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Friday, 23 March 2012 14:13

The Science Behind Retinol (Vitamin A)

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In recent years, there has been increased confusion surrounding the use of retinol and whether or not it should be incorporated into topical skin care products. Much of this uncertainty is because people are unfamiliar with retinol and how it should be applied. Retinol is one of the main forms of vitamin A. It is an essential vitamin needed for new cell growth, and the health and maintenance of tissues and skin cells and plays an integral role in anti-aging skin care. While using retinol and other topical products is only part of an effective anti-aging routine. 

Retinol has value for skin on several fronts: it is a cell-communicating ingredient and antioxidant. Skin cells have a receptor site that is very accepting of retinoic acid, which is converted from retinol in the body. This relationship between retinoic acid and skin cells allows a type of communication in which the cell is told to function normally (that is, the way a young, healthy cell functions). Retinol helps the skin produce more robust, structural components, provides antioxidant support, and optimizes the differentiation of cells in the various layers of the epidermis

How Does Retinol Work?
Exfoliates: As skin ages, cell production slows. Retinol has exfoliation properties that gets rid of dead skin cells and allows new ones to grow. Regular use of retinol can help restructure the skin and encourage cell regeneration. When retinol converts into retinoic acid, it induces exfoliation which allows skin cells to function normally and continue regular cell renewal. This is effective in treating wrinkles as well as acne.
Aids in Production of Collagen: Skin loses elasticity over time, which causes the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol will reverse this by encouraging the production of collagen, one of the essential building blocks of youthful skin. As collagen is replenished and old skin cells are shed, hyperpigmentation disappears, fine lines recede and skin begins to reveal a brighter, smoother texture. Collagen production may slow down as a person ages, but retinol helps to ensure that new collagen continues to form, and has been shown to reduce wrinkles and increase skin texture.
Fights Free Radicals: Retinol is an antioxidant, which means it helps to neutralize substances called free radicals that destroy healthy skin cells. By neutralizing free radicals, retinol calms the skin, decreasing stress factors that may damage the skin.
vitamin.aWith its numerous anti-aging and antioxidant benefits, vitamin A is a key ingredient in many skin care formulas. When looking for it in your favorite products, keep in mind that it may be used in several forms, including Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate and Beta–Carotene. Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness. Along with using the appropriate topical skin care treatments, a three-pronged, inclusive health approach to beautiful skin and optimal wellbeing – external, internal and emotional is recommended. For a young, bright complexion, I suggest looking at skin care as full body care.

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