? Lovoir Beauty gets under the skin to investigate!

Food

Rainbow diet

It’s quite simple, really: By including all the colours of the rainbow in your diet, you’re optimizing your vitality. Not only will this make your meals instantly instagrammable (yay) but it will also send healthy messages to your body. How’s that for a pot of gold?

Collagen supplements

Vitamin A: Playing a major role in cell renewal and healthy skin, you can get plenty of this vitamin from both plant and animal-based foods, such as carrots, spinach, tomatoes, mangoes, apricots, butter, liver, eggs and sweet potatoes. It’s also worth noting that drinking alcohol and smoking can lead to Vitamin A deficiencies (#justsaying).

Vitamin C:  The antioxidants contained in Vitamin C make it a must-have molecule for skin health. Good sources include oranges, berries, broccoli and sweet potatoes.

Zinc: Helping to produce collagen fibres, zinc also helps regulates the function of the Sebaceous Glands which can cause acne. Popular ways to get your zinc quota naturally include almonds, spinach, asparagus, salmon, red meat, oysters, chicken and pumpkin seeds.

Copper: If zinc produces collagen fibres, copper links them together. It also keeps bones, heart and blood vessels healthy.

Vitamin E

This antioxidant helps prevent premature ageing caused by sun damage and a deficiency – often caused by a diet high in processed, fried and fatty foods – can lead to a whole host of health issues. Eating nuts, avocados, spinach, wholegrains and seafood will help up your Vitamin E intake.

Avocados

A special shout out to the incredible green hulk that is the avocado. Full of healthy fats, including a good amount of these in your diet will lead to more supple, moisturized skin – also helping to protect it from sun damage.

Sweet Potatoes

We also couldn’t let this moment pass without singing the praises of the humble sweet potato – packed with Beta-carotene, which functions as Provitamin A. What this means – in real terms – is that along with other sources such as oranges, carrots, peppers and spinach, it protects your skin from sun exposure, helping to prevent sunburn and wrinkles.

Broccoli

As well as being packed with the vitamins and minerals necessary for skin health, broccoli also contains lutein – a carotenoid that works like beta-carotene. The result? Another superfood that prevents your skin becoming dry and wrinkled. What’s more, it also contains a special compound called sulforaphane, which not only helps to maintain collagen levels in the skin but may even hold some anti-cancer properties.

Tomatoes

Boasts Vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein in its repertoire, making this an excellent choice for maintaining healthy skin.

Omega-3

Also known as fatty acids, these healthy fats act as a natural moisturizer for the skin – also helping with its elasticity, like much of the above. However, it also goes one step further thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Good sources can be found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel and herring), walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, eggs, olive oil and coconut oil.

Amino acids

Ever feel totally drained – both physically and mentally? You’re not alone. Luckily, ingesting more amino acids – found in proteins such as nuts, tofu, sprouts, lentils and wild rice – can do wonders for your energy.

Spices and herbs

Turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel, rosemary and garlic are all packed with anti-inflammatory properties.

Dark chocolate

Yup, it’s true – scout’s honour – that eating some dark chocolate in moderation can do wonders for your skin, thanks to the cocoa flavanols which help to soften skin. (You’re welcome.)  Make sure to choose chocolate with at least 70% cocoa – keeping sugar to a minimum – to reap the full benefits.

a selection of healthy smoothies

Drink

Water

How much water should I drink in a day?

The truth is, you can never have too much! One of the biggest dos in nourishment is in the simple act of drinking water – great for overall skin health as well as flushing toxins out the body. Six to eight glasses a day is the minimum recommended amount to give your skin the necessary moisture it needs.

Coconut water

Also growing in popularity, coconut water has intensely hydrating properties, as well as being a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium.

Tea

Green tea, in particular, is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to its richness in antioxidants – especially useful in keeping the elasticity of the skin firm, fighting inflammation and boosting energy. Check out the awesome range of organic herbal teas by Bestow Beauty.

Fresh juices

A great way to get a nutrient boost in one healthy serving, but try to avoid preservatives and added sugar as these can wreak havoc on your skin. Instead, opt for making your own at home wherever possible. Even better, favour green juices – made up mostly of green vegetables with a few fruits thrown in for good measure – to help counteract things like under-eye puffiness and inflammation.

Red wine

Ok hear us out – we are not suggesting for a second that you take up heavy drinking. However, if you naturally enjoy some red wine as your alcoholic beverage from time to time, you might be in luck. Studies have shown that resveratrol – a compound that comes from the skin of red grapes – can be credited with a whole host of health benefits, such as anti-aging.

a selection of supplements

Supplements

The supplements industry is growing exponentially – and it’s no secret why. Nourishing our bodies with vitamins and minerals is the way to ensuring tip-top health – especially in a fast-paced world which prevents us from getting everything we need from diet alone. (Not to mention the fact that pesticides and the like compromise the full nutritional quality of soil – and hence the food which grows in it.)  Here are some examples of the supplements you should be taking – and why:

Vitamin D

Living in sunny New Zealand, you could be forgiven for assuming that your body is rich in vitamin D. Whilst this is, in theory, true, too much exposure to the sun – especially without proper protection – can cause more health problems than it prevents. Taking this anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral vitamin will ensure you’re getting enough of the good stuff – without putting yourself at serious risk. Vitamin D:

  • Boosts elasticity
  • Helps prevent wrinkles
  • Enhances the quality of sleep by releasing melatonin

Probiotics

Promoting the growth of good bacteria, probiotics not only aid in digestion but also help absorb and move toxins out from the gut.

Here at Lovoir Beauty, we understand the importance of nourishing the body from within, which is why we use products from Koru Nutrition and Bestow Beauty, offering everything from beauty powders and ‘Gut Love’ to nutritional supplements for chronic pain.

A healthy diet – along with our range of in-salon treatments – will give your skin that healthy glow you’ve always wanted. Check out what’s on offer here.

Featured image: Patrick Feller, Flickr