Retinol (Vitamin A) products can help visibly diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, increase the appearance of firmness, improve uneven skin tone, smooth and refine the surface of skin, and help mitigate the effects of environmental stressors.
All forms of retinol deteriorate when exposed to air and light, so make sure you only buy retinol products packaged in airtight, opaque containers. Avoid jar packaging!
There are two forms of vitamin A: preformed or retinol vitamin A which is found in animal meats, and provitamin A or carotenoid vitamin A which is found in fruits and vegetables. Preformed vitamin A is easier for your body to absorb because it is able to convert into retinol by itself while the body must use energy to convert provitamin A into retinol. Both forms will eventually become retinoic acid, the retinoid most used by the body.
Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy skin, immune function, reproduction, cellular communication and reproduction, bone, teeth, mucus membranes and other soft tissue. Women between ages 19-50 need approximately 700 mcg
Foods that contain high levels of vitamin A are: Cod Fish liver, eggs, fortified cereals and milk, orange and yellow fruits, broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and other dark leafy greens.
On the skin, retinoids work at a much more profound level by affecting gene expression and causing enhanced collagen production, skin smoothing, and an evening of pigmentation.
Gary Fisher, a professor of dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical School. “Many over-the-counter formulas claim you’ll see results within weeks,” says Fisher. “But in my experience, it takes an average of 12 weeks for retinoic acid to produce noticeable changes in the skin. So stick with it for at least that long to see the benefits.”
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