Vitamin A in Cosmetics

Vitamin A is a nutritional supplement, also known as retinol. It is renowned as a youth-regenerating vitamin and is often used in health and beauty products because of its anti-aging properties. It increases cell turnover, stimulates collagen production and, when taken internally, supports bodily functions and the immune system.

Learn about other beauty-enhancing vitamins on our vitamin E and vitamin C pages!

See our vitamin a guide to answer your questions like what is vitamin A and who shouldn’t use vitamin A beauty products.

Brands With Vitamin A Products

  • Kiehl's
  • Alpha-H
  • PIXI
  • Antipodes
  • Dr Dennis Gross Skincare
  • ESPA
  • Neutrogena
  • Bio Oil

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1,306 products found
-16%
TAN-LUXE Super Glow Hyaluronic Self Tan Serum
TAN-LUXE Super Glow Hyaluronic Self Tan Serum
$41.25 $49.00
-19%
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops
$23.50 $29.00
-22%
Isle of Paradise Blend It Multi Purpose Self Tan Blender
Isle of Paradise Blend It Multi Purpose Self Tan Blender
$17.25 $22.00
-21%
Isle of Paradise Happy Tan Everyday Gradual Glow Lotion
Isle of Paradise Happy Tan Everyday Gradual Glow Lotion
$17.50 $22.00
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Malin + Goetz Recovery Treatment Oil
Malin + Goetz Recovery Treatment Oil
$77.99 $82.00
-5%
Murad Multi Vitamin Infusion Oil
Murad Multi Vitamin Infusion Oil
$71.99 $75.00
-7%
Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser
Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser
$44.00 $47.00
-4%
Dr. Barbara Sturm Facial Scrub
Dr. Barbara Sturm Facial Scrub
$67.50 $70.00
-10%
Kiehl's Oil Eliminator Refreshing Shine Control Spray Toner
Kiehl's Oil Eliminator Refreshing Shine Control Spray Toner
$18.00 $20.00
-17%
Kiehl's Baby Lip Balm
Kiehl's Baby Lip Balm
$10.00 $12.00
-4%
Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair
Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair
$30.83 $32.00
-5%
Kiehl's Butterstick Lip Treatment
Kiehl's Butterstick Lip Treatment
$23.00 $24.00
-1%
MZ Skin Anti Pollution Illuminating Eye Mask
MZ Skin Anti Pollution Illuminating Eye Mask
$105.00 $106.00
-1%
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
$9.75 $9.80
Barry M Lip Scrub
Barry M Lip Scrub
$6.90
Virtue Smooth Shampoo
Virtue Smooth Shampoo
$16.00
PIXI Glow Mist
PIXI Glow Mist
$15.00
Virtue Full Conditioner
Virtue Full Conditioner
$17.00
Natasha Denona Blush Duo Palette
Natasha Denona Blush Duo Palette
$38.00
PIXI Rose Cream Cleanser
PIXI Rose Cream Cleanser
$18.00
Isle of Paradise Disco Tan Instant Tan Wash Off Body Bronzer
Isle of Paradise Disco Tan Instant Tan Wash Off Body Bronzer
$22.00
Isle of Paradise Over It Magic Self Tan Eraser
Isle of Paradise Over It Magic Self Tan Eraser
$27.00
Indie Lee Radiance Renewal Peel
Indie Lee Radiance Renewal Peel
$70.00
The INKEY List Niacinamide
The INKEY List Niacinamide
$6.99
Summer Fridays Overtime Mask
Summer Fridays Overtime Mask
$46.00
Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer
Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer
$20.00
The INKEY List Bakuchiol Moisturizer
The INKEY List Bakuchiol Moisturizer
$9.99
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
$22.00
Bumble and bumble Don't Blow It Fine Hair Styler
Bumble and bumble Don't Blow It Fine Hair Styler
$16.00
Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum
Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum
$19.00
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
$29.00
Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliating Booster
Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliating Booster
$88.40
Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50
Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50
$35.00
The INKEY List Retinol Serum
The INKEY List Retinol Serum
$9.99
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
$28.00
Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek
Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek
$20.00
Milk Makeup Highlighter
Milk Makeup Highlighter
$20.00
Indie Lee Daily Vitamin Infusion
Indie Lee Daily Vitamin Infusion
$24.00
Indie Lee Daily Skin Nutrition
Indie Lee Daily Skin Nutrition
$80.00
Kiehl's Facial Fuel For Men Set
Kiehl's Facial Fuel For Men Set
$55.00
IGK Mixed Feelings Leave-in Brunette Toning Drops
IGK Mixed Feelings Leave-in Brunette Toning Drops
$29.00
Omorovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream
Omorovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream
$238.00
-43%
Sisley Velvet Nourishing Cream
Sisley Velvet Nourishing Cream
$136.00 $235.00
-30%
Elemental Herbology Cell Active Rejuvenation Age Support Facial Moisturizer
Elemental Herbology Cell Active Rejuvenation Age Support Facial Moisturizer
$84.00 $120.00
-40%
Hair Rituel by Sisley Revitalizing Smoothing Shampoo With Macadamia Oil
Hair Rituel by Sisley Revitalizing Smoothing Shampoo With Macadamia Oil
$48.00 $79.00
-23%
Decléor Orexcellence Energy Concentrate Youth Cream
Decléor Orexcellence Energy Concentrate Youth Cream
$94.00 $121.50
-39%
Clarins Renew Plus Body Serum
Clarins Renew Plus Body Serum
$42.00 $68.00
-33%
Decléor Aromessence Lavandula Iris Firmness Oil Serum
Decléor Aromessence Lavandula Iris Firmness Oil Serum
$50.00 $73.80
-25%
ESPA Deeply Nourishing Body Cream
ESPA Deeply Nourishing Body Cream
$69.00 $92.00
-25%
Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator SPF 8
Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator SPF 8
$64.50 $86.00
-47%
La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes
La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes
$23.00 $42.99
-25%
ESPA Restorative Body Oil
ESPA Restorative Body Oil
$52.50 $70.00
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ESPA Energizing Body Oil
ESPA Energizing Body Oil
$52.50 $70.00
-25%
ESPA Detoxifying Body Oil
ESPA Detoxifying Body Oil
$52.50 $70.00
-32%
TAN-LUXE Super Glow SPF 30
TAN-LUXE Super Glow SPF 30
$36.80 $53.90
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Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel
Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel
$49.50 $66.00
-31%
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Anti-Oil Astringent Cleanser
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Anti-Oil Astringent Cleanser
$37.00 $53.36
-32%
Dr Hauschka Hydrating Cream Mask
Dr Hauschka Hydrating Cream Mask
$35.00 $51.00
-40%
Becca Skin Love Weightless Blur Foundation
Becca Skin Love Weightless Blur Foundation
$23.10 $38.00
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ESPA Soothing Body Oil
ESPA Soothing Body Oil
$56.00 $70.00
-25%
Decléor Aromessence Magnolia Youthful Night Balm
Decléor Aromessence Magnolia Youthful Night Balm
$41.00 $54.00
-34%
Decléor Aromessence Neroli Amara Hydrating Night Balm
Decléor Aromessence Neroli Amara Hydrating Night Balm
$25.00 $37.80
-25%
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Anti-Dandruff Soothing Cleanser
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Anti-Dandruff Soothing Cleanser
$37.00 $49.30
-45%
MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer
MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer
$13.20 $24.00
-28%
Kiehl's Creme With Silk Groom
Kiehl's Creme With Silk Groom
$26.00 $36.00
-25%
Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light
Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light
$30.00 $40.00
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Macadamia Professional Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
Macadamia Professional Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
$12.00 $21.99
-15%
bareMinerals Ageless Phyto-Retinol Face Cream
bareMinerals Ageless Phyto-Retinol Face Cream
$55.80 $65.00
-48%
Macadamia Professional Oil Rejuvenating Shampoo
Macadamia Professional Oil Rejuvenating Shampoo
$10.00 $18.99
-10%
Murad Renewing Eye Cream
Murad Renewing Eye Cream
$74.99 $83.00
-10%
Eve Lom Radiance Face Oil
Eve Lom Radiance Face Oil
$72.00 $80.00
-25%
PHYTO Phytoelixir Intense Nutrition Shampoo
PHYTO Phytoelixir Intense Nutrition Shampoo
$21.80 $29.00
-11%
Diptyque Satin Oil For Body & Hair
Diptyque Satin Oil For Body & Hair
$58.00 $65.00
-30%
L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Original Oil
L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Original Oil
$17.00 $23.99
-23%
Kiehl's Herbal Infused Micellar Cleansing Water
Kiehl's Herbal Infused Micellar Cleansing Water
$22.40 $29.00
-30%
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
$15.40 $22.00
-29%
Redken All Soft Conditioner
Redken All Soft Conditioner
$16.00 $22.45
-10%
bareMinerals Ageless 10% Phyto-Retinol Night Concentrate
bareMinerals Ageless 10% Phyto-Retinol Night Concentrate
$55.80 $62.00
-5%
MZ Skin Depuff & Define
MZ Skin Depuff & Define
$143.00 $149.00
-5%
MZ Skin Hydrate & Nourish
MZ Skin Hydrate & Nourish
$143.00 $149.00
-15%
Stila Putty Bronzer & Blush Duo
Stila Putty Bronzer & Blush Duo
$34.25 $40.10
-52%
Physicians Formula The Healthy Lip Velvet Liquid Lipstick
Physicians Formula The Healthy Lip Velvet Liquid Lipstick
$5.39 $11.10
-14%
Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF 50
Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF 50
$34.50 $40.00
-16%
Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream
Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream
$30.00 $35.50
-10%
bareMinerals Ageless Phyto-Retinol Neck Cream
bareMinerals Ageless Phyto-Retinol Neck Cream
$46.80 $52.00
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Vitamin A

Frequently Asked Questions about Vitamin A products

What is vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a powerfully antioxidising fat-soluble vitamin. It comprises a group of compounds including retinol, retinal and retinoic acid.

Who shouldn’t use vitamin A beauty products?

Vitamin A-based products are unsuitable for children and pregnant women, as they often contain a high concentration of retinoids that can be particularly harmful.

People with a vitamin A allergy should avoid retinol beauty products as they contain high levels of vitamin A that can trigger allergic reactions.

How often should I be using vitamin A beauty products?

To start with, incorporate a mild vitamin A formula (like retinaldehyde or the mildest retinyl palmitate) into your routine. Use it once a week and then slowly increase your usage, allowing your skin to adapt for best results.

It's important to regularly observe the way that your skin reacts to specific formulas and product combinations, as every skin type will react differently, depending on the strength of the retinol in the product. Sensitive skin types should take caution as retinoids can easily irritate and redden the skin.

Whatever your skin type, you should only use a very small amount of topical vitamin A; applying too much can result in seriously dry and irritated skin. When in doubt, always refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

What are the skin and health care benefits of vitamin A beauty products?

Vitamin A is a key nutrient that keeps your skin healthy while supplying an array of anti-aging benefits, including reducing the visibility of dark spots, hyperpigmentation and fine lines. It's widely used in skin care products for its nourishing and protective properties, which stimulate skin cell regrowth and boost tissue repair to help to combat breakouts.

If ingested – within foods or dietary supplements vitamin A also helps to maintain good, healthy vision and support your body's natural defenses against illness and infection.

Who should use vitamin A beauty products?

It is recommended that you incorporate vitamin A into your skin care regimen as soon as possible to combat UV damage and signs of aging, and maintain optimal skin health. The vitamin is especially beneficial for people who suffer with acne or blemishes as its antioxidising properties promote skin healing and tissue regeneration.

Vitamin A can also be taken as a dietary supplement to treat and prevent vitamin A deficiency.

Are there any drawbacks/side effects of vitamin A beauty products?

Vitamin A increases sun sensitivity as it encourages skin cell turnover, leaving you with skin that is delicate and easily sensitized. It is often recommended that retinol skin care products are used at night to avoid the risk of sun damage. For the same reasons, you shouldn't use retinoid prior to waxing or laser procedures – your skin will simply be too vulnerable.

In general, retinoids can be very irritating and drying to the skin if used too often or incorrectly – especially when you first start incorporating them into your skin care routine.

Can I use a beauty product containing vitamin A/retinol in combination with AHAs or BHAs?

Yes, it is fine to use a vitamin A/retinol product in conjunction with AHAs or BHAs, which exfoliate dead skin cells. For the best anti-aging results, we recommend using an exfoliator and a retinol product (e.g. a night cream or serum) to maximize the results. You must make sure to keep an eye on the way your skin reacts product combination.

What are the different vitamin A derivatives?

The derivatives of vitamin A are known as carotenoids (found in plant-based products) and retinoids (found in animal-based products). They both provide the body with a variety of health benefits from boosting tissue repair to promoting skin cell regeneration.

To be even more precise…

Retinoids –These are known as prescriptive retinol products, and are often identified as the brands Retin-A and Differin. When applied to the skin, retinoids combat hyperpigmentation, scarring and fine lines.

Retinol –This is the alcohol form of vitamin A, which is a great alternative to retinoic acid for long-term use. It is used by many cosmeceutical skin care companies as it easily adapts to the skin after a few uses.

Retinyl Palmitate –This is the ester of vitamin A that combines retinol with palmitic acid, which then converts to retinoic acid. Its strength is significantly lower than other derivatives because the conversion takes a while, which means it loses potency. It is a good alternative to use in conjunction with other retinol-based products to build efficacy and enhance results.

Retinaldehyde –The most potent form of vitamin A, retinaldehyde requires minimal conversion and causes little to no skin irritation. Retinaldehyde is an expensive ingredient that is often used in high-end skin care formulations, so in most cases it unfortunately comes with a hefty price tag.

How do you use prescription vitamin A products?

A prescription vitamin A product (or retinoid) should be used in your evening skin care routine as follows:

  1. Use your cleanser, toner and exfoliator with AHA or BHA as normal
  2. Apply your retinol prescription product
  3. Use any brightening products after applying the retinoid
  4. Apply a serum or night cream for maximum effect
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