Ageing is a complex process but there is one ingredient scientists, researchers, dermatologists and skin experts agree on- that VITAMIN A is one of, if not THE most significant ingredients to reduce the signs of skin ageing. You may have heard about Retinol in the press, well Retinol is a form of vitamin A, and if I’m honest its a minefield out there to navigate the truth from the facts when it comes to Vitamin A and Retinol.
So let me give you a little short biology lesson about the skin, Vitamin A and the ageing process and then you can make an informed decision about the skin care you choose to spend your hard earned cash on.
Healthy strong collagen is essential for younger looking, resilient skin. Collagen is one of the most important proteins in the body. It is the building block for bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue, and is vital for a strong, resilient body. It is also a very important part of the skin. Collagen fibres form a structural framework within the dermis which gives the skin strength, flexibility and elasticity.
Collagen is made in the body from amino acids, which bind together to form long strands. Several essential nutrients are required to ensure these strands are strong and resilient. Some of these essential collagen builders include vitamins A and C, a range of antioxidants, sulphur, zinc and copper.
Vitamin A has a role in the numerous essential processes in the skin and is vital for optimal skin health. It is involved in increasing the amount and quality of collagen produced, as well as decreasing its breakdown.
Vitamin A increases the activity of genes which regulate collagen, meaning more collagen is produced. It supports the optimal function of fibroblasts, the cells in the dermis which make collagen. It also inhibits the matrix metalloproteinase enzymes (MMP’s) which break collagen down.
Vitamin C is an essential cofactor for several enzymes involved in the production of collagen. It increases the amount in of collagen made by eight times, as well as increasing the quality and strength of collagen. Vitamin C, is an antioxidant and also decreases damage to existing collagen caused by oxidative stress.
So now we know a little about why we need Vitamin A, lets dive in to Retinol an ingredient that both amazes and puzzles us, hopefully here is the answer to some of your most common questions, and concerns:
Myth 1: Retinol’s require a purge period associated with severe peeling, irritation and breakouts
This is absolutely not true and if you are experiencing any of these symptoms your strength and form of Vitamin A (retinol) is too high. Using a form of retinol that is too high will mean the skin is unable to readily accept the retinol into the deeper layers as there are not enough Vitamin A receptors formed to adequately take in the Vitamin A, thus the solution sits on the surface of the skin and causes irritation and there are very few benefits. It just puts people off ever using the product again, in fact the skin will look and feel worse than ever.
Fact: Using a Vitamin A step up system in your skincare routine is key to fixing this problem and using a combination of Vitamin A not just the one form of Vitamin A known as Retinol.
Environ Skin care use an 8 stage step up system and combined with specialist advise we find the right level to give maximum anti ageing results without compromising the skin. Environ use 5 forms of Vitamin A in their number 1 best selling Skin EssentiA AVST Antioxidant Moisturiser and Retinol Serums. Across the levels they contain a scientifically proven formulas and combinations of Retinol Palmitate, Retinol Acetate, Beta carotein, Retinol, and Retinoic acid. Retinol Palmitate, Retinol Acetate and Beta Carotein are the gentlest forms of Vitamin A, the skin will readily accept these forms and they are then converted to another form of vitamin A inside the cell known as Retinoic acid, where all the above magic then takes place to build and strengthen collagen and elastin.
As Vitamin C is also essential for this process the Skin EssentiA AVST Antioxidant Moisturiser also contains active forms of Vitamin C. Vitamin A will always work harder in the presence of Vitamin C.
Myth 2: The higher the percentage of retinol the better and more Anti Ageing it will be.
Fact: We need to be very careful when talking about percentages of Retinol or Vitamin A because not all Vitamin A starts out in the same concentration. Manufacturers can buy vitamin A in varying strengths the cheapest will be a lower concentration to the more expensive higher concentrations. Vitamin A is measured in international units, Manufacturer’s are not obligated to state the strength of the starting form of Vitamin A before it is put into the product, therefore if they initially start with a weak concentration and they can state it is 1% retinol but compare that to a high concentration product with 1% retinol there will be significantly more Vitamin A in there.
This is why we cannot rely on percentages alone to determine how much Vitamin A (Retinol ) is in a product. Environ Skincare use the highest concentrations of Vitamin A that can be legally manufactured and their higher level products contain the highest concentrations of Vitamin A legally permitted with out a prescription. But the fact that the process of acclimatising the skin has been done slowly and steadily over time and with professional supervision means that the benefit of beautiful, tight, lifted, clear, radiant skin is achieved without the negative effects using associated with other Retinols.
Myth 3: Using Retinol is a quick fix and skin will appear younger within days
Fact: There are lots of false claims out there in the media about miracle creams taking 7 – 14 days etc to transform the skin, the truth is using Vitamin A in the right way will transform the skin but it will take time, patience and commitment. The first few days you will notice the skin is brighter and more radiant, however over months and years, that’s when the skin really does start to significantly improve, lines and wrinkles will disappear, skin will become tighten and more hydrated and overall the complexion will be youthful, healthy and radiant.
Coupled with Professional Environ Facials and Skin Supplements can super charge the process and give results a lot quicker.
This blog is really just the tips of the iceberg when it comes to Vitamin A, its also amazing for treating pigmentation, acne, rosacea and sun damaged skin and normalising oil production in the skin.