Whether your concern is ageing, pigmentation or acne, Vitamin A is the gold standard to treating a variety of skin concerns
Today many cosmeceuticals companies have different varieties of Vitamin A serums. You may have heard of the terms, Retinol, Retinal, Retinoate or perhaps Retinol Palmitate. It can get confusing.
New technologies and advancements in Vitamin A serums mean there is a solution for every skin type and skin tolerance level.
Most of the Vitamin A products we stock are encapsulated. The advantage of encapsulation is that it is stable and efficacious, and easier to reach the targeted skin cells. This ensures they are highly effective, without experiencing an adverse retinol response. This means less redness, less irritation and less dehydration.
Benefits of a Vitamin A Serum
Vitamin A is the only serum that has the ability to enter the nucleus of the skin cells. The nucleus coordinates the cell's activities, which is why Vitamin A has the ability to regulate our skin.
Multi-functional benefits of Vitamin A:
Normalises blood flow – taking nutrients and oxygen to the cells.
Helps to reduce the symptoms of Rosacea.
Increases the rate of wound healing - helping to reduce acne scarring.
Exfoliates – for smooth and even-toned skin.
Repairs the cellular structure of the epidermis – optimising your UV protection.
Decreases clustering of melanin granules –reducing melanin clumping (large brown spots) or pigmentation.
Decreases sebum production which in turn helps to reduce pimples and breakouts in acneic conditions.
Promotes a healthy cellular membrane – improving hydration levels.
Helps in the eradication of pre-cancerous skin lesions.
Helps to slow down the advancement of wrinkles.
Due to the advancement in Vitamin A serums, many are switching over from the traditional retinols prescribed by doctors to a gentler formulation in cosmeceutical skin ranges and still getting the desired results.
Discovering the different forms of Vitamin A.
When retinol is applied to the skin, it undergoes two conversions. First, it is converted to retinaldehyde and then to retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is the active form of vitamin A; the form that can actually be utilised by the skin. Skin looks more youthful to give the amazing effects experienced by retinol users.
Retinol comes in many different strengths. For first time users, we recommend starting on a lower strength progressing on to higher strengths as required and tolerated. However, this should be assessed by a skin therapist.
For skin that has experienced a slight sensitivity to Retinols in the past we recommend:
After using the above retinol for at least 6 months your practitioner or you may feel you need to increase the level of Retinol to treat a specific skin concern. Here are some examples of higher strength retinols:
Retinal has been around just as long as retinol, but it has not been studied to the same extent. This is in large part because it is extremely difficult to stabilise, so until recently it could not be safely formulated in a skincare product.
However, thanks to new advances in the beauty industry, this is no longer the case. Studies show that Retinal has all the benefits of Retinol with the added benefit of accelerated action and direct antibacterial activity.
Differences between Retinol and Retinal:
Speed. Retinal has been clinically proven to work up to 11 times faster than Retinol.
Exfoliation. Retinal has a much higher exfoliation rate than retinol, which contributes to even-toned, radiant skin.
Medik8's Crystal Retinal Range is delivered in a crystal encapsulation system. The active is time-released throughout the night. This means retinaldehyde is just as gentle on the skin as retinol but has effects similar to retinoic acid. As Retinal in the only Vitamin A with anti-bacterial properties, it is ideal as an anti-ageing ingredient for blemish-prone skin, providing you with a visibly clear complexion. Available in four different strengths, starting from Crystal Retinal 1 or Crystal Retinal 3 as an entry-level to get your skin used to the new vitamin A. Using the retinal ladder, you can increase to Crystal Retinal 6 and possibly up to Crystal Retinal 10 if recommended by your skincare professional.
Retinoate: the latest Retinol technology
Retinoate is a molecule that helps stimulate cellular regeneration and support collagen synthesis 8 times more powerful than traditional retinol. It has a one-step conversion into the skin cell. Retinoate visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles, evens skin tone, and improves rough skin. We advise you to start with traditional retinol for 4-6 months before progressing onto retinoate serum.
When using a Vitamin A complex such as the ones above, it is important that we introduce them slowly into the skin to avoid an adverse retinol response which could be red, dry and sensitised skin. The 3,2,1 approach is advised. Apply Retinol, Retinal or Retinoate product every 3rd night for 10 days, then alternate nights for 1 week and if no negative reaction progressing onto nightly use.
The 3,2,1 approach must also be used even if you change the strength and brand of the product.
Pregnant and still want to use a Vitamin A product.
It is completely understandable that during pregnancy you want to keep using skincare with the same benefits as Vitamin A. Even though you are unable to use the above mentioned Vitamin A products, you can use products with Retinol Palmitate, Carotene or products containing certified organic regenerative ingredients which are safe during pregnancy.
Vitamin A is an essential component to your skincare routine.
Regulating yet regenerative Vitamin A is a highly essential element in skincare today. A Retinol must only be used at night to enhance the natural repairing function. Remember to always wash your skin in the morning and always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. You may also experience superficial dryness as your skin cells travel to the surface of your skin, therefore it is advised to exfoliate weekly.
Don’t forget to keep your Retinol at a level that you can tolerate every night and always get advice from your skincare professional or feel free to contact us.
Time Out Beauty is a specialist cosmeceutical and botanical skincare online store. We stock a wide range of products with free delivery available. We have a Reward Money loyalty program for return buyers. Our brands include Medik8, Synergie Minerals, Waterlily, Societe, Skin Medica, LashesMD, Aspect, Teen Aspect, Colorescience and Cosmedix.