If there’s one type of skincare ingredient that could be called the fountain of youth, it’s retinoids. For the last decade or so, retinoids have been considered one of the most effective topical treatments for improving skin turnover while battling acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity.
“Ageing skin is a direct result of sun-induced vitamin A deficiency. Correct the deficiency and you will have more radiant skin.” Dr. Des Fernandez
Everything that defines healthy, beautiful skin is a direct result of vitamin A. It is the only know molecule that keeps the skin healthy and helps to provide anti-ageing benefits.
A vitamin A deficiency could lead to skin abnormalities such as pigmentation irregularities, sun damage, and skin cancer. The most common skin care problem in both men and women is sun damage, and the long-term effect of sun exposure are sinister. In order for us to combat the sun-induced vitamin A deficiency, we must replenish vitamin A in our cells every day and for this process to, be effective, we need to restore our vitamin A receptors within the skin.
It must be replaced daily for the skin to appear healthier and more resilient.
Vitamin A is the only known element that keeps the skin healthy and combats ageing. It has been proven that sufficient vitamin A:
Promotes skin’s natural moisturizing factor and gives it a radiant glow.
Strengthens skin’s outer layer to keep it firm.
Stimulates the production of natural protein to keep skin looking healthy.
Support’s skin’s immune system and helps prevent breakouts.
Assist in reducing the development of potential skin cancer.
But between retinoids, retinol, and Retin-A, how do you know what to look for? Here are the basics you need to know!
The term “retinoid” describes a family of ingredients that includes both Retin-A and retinol. Retinoids are a class of ingredients chemically related to vitamin A. These diverse compounds naturally occur everywhere in our bodies and are vital to internal processes like immune function and tissue repair.
When looking at skincare products, it’s important to remember that “retinoid” is an umbrella term and doesn’t specify the type of retinoid compound in the formula. The only type of retinoid that your skin is able to process immediately is retinoic acid. All other forms of retinoids have to be converted by skin enzymes into retinoic acid before the skin is able to use it. How much conversion your enzymes have to do to change a retinoid into retinoic acid determines the strength and use of the retinoid.
Retinol is a specific form of vitamin A that is naturally produced in your body. When it’s applied topically, enzymes in your skin convert retinol into retinaldehyde and then into retinoic acid. Because of the two-step conversion that it has to undergo before the skin can use it, retinol is a naturally gentler substance than both retinaldehyde and retinoic acid; this means that while its results are slower, it has fewer side effects. 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.
Don’t forget sunscreen this is only product that will prevent your skin from aging in the first place. Use it early (at least 20 minutes before you leave the house) and often (reapply every two hours if you're spending the day outside). The best sunscreen is the one that you will use consistently, so find a texture that works for you. Many moisturizers now include sunscreen; tinted sunscreens double as makeup and won't look chalky.
Some studies have shown that taking high doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child. ... Bottom line: Do not take oral retinoids, such as isotretinoin, during pregnancy. To be on the safe side, it's best to avoid topical retinoid