Risks: Who shouldn’t use vitamin A?

Vitamin A can be a legit savior for your skin, but the stuff isn’t perfect. It has some downsides that you definitely need to factor in, and it’s very much possible to get too much of a good thing.

With topical products, the main concern is irritation. Retinoids are powerful, and they can actually sort of make your skin worse — think red, dry, and peely — before things start to improve.

You can head this off as much as possible by starting with a product that contains a very low retinoid concentration and using it every other day. Over time you can build up to applying the stuff daily or trying a product with a higher retinoid percentage.

Since your skin is more sensitive while you’re using a retinoid cream, take steps to baby it as much as you can.

Avoid overexposure to sunlight, wind, or extreme cold, and steer clear of using additional skin products that are drying or abrasive — think scrubs, peels, astringents, or acne products containing benzyol peroxide or salicylic acid.