Retinol: A Dose of Pure Vitamin A for the Skin

Because of the intensely potent healing properties of Vitamin A, scientists in the skin-care industry have developed products designed to stimulate skin-cells through the use of Retinol, a pure and active derivative of Vitamin A. The following article will define retinol, explaining how it works, as well as its effectiveness in treating wrinkles, as well as other skin issue. It will also provide a helpful look into using this vitamin derivative safely, as well as some of the side effects of its use.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is another name for the animal form of Vitamin A. This vitamin is a commonly-used substance in many modern skin-care products. It is a lipid (oil)-soluble vitamin that comes from both preformed retinoids and provitamin carotenoids. Key for vision and bone growth, Retinol is one of the most useable forms of vitamin A. A chemical compound from a group of compounds called Retinoids, Retinol possesses the biological activity of all-trans retinol and the metabolites 11-cis-retinal, and the 9-cis-isomers of retinoic acid.

All living organisms possess some forms of retinoids, either as carotenoids or as Vitamin A. Carotenoids have the highest amounts of vitamin A activity, and are found in many dark leafy greens, yellow vegetables and orange carrots. Examples of retinoid-high sources are liver, kidney, dairy products and eggs. Natural retinoids are needed for almost every biological process in the body. From our ability to see, to the simplest action of cell-growth, retinoids help us process those actions. The metabolite retinal is also related to reducing our chances of developing some types of cancer. It is also an important helper in boosting the immune system. Retinol aids in the processes of growth and development in the body, as Vitamin A directly affects the production of human growth hormone.

How Retinol Works to Effectively Treat Wrinkles and Other Skin Concerns

Many people claim that the use of Retinol creates a younger, healthier look in their skin cells. Vitamin A, the active substance of Retinol, has a small enough molecular structure to be able to penetrate the pores of the skin. Through this outer-epidermal penetration, Retinol can then begin to repair the deeper epidermal layers where both collagen and elastin are located. By penetrating this layer, the skin increases its elasticity, creating smoother skin and smaller pores. This is one of the main capacities of Retinol for aiding the skin in reducing the signs of aging, including wrinkling, age-spots, discoloration and scarring.

Retinol is also a form of antioxidant, meaning that it contains innate properties that aid it its ability to neutralize the free radicals responsible for harming healthy skin cells and causing wrinkles. Studies show that by using Vitamin A topically, we can stimulate the cells to create new collagen. A recent BBC report stated that, “Vitamin A cream reduces wrinkles significantly in elderly people, scientists report.” This Michigan University Medical School report showed that not only did the cream give the skin a more youthful appearance, but that tissue samples from the 23 participants showed that it increased the number of important skin repair chemicals.

In individuals suffering from acne and scarring, Vitamin A has been shown to aid in the reduction of scar tissue. This is, in part, due to its ability to enhance and increase skin-cell turnover rates. Similarly, Vitamin A content in Retinol helps to actively exfoliate and unclog sebum-filled pores, creating an overall healthier appearance in the skin. It also alters the abnormal formation on the topical layer of the skin (keratinization) near hair follicles, reducing the formation of comedones (pus filled pimples).

Usage Recommendations and Possible Side Effects

Retinol has been associated with redness and irritation in the skin. It is important to choose a Retinol skin-care product that is made up of pure Vitamin A, and not the synthetic form. By using pure Vitamin A, you will have a greater chance of giving the skin the most anti-wrinkle, anti-acne benefits. With Retinol, the skin may experience mild stinging, and may increase your sensitivity to the sun. If using Retinol, you should wear proper sunscreen. Retinol should not be used during pregnancy.

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician. If you require any medical related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information presented on this site is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.
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