Beginners Guide to Environ Skin EssentiA: The Skincare Benefits of Vitamin A

Ever wondered what the optimal colour for a youthful glowing skin is? It’s orange. Yep, you read that right. Orange. 

Well, not the skin itself of course, but orange is the colour of the foods you need to eat to obtain and maintain a youthful glowing skin. Foods like carrots, orange-fleshed pumpkins, and… well… oranges. (Psst: It’s also the colour of our highly effective environ Skin EssentiA skincare range and that’s no coincidence. More on this later.)

Why the orange foods? Because the sunny little suckers contain a substance called beta-carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A in the body. And vitamin A is essential for combatting the effects of sun damage and ageing and promoting smooth, healthy, glowing skin. 

Let’s take a closer look at the marvel that is Vitamin A – why you need it and what exactly it does for your skin.


What is the basis for Vitamin A in skincare products?

For more than 50 years, skincare specialists have recognised Vitamin A as the essential ingredient in anti-ageing and acne management products

Environ Skincare founder and scientific director Dr Des Fernandes is a leader in this field. For the past 25 years, he has thoroughly investigated the crucial role that vitamin A plays in maintaining a healthy glowing skin. His research showed that the visible signs of aging and skin abnormalities such as pigmentation, sun damage, liver spots and skin cancer, could all be linked to vitamin A deficiency. 

The most common cause of skin damage and vitamin A deficiency in both men and women is exposure to the sun. And, as much as we adore our sunny weather, the risks of experiencing the severe consequences of sun damage is excessively high among Australians. 

If we’re to stand a chance against the effects of sun-damage and vitamin A deficiency, we need to replenish and restore our cells with the daily use of a high quality vitamin A serum. With this in mind, Dr Fernandes has carefully formulated and refined the products in the Environ Skin EssentiA skincare range to replenish lost vitamin A and restore balance to your skin. 

Regular use of Environ skincare products makes it possible to rectify the harmful effects of UV rays, free radicals and other nasties that attack skin on a daily basis, leaving it dehydrated and stripped of essential vitamins, minerals and oils.

The benefits of Vitamin A-enriched skincare products

The highly effective Environ Skin EssentiA skincare product range provides your skin with the daily dose of vitamin A it needs to restore its natural radiance and resilience. 

What’s more, Vitamin A-enriched skincare products deliver an array of incredible benefits including:

  • Rejuvenating your skin on a cellular level, leaving it looking visibly younger and more radiant, by normalising cell functions and increasing cell turnover.
  • Assisting in the treatment and management of acne by normalising oil production and balancing the skin. It also speeds up healing and reduces scarring.
  • Reducing breakouts of acne, blackheads, and clogged pores.
  • Minimising pigmentation by normalising the action of tyrosinase, an enzyme that drives melanin production. (Quick aside: Melanin is the molecule that causes pigmentation in the skin).
  • Exfoliating, resurfacing, and improving skin texture.
  • Minimising and reducing the visible signs of ageing (wrinkles and fine lines), and promoting firmer and more youthful looking skin by increasing the production of healthy collagen and elastin.
  • Protecting the skin by supporting the immune system in the dermis.
  • Giving the skin a healthy glow by aiding effective hydration and promoting natural moisturising.
  • Plumping the skin by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin.
  • Promoting the overall health of the top two layers of skin – the dermis and epidermis.

A vitamin by any other name?

The terms “vitamin A” and the more scientific “retinoids” are actually umbrella terms used to describe many different forms of the vitamin. Each form has a different molecular structure and properties. 

You’ve likely already heard the terms retinol and retinal bandied about on TV ads, or seen them on the labels of different skincare products. These are the chemical names for the two most common forms of Vitamin A. The retinols include retinyl, retinyl palmitate, and retinyl acetate; whereas the retinals include retinaldehyde.

Several different retinoid complexes can be used in skincare products. They range in strength from the gentle retinol esters (retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate, and the newer granactive retinoid) through to retinol, retinaldehyde, and tretioin (prescription-grade vitamin A).  A quick look at how vitamin A works in the body will help us make sense of these terms.

The science behind vitamin A – how does this amazing molecule work?

Vitamin A is widely recognised as a key ingredient in skincare. It is the only molecule that has been proven to assist in cellular reprogramming, promoting skin health and providing anti-aging benefits. As such, it is the cornerstone ingredient in the Environ SkinesstieA range.

Broadly, vitamin A works in three ways: 

  1. It stimulates the fibroblasts (skin cells that produce collagen), causing and increase in the production of healthy collagen and elastin. 
  2. It is an antioxidant which means that it can reduce the damage caused by free radicals and minimise the effects of aging caused by oxidative stress in the cells themselves. 
  3. It helps regulate oil production in the skin which makes it great for the treatment of acne.

If we switch back to the orange food just quickly. We mentioned that the beta-carotenes from orange foods are converted into vitamin A. Armed with our new terminology, we can specify the type of vitamin A as retinol. This retinol is then converted into retinal, which is again converted into retinoic acid. And this is the magic sauce that makes your skin glow. 

Retinoic acid interacts with cell DNA, promoting cell turnover and boosting cell functioning. The results? A stunning radiant youthful complexion. Simples.

Similarly, by applying skincare products, such as those in the Environ SkinesstieA range, you’re applying retinoids directly to your skin. These then get converted to retinoic acid in situ and begins to work their magic. With consistent use over 3–6 months, you’ll see visible changes to your skin structure.

Environ takes this science a step further by combining vitamin A with other essential nutrients (including antioxidants and peptides) to produce our very own Environ A+ Complex. This powerful combination of ingredients in our skincare product range enhances the properties of vitamin A, resulting in visibly healthy, beautiful skin. 

The foremost of these ingredients is vitamin C which works synergistically with vitamin A to boost skin’s appearance. Vitamin A stimulates collagen production, and vitamin C helps skin cells to synthesise the new collagen that is produced. Both vitamins work as antioxidants to protect skin against attack from the elements.

How much vitamin A should you use?

With most vitamin A-enriched skin care products, it’s important to start slowly to avoid irritating your skin. Go too fast, and you’ll be left with flaking, peeling skin, ugh! 

Fortunately, Dr Fernandes created the world’s first Vitamin Step-up System which makes it possible for beginners to enjoy the incredible benefits of daily application of vitamin A skincare products without the risk of overdoing things.

Can you use vitamin A products on your skin every day? 

Yes, if you’re using the Environ Skin EssentiA Vitamin STEP-UP SYSTEM. Simply start by using our Skin Essentia Vita-Antioxidant Avst 1 Moisturiser. Perfect for first timers who are just beginning to introduce vitamin A into their skincare routine, this introductory moisturiser contains the lowest concentrations of vitamin A and C in our Environ Skin EssentiA skincare product range. The great thing about vitamin A is that it is so powerful that a little goes a very long way. That’s why we’ve been able to formulate this starter moisturiser to be gentle on skin, while still being effective. With daily application, your skin will look and feel refreshed and rejuvenated. 

If you prefer a cool and soothing gel moisturiser, try our Skin Essentia Vita-Antioxidant Avst Gel moisture-infusing gel. It contains low concentrations of vitamin A in the form of Retinyl Palmitate, as well as vitamin C and antioxidants in a water-based preparation and makes a great alternative to Vita-antioxidant AVST 1 Moisturiser.

Over time, you can work your way through the range of Skin EssentiA Vita-antioxidant moisturisers in the Step-Up System, each with gradually increasing concentrations of vitamins A and C, along with powerful antioxidants and botanicals, scientifically formulated to leave your skin looking and feeling great.

For smoother, more even, radiant and healthy-looking skin, there really is no better choice than Environ skincare products. Browse the full range today.