In the immune system, the vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid (RA) is known for its role in inducing gut-homing molecules in T and B cells, inducing regulatory T cells (Tregs), and promoting tolerance. However, it was suggested that RA can have a broad spectrum of effector functions depending on the local microenvironment. Under specific conditions, RA can also promote an inflammatory environment. We discuss the dual role of RA in immune responses and how this might be regulated. Furthermore, we focus on the role of RA in autoimmune diseases and whether RA might be used as a therapeutic agent.