Using Vitamin A for skin is one of the best things you can do - it is one ingredient with solid research and proven results behind it.
But it can be confusing with the different forms and uses. It is strong so side effects are possible. To get the most out of it you need specific details, all of which are on this page. Read on!
Vitamin A's impressive benefits are backed by science (for example) - somewhat of a rarity in the skin care world!
Here is what makes it a wonder ingredient and why you want to be using it:
Retinoids are the derivatives of Vitamin A (in science speak = chemical compounds).
The 3 Retinoids we care about in skin care = Retinoic Acid, Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate
Retinoic Acid is the active form of Vitamin A - the one that has a direct biological effect on skin (in other words, this is the form that makes all the difference!)
It's a very effective acne treatment, but because of it's strength and direct action, it can cause severe dryness and irritation. You can only get it with a prescription (eg. Tretinoin, or Retin-A)
Fortunately, the following forms of Vitamin A exist so we can get the same benefits with less side effects, and no prescription:
Retinol is basically one step back from Retinoic Acid. When Retinol is applied to skin, it transforms into Retinoic Acid (and your skin only transforms what it needs).
Retinol applied to skin >>> transforms into Retinoic Acid
One down side of Retinol - it is notoriously unstable. That's why Retinol products can vary so greatly in their effectiveness. It needs be protected from oxidation, and in a formula that allows it to be delivered to skin cells without breaking down first.
Retinol is the best form to use in an over the counter product because it is the strongest. However, it can still be too irritating for some people.
Retinyl Palmitate is one step back from Retinol. This makes it even less irritating, and also more stable.
Retinyl Palmitate applied to skin >>> converts to Retinol >>> converts to Retinoic Acid
Over the counter products contain Retinol or Retinyl Palmitate. They still require you to build up and it's vital they are in the right formulation to even work at all!
Check out our Complete Retinol Cream here >>> with 3% stablizied Retinol
How to use Retinol products:
Once you've built up to nightly use, keep using and enjoy the benefits!
You can expect to see results from a good Retinol product in about 3months. So be consistent!
AHA's (glycolic acid) and BHA's (salicylic acid), are excellent active skin care ingredients with proven results. (I LOVE them and can't recommend them highly enough, see recommended articles at the end of this page).
They are fine to use with Retinol, but because they are also very active there are important points to keep in mind:
Using Vitamin A for skin is worth it. It has the power to clear up your skin, improve fine lines and wrinkles, increase smoothness and brighten your whole complexion!