How to Use Vitamin A on Your Face

Vitamins play a key part in staying healthy -- and your skin is no exception. As the main ingredient in retinol, Vitamin A has a pivotal role in skin health by clearing out clogged pores, smoothing the skin tone and boosting collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines. While prescription-strength Vitamin A-based creams (retinoids) are available through a dermatologist, over-the-counter retinol creams are also an option -- just expect a time span of twelve weeks before you see results.

A woman with a creme facial mask lays back on a pillow on a wooden floor. (Image: ilkafranz_com/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and towel dry. Before you apply a retinol cream to your face, be sure your skin is clean to allow for the best absorption.

Step 2

Wait 15 minutes after you dry your face to apply a retinol product. Use only a pea-size amount of retinol cream on your entire face, taking care to not get the product too close to the eyes.

Step 3

Rub a moisturizer with sunscreen over your entire face. Retinol products increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun, so be sure to wear a moisturizer with sunscreen under your makeup.

Things You'll Need

  • Gentle cleanser

  • Towel

  • Retinol cream

  • Sunscreen


Redness, flaking and dry skin are common side effects when starting this type of skin treatment.

A retinol cream routine works best at night as it can cause skin sensitivities. If you wake up in the morning and your skin is dry, red or peeling, only use retinol cream every other night.

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