One of my favorite products and a must for any healthy aging skincare regime is Vitamin A and more specifically, in its form of Retinaldehyde.
Although it is impossible to freeze time and stop aging in its tracks, I truly believe with proper skin treatments and a daily home care regimen that is specific to your skin type, we can age gracefully, healthily and beautifully. Vitamin A is one of only two ingredients to be considered anti-aging by the FDA. The daily use of Vitamin A helps combat and improve fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, acne and aids in maintaining healthy, vibrant skin.
First off what is Vitamin A? Vitamin A, as defined by Wikipedia, is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds (Retinoids) that includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and several provitamin A (carotenoids) such as beta-carotene, which are produced by the body when we eat Vitamin A rich foods (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, dark leafy greens, mangos, papayas and apricots to name a few). Vitamin A has multiple functions in the body and is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system and for good vision. Benefits of Vitamin A for skin; helps speed up healing, prevent breakouts, boost collagen and elastin production, support the skin’s immune system and promotes natural moisturizing – which means it helps to hydrate the skin effectively, giving it a radiant glow. Vitamin A in skin care formulations come in many various forms such as Retinol, L-Retinol AGP, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinyl Acetate and Retinoic Acid (tretinoin). Vitamin A found in prescription formulations are more widely known as Retin-A, Renova or Refissa just to name a few.
When it comes down to how Vitamin A works on the skin it is important to understand what the different forms of Vitamin A are and how they work molecularly on the skin.
Let’s start with Retinol. Retinol converts into Retinal, also known as Retinaldehyde with the use of special enzymes in the skin when it’s applied topically. Retinol isn’t as potent as Retinal and is very unstable in heat, light and air, making it less effective. Because of this, it is more commonly used in economical and drug store skin care products.
Retinoic acid (Retin-A) is commonly prescribed by doctors for acne breakouts and diminishing wrinkles. Retin-A packs a powerful punch but typically thins out skin causing more issues than benefits. It has a low level of penetration into the skin because of its large molecular size. Any form of retinoic acid that sits on top of the skin not only doesn’t penetrate into deeper levels of the skin in order to do its magic, but can be very drying and irritating, causing over exfoliation (peeling), redness and sun sensitivity. On a side note, as a professional in skin care, I never recommend using anything on your skin that makes you UV sensitive. One of our skin’s main functions is to keep UV radiation out!
Retinaldehyde is my personal and professional favorite form of Vitamin A for the skin because you get the most benefits with fewer drawbacks. In other words it’s the Baby Bear of Vitamin A, “its just right!” Retinaldehyde, also known as Retinal, is 1000 times more potent than Retinol and because it has a smaller molecular size, it is able to penetrate into the deeper levels of skin. This allows the body to convert it into Retin-A in the deep layers of skin where it creates collagen. Retinaldehyde is non-irritating to the skin and can be used daily AM and PM, unlike many other forms of Vitaimin A.
So what does Retinaldehyde do for the skin? The gold standard is that it promotes thicker skin and stimulates your natural production of collagen, elastin and blood vessels which minimizes fine lines and wrinkles over time. This also helps to improve your skin’s texture and firmness. Retinaldehyde increases blood circulation in the skin, speeding up cell turn over which can help clear acne, normalize oil production and lighten pigmentation. The best part is your skin will get all these benefits to fight the signs of aging without leaving your skin red, peeling or irritated.
Tada! You are now an expert on the different forms of Vitamin A and its functions for skin health. You can see why skin professionals choose Retinaldehyde and why it is what I prefer for myself and my clients. Book a facial with us at T L Spa & Wellness and we will guide you in the best direction for the health and vibrance of your skin.