Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential and multi-functional for the human body.

Your body needs it to work properly and to maintain healthy organs, vision, immune system and reproduction.

And it’s multi-function wonders don’t stop there. 

When looking for anti-ageing solutions, vitamin A cream is at the top of the list.

But be warned.

Even though vitamin A is in a lot of anti-aging creams, often they don’t contain enough vitamin A to make a difference. And sometimes, all you’re buying is an expensive moisturiser. 

We want to help you understand vitamin A better so that you can get the most out of it. 

What is vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that has many uses for your health. 

Vitamin A is also be known as retinol. Retinol is a compound found in animal products and plants. It’s also naturally produced in your body.

The antioxidants found in retinol have proven to be highly effective for overall health. And particularly good for your skin. 

Vitamin A uses

Other than taking care of your organs, giving you healthy vision and supporting a good immune system, vitamin A has proved to help with skin conditions. 

Vitamin A is known to increase collagen production and increase water retention in the skin which can effectively remove fine lines and wrinkles. It can also smoothen complexion by lightening areas of sun damage related pigmentation in the skin.

Other skin conditions such as acne can be helped by vitamin A also. The antioxidants and reduced oil production can help clear clogged pores.

Using vitamin A topically vs orally

Vitamins are often taken in capsule form. For some vitamins it’s the most effective way for your body to utilise them. It’s usually dependant on how they are broken down/absorbed by the body and also if they are sensitive to light or temperature. 

In the case of using vitamin A for skin anti-ageing, it’s best to use a cream. It has the best proven results for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. 

When taking vitamin A for other body functioning benefits,you can up your intake through food. 

Foods that are high in vitamin A:

  • Liver and fish oils
  • Milk, cheese and egg yolks
  • Rich green leafy vegetables; kale, spinach and broccoli 
  • Orange and yellow vegetables; sweet potato, carrots and dried apricots

But remember the importance of a healthy balanced diet. As with anything, too much of one thing can be detrimental. 

The science behind vitamin A skin creams

Retinol is a specific form of vitamin A and has been used in skin creams to reduce fine lines and ageing. When it’s applied topically, enzymes in your skin convert retinol into retinaldehyde and then into retinoic acid. 

Retinol is naturally gentle, it’s results are slower and has fewer side effects than stronger creams. The conversion into retinoic acid can take at least a few weeks, which is why you should use retinol products consistently for a few months before expecting to see results.

There are stronger forms of creams such as Retin-A, it’s a prescription-only tretinoin cream. Tretinoin is another name for retinoic acid. Because it is a form of retinoic acid, Retin-A does not need to be broken down by the enzymes in your skin before it can be used. 

Retin-A is approximately 100 times stronger than the average retinol cream and has dramatic, speedy results — diminished blemishes, reduction in wrinkles, boosted skin elasticity. But also can have major side effects. Due to its strength, Retin-A can cause itching, scaling, burning, peeling, and extreme redness if not introduced carefully.

Traditionally, Retin-A has only been prescribed for treating acne; however, some dermatologists are also now prescribing it to patients eager to reduce lines and improve skin firmness.

Using prescribed vitamin A cream

We prescribe a tretinoin cream called ReTrieve in cases of dry, sun-damaged and related conditions. Depending on your condition and how your skin reacts to the cream we’ll suggest different regimes. But here are the basic dos and don'ts:

  • Apply to washed, clean skin.
  • Use only at night as it can react to daylight.
  • Do not use on sunburnt skin.
  • Some redness and irritation is expected initially but consult your doctor if side effects are harsh.
  • Avoid excessive sunlight, sunlamps, strong wind, dry air, harsh soaps and harsh exfoliants.

Get personal advice on your skin

We want you to feel amazing in your skin and we will do anything we can to help you achieve the results you want in a safe and healthy process.

Get in touch with us at the clinic on 07 571 5548 and we can talk through some options.

Meet Dr Anuya Deshpande

Qualified expert geniuses don’t come around very often. 

In fact, they’re extremely rare.

So when SKIN had the opportunity to bring Dr Anuya Deshpande to the team, we jumped at it.

Dr Anuya has brought with her a wealth of expertise and experience. And we are lucky to have her here in Tauranga. 

If you'd like to know more about Dr Anuya and how she can help you, read on. We think she's an absolute delight (although she does have rather ironic TV watching tendencies).


Anuya graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Medicine from Manchester University. And in 2006 became a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners. 

After working as a GP in the UK for several years, she came to New Zealand in 2006 to work as a GP locum in Gisborne.

Her passion was always to combine art and medicine. So she pursued cosmetic medicine.

In 2008 she founded Skin Deep, a cosmetic medicine clinic. It quickly expanded as her reputation spread as a friendly thorough doctor who gets results for her patients.

As demand grew she gained qualifications and experience in cosmetic medicine, phlebology (varicose vein treatment), dermatology and skin cancer medicine.

After 12 years in Gisborne, she and Kiwi husband Marty Gibson decided to move to the Bay of Plenty. Anuya has teamed up with Dr Ben Tallon to offer varicose vein treatment, cosmetic medicine and skin cancer services here at SKIN.

Experience, skills and philosophies

17 years of medical experience. 7 years in cosmetic medicine and varicose vein treatment.

With her extensive medical background, Anuya adheres to strict protocols when it comes to cosmetic medicine to ensure patient safety.

Anuya found that combining her GP work with cosmetic procedures, her patients were more at ease when undergoing treatments. 

Her philosophy in cosmetic medicine is to restore balance to the face and body to achieve natural results.

She is able to perform non-surgical, varicose vein treatment with no general anesthetic. It can be a walk-in, walk-out procedure with very limited downtime. 


Are you ready for a long list? 

Anuya has worked extremely hard to obtain these qualifications, making her the multi-talented, highly-skilled Doctor she is. 

  • MBcHB (Manchester) 2001
  • DFFP (UK) 2004 Diploma of Faculty of Family Planning
  • MRCGP (UK) 2006 Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Dip NZSCM (NZ) 2011 Diploma New Zealand Society of Cosmetic Medicine    
  • FRNZCGP (NZ) 2013 Fellow New Zealand College of General Practitioners
  • Dip Microsclerotherapy (Australia) 2013 Australasian College of Phlebology
  • Dip Practical Dermatology (Cardiff) 2014
  • Dip Procedural Phlebology (Australia) 2015  
  • Cert in Skin Cancer Medicine (Australia) 2017
  • Cert in Dermoscopy  (Australia) 2017

It’s safe to say, you’re in safe hands. 

Weekend activities

We couldn’t let you go without telling you what Anuya gets up to on the weekend and a little more about what makes her tick.

With her husband and three children, you’ll find Anuya at the park, on the Papamoa trails or getting wet at the beach. She loves what the Bay has to offer.

She also gave us some interesting facts about herself:

Favourite TV show - Botched, MKR or Grey’s Anatomy (ironic huh)

Favourite place - Florence, Italy

Favourite food - Greek salad and more recently, Mama’s donuts opposite SKIN. (Dangerously close)

Could Dr Anuya help?

If you’ve read this and feel Dr Anuya could help with any of your health matters, she would love to hear from you. 

Give us a call at the clinic on 07 571 5548 and we’ll put you in touch.

SKIN Open Day

To promote awareness of Melanoma, SKIN teamed up with Melanoma NZ for the opening of the Tauranga Specialist Centre. Minister Simon Bridges raised a toast to the building, and was accompanied by the Mayor Greg Brownless and the Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout. We discussed that while we are fortunate to have highly qualified specialists in skin cancer in the Bay of Plenty, there is a need to push for an improvement in our Melanoma rates by improving compulsory hat policies in schools and banning sun beds.

We also showcased the building's eco friendly design, with its extensive array of solar panels, solar power emergency back up supply and car charging capabilities.

Solar Power

At the new Tauranga Specialist Centre premises, we have invested in sustainable energy. An extensive array of solar panels has been installed to generate most of the energy requirements of the clinic. It also allows us to function off grid if necessary, with a specially designed solar powered emergency back up supply. 

We have also gone one step further and installed an electric car charger so you can power up for free when you attend the clinic!

The Latest in Melanoma Evolution

World leading Melanoma genetics expert Boris Bastian presented the latest research at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting in Orlando, Florida. There is increasing evidence to support the stepwise progression of benign moles to Melanoma through identifiable transitional steps. The future is to categorise melanomas genetically into groups to allow more accurate prognostic predictions.

Dr Tallon presented information about his latest research into histologic diagnostic features in psoriasis. 


Recent evidence has given us an additional tool in the fight against skin cancer. Dermatologists from the department of dermatology in the University of Sydney have shown a significant reduction in the rate of skin cancer when individuals at risk of skin cancer were treated with Nicotinamide.

Where is nicotinamide found?

Nicotinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 which is naturally present in small quantities in yeast, lean meats, fish, nuts and legumes. It is also often added to cereals and other foods.

How does nicotinamide work?

The broad clinical effects of nicotinamide may be explained by its role as:

  • a cellular energy precursor

  • a modulator of inflammatory cytokines

  • an inhibitor of the nuclear enzyme poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose [ADP]) polymerase [PARP], which plays a significant role in DNA repair, maintenance of genomic stability, and cellular response to injury including inflammation and apoptosis (cell death).

How should we use it?

In the study, benefits were gained when individuals were treated with 500g twice daily. No significant side effects were noted. It is important that Nicotinamide is not replaced with Niacin, another form of Vitamin B3, as this tends to cause flushing.

Nicotinamide is available as a supplement which comes in 500mg tablets.

Ask one of the team at SKIN if you have further questions about Nicotinamide and its prevention of skin cancer.