COSMETIC INGREDIENTS: HOW RETINOL WORKS
January 13, 2010 by Beauty Editor
Retinol is used in a number of best selling skin care creams. It has long been used to combat fine line and wrinkles but many of us don't understand how it works or where it is derived from.
Forms of vitamin A
Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate are forms of vitamin A, having said that vitamin A does not have a direct biological effect on the skin. Vitamin A only works via its biochemical derivative retinoic acid and only retinoic acid aka tretinoin have a direct effect on skin cells and can adjust their physiology.
Stimulating skin cell turnover
Retinoic acid works by stimulating skin cell turnover, so older skin cells are removed quicker and newer skin cells are produced and come to the surface. This stimulating action can cause irritation in those with sensitive skin. Because of this action, your skin will always be more sensitive to the sun and you should always wear a sunscreen all year round.
Not all forms of Retinol are equal. In fact some are more easily converted to retinoic acid than others. The pathway to retinoic acid looks like this:Retinyl Palmitate ==> Retinol ==> Retinaldehyde ==> Retinoic Acid
It takes 3 steps for Retinyl Palmitate to turn into Retinoic acid. So a relatively large amount is needed to deliver it into a cell to boost retinoic acid levels and produce clinically meaningful effects. Highly concentrated Retinyl Palmitate is less irritating than retinoic acid (at equivalent levels) but is also less effective.
There are many creams with vitamin A, from over the counter to prescription, consult your dermatologist or beauty advisor for your best option.
Cautions for vitamin A include: avoid the ingredient if you are pregnant or looking to become pregnant, side effects of blistering, redness, puffy skin, flakiness and sun sensitivity.
Products With Retinol:
|RoC Wrinkle Correcxion|
|Neostrata Intense Wrinkle Repair|