Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, everyone wants healthy skin year-round.
There are so many factors that give us the skin we have. It could be genetics, weather, acne, burns or other things. No matter what has affected our skin, in the long run, we still want it to be as healthy and vibrant as it can be.
Whether you’re a male or female you’ve probably looked at your skin in the mirror once or twice and wondered if you could improve your skin without breaking the bank or spending too much time on it.
This article is going to answer some of those questions and give you immediate action steps you can take to improve your skin, no matter the type you have.
Keep in mind, I’m talking about healthy skin, not flawless skin. In order to achieve a flawless look when you have deep scarring from acne and other things there is only so much we can do at home. Yes, I believe you can have healthier looking skin and improve your overall complexion, but I’m not talking about a photoshopped looking face.
Real people don’t look flawless. Yes, they may have been extremely fortunate to have a great complexion but that usually comes from good genes, a lot of plastic surgery, or lots money.
This article is for everyday people like me who want to improve their health and do it in the most natural way possible. I don’t believe in using chemicals because the use of chemicals will breed side effects which will do far more damage than good.
Certain nutrients are one of the keys to improving and preventing signs of anti-aging. But even with eating right, drinking tons of water and taking vitamins, your skin still needs an extra boost that targets certain areas. For example, eating foods rich in vitamin A help but the benefits don’t go straight to your crow’s feet or saggy skin that start around your mouth area in your 30’s.
The combination of eating foods rich in vitamin A and taking supplements will help but adding vitamins topically are a huge part. “The body delivers only a certain percentage of vitamins to your skin, no matter how much you ingest,” says Mary Lupo, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine. Taking advice from experts we can see why it’s important to give your skin a little extra TLC.
Your skin is a barrier that protects you from harmful elements and is an overall important part of your immune system. Vitamin A helps strengthen and protect your complexion from harmful irritants that attack the surface. Vitamin A also stimulates the cells that are responsible for developing tissue keeping your skin healthy and firm.
To go a little deeper, vitamin A is the name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters. Other active forms are provitamin A carotenoids, like beta-carotene. Beta-carotene (and the other carotenoids) is the form of vitamin A that we get directly from the plant foods we eat. The pre-formed or active forms are found in animal foods. In our bodies, beta-carotene is converted into the retinol form of vitamin A.
How Much Vitamin A Should You Take?
Women should aim for 700 mcg of vitamin A daily, while men should get 900 mcg.
Foods Rich In Vitamin A
Dairy products are an excellent source of vitamin A. Also try orange and green leafy veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe and spinach which are loaded with beta-carotene that your body will use to make all the A it needs.
Applying Vitamin A Topically
Applying vitamins topically can deliver maximum anti-aging benefits—everything from improving texture and tone to fading under-eye circles. Over the counter products that have the active ingredients with retinoids and retinol are known widely in the skin world. “There are more than 700 published studies on retinoids—they’re tried-and-true ingredients. Anyone who wants younger-looking skin should use one,” says Doris Day, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center.
An article written by Canyon Ranch states, “Vitamin A creams can help lighten sun-induced brown spots and boost skin radiance in two ways: First, by increasing and normalizing skin cell turnover, which helps you shed pigmented, damaged and rough surface cells, making room for healthier cells and allowing light to bounce off more evenly. Secondly, retinoids may block an enzyme needed for melanin (pigment) production, further helping to deliver an even-toned, glowing complexion.”
DIY Vitamin A Toner
Carrots have lots of vitamin A along with other vitamins and minerals. Because of this, they make the perfect toner and or cream.
- Take one carrot, peel the outer layer off and then put it in a blender or Juicer.
- Pour the juice into a small glass container. One carrot should give you around 2 Tablespoons of juice.
- After cleansing your face, take a cotton ball or pad, dip it into the carrot juice and apply all over your face.
- Let the toner sit for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse off.
It’s all natural and will give your skin a healthy glow when used consistently. This is because the orange color enters your pores changing the pigment in the skin.
DIY Retinol Face Cream
- Peel and blend or juice one carrot as in the directions above.
- Now take your daily moisturizer (a little goes a long way) and put it into a small dish.
- Take a few drops of the carrot juice and drip it into your moisturizer.
- Stir with a cue tip or other item and mix really well. You shouldn’t see any juice left over.
- Put a small amount on your face as you would with your normal moisturizer and you now have a facial cream that is anti-aging and a moisturizer all in one.
These are two of the very basic recipes to start with. There are multiple DIY retinol face cream recipes out there and sometimes it’s just a trial and error to see which one work best for you.
While using retinol creams it’s best to put them on at night as sun exposure can cause sensitivity to the skin.
Note: If you are pregnant then you should not take extra vitamins with A unless it is in the beta-carotene form. More than 4,000 IU a day can increase the risk of birth defects, but not enough can cause eyesight and other problems. If you are worried and want more clarity about what to take and how much while pregnant or trying to conceive here is a link to a great article explaining the does and don’ts about Vitamin A and pregnancy.