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It’s common knowledge that vitamin A is important for your eyes, but did you know that it’s vital for your skin as well?

Vitamin A (a.k.a. retinol or retinoic acid) suppresses oil production in your skin and helps prevent acne. It also helps protect and repair your skin from other types of skin damage such as sunburn, dry skin, and psoriasis. In fact, many existing medical treatments for acne prescribe topical creams that are made from different forms of Vitamin A and its metabolites, such as tretinoin and retinoic acid.

It’s important to note that you can overdose on vitamin A, which can lead to things like vitamin D deficiency and yellowing of skin. Because maintaining your body’s vitamin A levels is a delicate balancing act, the best approach is to eat foods that contain it in pre-vitamin A forms such as beta-carotene. Your body only converts beta-carotene and other carotenoids to vitamin A on an as-needed basis, thus avoiding risk of excess levels.

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One key way to achieve healthy and clear skin is to incorporate more vitamin A rich foods in your diet. In general, look for foods with a vibrant orange-y color, such as butternut squash, canteloupe, and apricots. Color is often a strong indicator of beta-carotene content. Dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and spinach are also great sources of carotenoids. Another great way to get plenty of vitamin A is through dried herbs, such as basil, parsely and oregano. Foods such as liver (often served as liver pate), hot peppers (e.g. cayenne, chilli, paprika), and carrots (of course) are all some of the best sources of vitamin A.

Try and incorporate some of these foods into your diet for clear and vibrant skin!