As long as retinol exists, there are so many rumors and doubts about it. Some extol cosmetics with this component, others are afraid of it like fire. In fact, retinol is one of the healthiest skin care ingredients. It can drastically change the quality and appearance of the skin.
In this article you will find all the information about retinol, as well as recommendations for effective products with this component.
What is retinol?
Retinol is a form of vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant. Retinol itself is unstable to the external environment and easily breaks down, therefore, its various derivatives, retinoids, are used in cosmetics. They can be presented in different forms and differ in their name. The alcoholic form is called retinol, the aldehyde form is retinyl aldehyde, and the ether form is retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate. Dermatologists call retinol a “normalizing vitamin” for its increased intracellular activity.
The most effective derivative of retinol is retinoic acid, which, when applied, instantly affects the cells of the epidermis. True, acid has plenty of side effects, so you need to use it carefully, following all the instructions. Cosmetics with retinoic acid cannot be found in the public domain – it is released exclusively by prescription from a dermatologist. The rest of the retinoids have a milder effect, are available in home care, but also need to be used correctly.
Retinoids are natural (tretinoin, retinol acetate, retinol and retinaldehyde) and synthetic (adapalene, tazarotene and isotretinoin). Natural retinoids undergo a multi-stage transformation, while the latter have an immediate effect. Due to the difference in activity, natural ones are used in cosmetics, while synthetic ones are used in medicines.
Are retinol and vitamin A the same thing?
Many mistakenly believe that retinol is identical to vitamin A. This is far from the case.
Retinol is not vitamin A in its manifestation, but just one of the forms, which is highly bioavailable. Retinol molecules are very small, so they can penetrate into the deep layers of the epidermis, acting on the skin from the inside and solving the problems that they are subject to.
How does retinol work?
The epidermis consists of several layers that are regularly updated. The cell renewal cycle takes 28 days. With age, the number of days for renewal increases, cells cannot exfoliate in time, thickening of the skin occurs. We do not see this, but we feel unpleasant consequences in the form of peeling, tightness and excessive dryness. When using cosmetics with retinol, the skin begins to renew itself faster, and all troubles disappear.
Retinol stimulates cell renewal and regeneration, and also enhances the production of its own collagen, elastin, lipids and hyaluronic acid.
For whom is retinol cosmetics suitable?
Cosmetics with this component are prescribed for people suffering from acne, post-acne, pigmentation, age-related changes. Means with retinol are recommended to be used in a course.
Cosmetics with retinol has a wide spectrum of action:
- reduces the number and depth of wrinkles;
- increases skin density;
- accelerates regeneration processes;
- lightens age spots;
- normalizes the production of sebum;
- cleanses and tightens pores;
- accelerates acne treatment;
- fights with post-acne;
- levels the microrelief;
- improves complexion;
- increases firmness and elasticity of the skin;
- gently exfoliates dead skin cells;
- maintains an optimal level of skin hydration.
What are the forms of retinol?
Retinol palmitate is a natural derivative of vitamin A. It is synthesized in the body from food. It is used to treat acne, lighten pigmentation and correct age-related changes. In small concentrations it is well tolerated by the patient. Among the side effects with the wrong dosage or excess concentration: itching, peeling, flushing of the skin, cracks and inflammation.
Retinol acetate is a salt of acetic acid. It is not synthesized naturally in the body. Retinol acetate has all the common properties of retinoids. Available in various forms: capsules, oily solution, creams, serums, etc. An oily solution is sold at a pharmacy and sold without a doctor’s prescription.
Retinyl retinoate is a hybrid of retinol and retinoic acid. In terms of efficiency and activity, it is comparable to retinoic acid, but it is devoid of its side effects. Retinyl retinoate does not increase skin photosensitivity, which makes it possible to use this form of retinol during the day.
Retinaldehyde is a modern form of vitamin A that is 10 times more powerful than regular retinol. At the same time, it acts much softer, helps to retain moisture in the cells, fights dryness and flaking. Does not cause photosensitivity. It has good efficiency at a concentration of 0.025-0.05%. Retinaldehyde is unstable, so it is extremely rare in cosmetics.
Retinoic acid (tretinoin) is the most powerful retinoid. It is more often used in pharmacy and professional products to combat acne, hyperkeratosis and hyperpigmentation.
Isotretinoin is an effective retinol for treating moderate to severe acne. It is considered the only component that heals acne. Isotretinoin cleanses pores, normalizes the production of sebum, stops the growth of bacteria. In the first weeks of treatment, it can cause a strong deterioration in the condition of the skin, which is replaced by its restoration.
Acitretin and Etretinate are retinoids prescribed for various types of psoriasis and keratinization disorders. They slow down the growth of cells in the outer layers of the skin, stabilize the cellular structure, fight against growths and peeling.
The concentration of retinol, as a rule, is from 0.01 to 1%. There are more concentrated options that can be used only after consultation with a specialist and strictly under his control. Independence in this regard is punishable by the health and appearance of the skin.
IMPORTANT! The concentration of retinol has little effect, its form is important. The agent may contain a small concentration of retinol, but at the same time quickly and deeply penetrate into the tissues of the epidermis. At high concentrations, the severity of side effects increases.