What is Retinol?
Retinol = Vitamin A = Great for skin!
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for several biological functions. Perhaps its most important role is in eye function, but it is also vital for cell reproduction. Aside from being essential for vision (especially in low light), teeth remineralization (cavity defense), bone growth and skin health—and by skin health we mean diminished wrinkles and fewer acne breakouts. It also helps build resistance to respiratory infections and boosts the immune system in general. Furthermore, it’s an effective treatment for a variety of skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.
It’s role in cell turnover, in which dead cells are replaced by new ones, is the key to plump, youthful skin. Retinol increases the cell turnover rate to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Like tocopherols, retinol stimulates the production of collagen in the dermis, an essential process in the maintenance of healthy skin. It also works to help unclog pores, and thus is an effective treatment to control and improve mild acne, and prevent reoccurring outbreaks. Users will see visible, long-lasting results from retinol.
Retinol And Skin Health
Retinol is perhaps the single most important vitamin for healthy skin. Its molecular structure is particularly small for a vitamin, allowing it to easily penetrate the outer layers of the skin and reach the deeper layers where collagen and elastin are found. As retinol breaks down into retinoic acid, it binds to receptor sites on skin cells that have a strong affinity for it. Once bound in this way, retinol works as a cell communicator to increase enzyme and mitosis activities.
This essentially encourages skin cells to behave normally and engage in regular cell renewal—a process that often breaks down when skin is exposed to damaging free radicals and environmental pollutants. The skin becomes more elastic and stronger, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Vitamin A is also an effective acne treatment by helping to regulate the production of sebum.
While other vitamin A derivatives can be beneficial, retinol is vitamin A’s purest and most active form. It helps smooth wrinkles and fine lines, increases moisture and elasticity, and lends a healthy glow to the complexion.
Retinol is a precursor to Ret-A and is very sensitive to light and oxygen. For years, people seeking the benefits of Vitamin A had to take their chances with a retinol cream or serum that might not deliver on its promises of fewer wrinkles because of the rapid degradation of the retinol molecule. Advances in skin care research, however, are ushering in a new generation of Vitamin-A-infused skin care.
First, research has shown that retinol is delivered to your skin topically in an inert form. Your skin cells store it until they need it, and when they do, your skin cells convert retinol into the more potent Retinoic acid molecule. That means that applying retinol allows your skin to decide when and how much retinoic acid it needs for rejuvenation, so the irritating side effects of topically applied Retinoic acid are eliminated. That makes retinol the ideal compound for OTC skin care applications.
Second, OUR scientists have developed ways to encapsulate each retinol molecule to protect it from degradation by light and oxygen. The polymers that protect each retinol molecule are released through the mechanical act of applying the product to your skin and chemically by your skin. So until you apply the cream, the retinol is protected from rapid degradation.