Vitamin A is a dominant vitamin of the skin.
It is because it has fundamental role in control of normal activities of the skin cells. Vitamin A controls normal activities of the DNA of the nucleus of the cell as well as the mitochondria (powerhouse of the cell).
It is normally found in the skin predominantly as retinyl palmitate. This is an ester form of vitamin A (fat-soluble). Ester is the most stable form of vitamin A. Retinyl palmitate accounts for about 80% of the vitamin A found in the skin. Retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate are milder, though still active forms. They are easier to tolerate by the skin. Retinyl acetate is more active than retinyl palmitate and about as active as retinic acid (Retin A).
Retinol is a very active, alcohol form. It is less irritant than retinoic acid. The main difficulty with retinol is its formulation. It is difficult to make a cream with retinol and keep it active. Generally Retinol has a limited shelf life.
Retinoic acid (Retin A) is the most metabolically active form. Since it’s an acid form, first time users may develop retinoic reaction. It shows in the form of peeling, flackiness and some breakouts. Most people don’t like this kind of reaction. Therefore if you are first time vitamin A user, start slow. Choose vitamin A in the form of Retinyl Palmitat. Then you can build up your tolerance to the higher concentration or different form.
Retinoids are very active chemicals.
Exposure to light, heat, air and moisture degrades them easily.
Therefore, when used in cosmeceuticals, they must be made under very controlled circumstances. For this reason vitamin A creams must not be put into conventional cosmetic glass jars with wide lids. As a result it will denature by exposure to air and light. Consequently skin will not actually obtain the dose of vitamin A.
Vitamin A as well as vitamin C is essential in the production of healthy collagen and elastin. These are protein fibers that give adhesion and elasticity to the skin. Free radicals as well as UV light exposure destroy collage and elastin. As a result skin starts to lose it’s tone and structure, and with time will begin to sag. Fine lines and wrinkles are an indication of the loss of collagen and elastin.
Sun damage is the major cause of pre-mature aging.
As the matter of fact sun causes more than 80% of aging.
Topical vitamins (vitamin A and C) as well as anti-oxidants (vitamin E, green tea, beta-carotene etc) are absolutely essential in neutralizing free-radical damage, protecting the skin from harmful UVA and UVB light, pollution and stimulating healthy collagen and elastin production.
The real significance of vitamin A in aging was realized by research workers in the 1930’s. They discovered that exposure to light and air degrades vitamin A. The cause of aged skin could be a result of a deficiency of vitamin A.
In 1950’s Professor Cluver proved that every time when we are exposed to UV light, we significantly deplete our vitamin A levels not only in the skin but also in the blood. This is true not only for blistering hot sunlight. But also for the gentle UV-A irradiation (light) on a cloudy or even rainy day, though, of course, the effects are milder.
Sunlight also destroys Vitamin C, E and beta-carotene. Some people think that you can get all the vitamin A you need from diet alone. However, the truth is that by diet alone it could take seven days to replace the vitamin A lost in the body after one heavy exposure to the sun and only very small percentage of the vitamin reaches the surface of the skin, whereas with our facials we can replace vitamin A levels instantly. With Environ products at home you can replenish Vitamin A levels within 3 hours.
Vitamin A produces the following changes:
- revitalizes the skin and rejuvenates the DNA of the cells
- affects the genes of the cells so that the keratinocytes (predominant skin cells) grow and look more normal; it is a regulator or normaliser of the DNA. It increases the growth of the basal layer (growth layer) of the skin cells, which may be the predominant reason or the thickening of the skin
- not only does skin get thicker; it also heals faster because the cells are growing faster – speeds up cell turn-over
- affects the fibroblast cells, the most important cells in the dermis which are responsible for production of collagen and elastin
- increases the secretion of natural moisturizing factors by the fibroblast cells into the space between the cells, allowing the skin to retain more water with some puffing out of the wrinkles
- improves blood supply to the deeper layers of the skin therefore delivering natural foods and oxygen to the skin and cells
- regulates oil production hence is very effective in treating acne or acne-prone skin
- repairs UV damage
In conclusion vitamin A is essential in improving the appearance, structure and tone of the skin as well as help to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.