The power of Vitamin A
Angela Hodgkiss Angelique Day Spa
Vitamin A is a cosmeceutical which means it has the ability to create biological change in the cells. Alongside Vitamin C it is the first ingredient I recommend for 99% of the clients I treat.
Vitamin A is the one ingredient absolutely necessary for cell regulation. Without it cells cannot function normally – it a supreme regulator. Every single skin is utterly dependent on Vitamin A to maintain skin health. The paler or more sun damaged you are the more you deficient you are likely to be. A Vitamin A deficient skin is prone to acne, pigmentation, wrinkles and ageing. A Vitamin A rich skin is smoother, even coloured and radiant. Our body does not make vitamin A at all. The sun depletes vitamin A which is why people in the sun age faster.
Vitamin A has a molecule structure that’s tiny enough to get into the lower layers of the skin, where it finds collagen and elastin. It improves pigmentation, natural moisturising factor (NMF), prevents breakouts, strengthens outer layers, stimulates natural proteins, fibroblast activity, controls sebum for acne sufferers, supports skins immune system, improves fine lines, skin texture, tone and colour and hydration and is an antioxidant. Many (including me) consider it to be THE MOST IMPORTANT ingredient of all to prevent, restore, normalise damaged skin. It is important for healthy skin, teeth, bones, cell membranes, and vision. It is essential for your immune system. Vitamin D and A are needed to work together for either to be effective. Retinoids will benefit over 125 skin issues. Vitamin A also works well with hyaluronic acid. Look for products where Vitamin A is at the top of the list. Beware of a clash of ingredients in products such as AHA with Vitamin A. AHA has a very low PH and retinoids have a neutral PH. When combined the retinol becomes ineffective.
Types of Vitamin A derivatives
• Tretinoin is prescription only and has powerful anti ageing effects but also powerful side effects with skin irritation and birth defects.
• Retinol is the purest ingredient of all the Vit A derivatives but it is not stable and usually has an active lifespan of 6 months. Once past this product will oxidise and turn brown. It can be still be irritating for some people. It is a precursor of Tretinoin so therefore once absorbed the body will convert it to Tretinion. Contrary to popular belief it can actually thicken the dermis and epidermis but mostly importantly thin the stratum corneum. It works well with AHAs in treating sun damage (AHAs are still superior in exfoliating) but cannot be used at the same time because AHA neutralises Retinol efficiency. Not everyone reacts well at first to Retinol, however all cells have a receptor for Vitamin A but some are damaged. Therefore it takes time and slow introduction to avoid irritation. The irritation is because the Vitamin A is initially sitting around the outside of cell but eventually it will be recognised and received. It’s best to wait 15 mins after washing face to avoid irritation. Don’t stop use as skin will just become more deficient in Vitamin A. One week to reset is fine. Finally Retinol will break down in sunlight so only use at night. Avoid during pregnancy.
• Retinyl Palmitate was developed as a non prescription ester which was more gentle than Retinol and proven effective in rejuvenating old skin. It is more stable than retinol and longer shelf life of 18 months.
If you want to discover the power of Vitamin A for yourself book in for a free consultation today. At Angelique we have a range of products to chose from.
Sources Dr Klinman, Dr Des Fernandes Author of Vitamin A Skin Science, Sally Hunswick Professional Beauty, APJ