Vitamin A for Acne

Acne, pimples, and blackheads often lead to visible, annoying dark spots on the skin of color that can take months and months to fade. The key to avoid having to deal with post-pimple hyperpigmentation is to take care of acne before it manifests into hyperpigmentation. One of the best ingredients for acne care? The very potent and powerful Vitamin A. 

What’s Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a vital nutrient found in many yellow citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables, such as oranges and spinach. High in antioxidants, it encourages the growth of new skin cells while breaking down the dead ones. 

As rutin (a plant pigment that is found in several fruits and vegetables), Vitamin A also protects body cells from free radicals that helps improve your skin cell function, and reduces cell aging. 

Types of Vitamin A

There are two types of Vitamin A: 

  • Carotenoid compounds from plant products
  • Retinoid compounds coming from meat products

Retinoids are the type of Vitamin A that are most commonly used in skincare, and are usually referred to as retinol. Their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties are known to help improve skin health, especially when used topically. 

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How Does Vitamin A Work?

Vitamin A encourages the development of new skin cells while slowing down the rate at which they die. It also regulates the speed at which your skin produces keratin to prevent dead skin cells from causing blockages in hair follicles. 

Vitamin A also works to even out skin tone by reducing the pigmentation left behind by acne. It can also reduce the size and production rate of oil glands in your body, which helps your skin to produce less of the oil that causes acne.

Vitamin A benefits for Acne 

Acne comes in various forms, such as whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, and nodules. When not treated, it often leaves dark spots known as hyperpigmentation on skin—especially skin of color. 

Vitamin A is an antioxidant that may slow down skin aging and neutralize free radicals that lead to cell damage. It also helps to treat acne, but it depends on the source and usage of the Vitamin A. For example, eating foods rich in Vitamin A may promote better skin health from the inside out, while active formulas of beauty products may focus directly on acne.

Forms of vitamin A: retinol 

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has suggested that retinol (retinoid), as an active form of Vitamin A, can help treat and prevent inflammatory acne, scratches, and other types of acne.

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Retinol can improve acne by:

  • Improving skin cell growth to cure lesions and scars
  • Reducing sebum (oil) accumulation for people with oily and blended skin 
  • Reducing inflammation by protecting the fat cells from oxidation.
  • Smoothing the skin
  • Fighting against bacteria that causes blemishes
  • Fighting against negative environmental effects on the skin
  • Creating even-skin tones
  • Working with antibiotics to eliminate severe acne.

For How Long Does It Take for Vitamin A To Work for Acne?

As with most acne treatments, Vitamin A takes time to work— it should be used for twelve weeks to see the visible results. Remember to stay consistent and trust that just because you don’t see any changes does not mean it’s not having a positive effect on your skin—trust us, it is!

When it comes to consistency, keep this in mind: skin sheds its topmost layer every twenty-eight days, so you should continue to use Vitamin A to ensure its effectiveness and avoid recurring acne problems.

Vitamin A for Acne Scars

A Dermatology and Therapy study has found evidence that retinoid treatment reduced the appearance of acne scars after twenty-four weeks. Although Vitamin A might not remove acne scars fast, it may repair the damaged cells that cause scarring over time. Use Vitamin A serums and creams to channel the benefits directly to the skin. 

What Are the Side Effects of Vitamin A?

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When used topically, Vitamin A can expose your skin to direct sunlight; so use a non-oily sunscreen during treatment. 

Be sure to read product details, warning labels, and directions for use before using the product to avoid any possible side effects. Always consult with your doctor prior to introducing any new supplements or active skincare ingredients into your routine. 

Pairing Retinoids with Vitamin C Milk Marvel Serum by EADEM

If you’re dealing with acne, using retinoids can be a helpful option. However, it’s important to address the issues that come after the acne clears up, such as acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and PIE. Vitamin C is the key ingredient that can help with all these issues, but there are a few things to know before pairing retinoids with vitamin C.

Our product line features powerful Milk Marvel Dark Spot serum that has a more potent, encapsulated version of Vitamin C. This serum was designed to help achieve an even skin tone by working alongside vitamin A and retinoids for the best results.

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How to use Retinol and Milk Marvel together?

We recommend using Milk Marvel in the morning and using Retinol at night time. If you want to use Milk Marvel two times per day, apply Milk Marvel first, wait until skin is no longer wet, and apply retinol. It’s best to not apply retinoids in the morning, because it can cause unwanted sun damage and will not work as an acne treatment, since retinol is deactivated by sunlight. 

As always, don’t forget to apply sunscreen in the morning, even if it’s cloudy outside, go for one with SPF 30 or more. 

Milk Marvel helps further treat and protect the skin in the morning. Antioxidants like Vitamin C and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) combat the oxidative stress from sun and other daytime pollutants while soothing oils help to protect the function of the skin barrier. In essence, it helps brighten, protect, and moisturize in one step.

What are the benefits of using retinol and Milk Marvel?

By pairing active ingredients from Milk Marvel with retinol benefits you can achieve a more even skin tone without damaging your skin barrier. Retinol can actively fight acne, while Milk Marvel with antioxidants like Vitamin C and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), combats oxidative stress from the sun and other pollutants, while also helping to soothe and diminish the appearance of acne scars. 


Good skin care practices can go a long way for acne-prone skin. Vitamin A is one of the many powerful ingredients that can help with acne by reducing swelling, redness, and cell damage. But before using any retinoid products for acne, make sure to consult your doctor or dermatologist first. They can help you decide the best course of action based on the history of your skin health — that way you can avoid any possible side effects or further skin problems. 

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