Over the last few years vitamin A has been a buzz word across the skin industry, labelled a ‘miracle’ ingredient for every concern but what does it actually do and who should really use it?!
Retinoids are a group of compounds that have a base structure of vitamin A and include many different forms; some names you may recognise like retinol, retinoic acid, isotretinoin and retinyl palmitate.
Within the top layers of our skin Vitamin A works to regulate epidermal proliferation and differentiation, also known as the process of cellular turnover where a new skin cell is formed and makes its way up to the very top. It activates growth factors, increases desquamation of corneocytes (the body’s natural exfoliating system) and thickens the epidermis which often thins with age.
In the dermis, vitamin A upregulates the production of collagen by stimulating fibroblasts and releasing growth factors, it also inhibits the production of the enzyme that breaks down collagen resulting in a stronger, more organised arrangement of collagen fibres.
Furthermore, interesting and important to note vitamin A regulates a range of other processes in the skin including vascularity formation, immune responses and pigmentation production!
At House of Maxx, we utilise a form of vitamin A called retinaldehyde that is in both the Osmosis skin care and our in clinic facial treatments; it is a form of vitamin A with all the above benefits but more! While retinoic acid is the most bioavailable form, retinaldehyde only has one conversion process to become retinoic acid in the skin therefore having stronger action than other forms of vitamin A while being less irritating and doesn’t cause retinoid reactions like other forms (dry, red, flaky irritated skin).
The liposomal delivery system of retinaldehyde in Osmosis products ensures it is also stable in the sun and has 6 times better penetration!
As vitamin A has a range of benefits within the skin it is a great ingredient for almost all skin concerns – we say almost all as some skin conditions require correction of deficiencies, cellular processes and investigation into root cause before vitamin A can be introduced. We want to ensure the body is making healthy cells before we ask it to produce more of them!
So, is vitamin A a miracle ingredient? No but it does have a range of amazing benefits that can have great therapeutic benefits for a range of concerns.
A skin consultation is always the best place to start to ensure a vitamin A based serum is the best option for you and your skin.