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What is retinol?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A found in animal products, such as livers, kidneys, eggs, and dairy products. Retinol and other forms of vitamin A are necessary for a healthy diet and help in the function of your vision, skin cellular growth, immune function, and the prevention of many different issues.

Retinol and vitamin A supplements are necessary for a vitamin A deficiency and its resulting issues. Vitamin A deficiency is rare in a developed country but shows up where malnutrition is present and can lead to dry eyes, skin disorders, diarrhea, infections, blindness, and respiratory disorders.

Retinol is the over-the-counter version of Retin-A. These vitamin-A compounds, or retinoids, help prevent the breakdown collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm. Studies show - and users report - a significant change in the appearance of brown spots and wrinkles. Retinoids also can cause new collagen production with continued use. Pregnant women should avoid these compounds, however.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.