Tag Archives: Retinoic Acid

Antioxidants and Skin Care

Woman eating orange

Are antioxidants the new religion? Since the superpowers of the oxidation fighters were revealed, we follow groundbreaking news about antioxidants on social media with the same rabid enthusiasm that we follow the Brangelina divorce or the newest celebrity posts on Instagram. Antioxidants are our lifeline against aging, judging from the amount of attention antioxidants are getting, this attribute may be more valuable than reservations at the Ivy. So for those of you for whom the latest skin care breakthrough headline is more enticing than the latest celebrity baby bump reveal, here is some eye opening information on antioxidants and skin care.

Vitamin C and E and Selenium
According to research, vitamins C, E, and selenium not only protect skin against sun damage and skin cancer, they may actually reverse wrinkles and discoloration associated with the aging process. Karen E.Burke, MD, PhD attributes these results to the ability of this trio to speed up the natural repair system of the skin and prevent further damage. The doctor recommends supplements containing 400 international units of vitamin E, 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 100 to 200 micrograms of selenium daily to reap the glorious benefits of this healthy triumvirate.

Woman at mirror

CoEnzyme Q10
CoEnzyme Q10 is an antioxidant which occurs naturally in the human body, promoting cell growth and protecting against cancer. Age-related decreases in the levels of CoQ-10 in the body are thought to be associated with aging, and a study published in the Biofactors Journal found proof that applying 0.3% concentration of the antioxidant may help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Applied topically, this antioxidant may be able to aid the skin in the prevention of sun damage. A study found subjects who applied a 3%-5% concentration of alpha-lipoic acid to their skin, starting at a rate of once every other day and gradually increasing to daily application, showed noticeable improvement in changes in the skin brought on by the sun.

Retinoic Acid
If you’ve been doing your homework, you already know that retinoic acid is the active form of vitamin Q in the skin, and is also typically referred to as the “gold standard” in skin care. Used topically, retinoic acids, often branded as Renova or Retin-A, effectively treat age spots, wrinkles, and rough skin caused by the sun’s rays. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science revealed findings that retinoic acid treatment reduces the appearance of wrinkles by restoring the elastic fibers responsible for keeping skin firm and tight. Although dermatologists once believed that use of this antioxidant increased skin’s sensitivity to the sun, they now believe that it actually protects the skin from further damage. However, because high concentrations of retinoic acid have been associated with peeling and redness, Burke recommends starting at a low concentration (0.01% in gels and 0.1% in creams) and applying it every two to three nights to introduce it slowly to the skin.

Asian woman with cup of tea

Flavonoids (Green Tea and Chocolate)
We saved the best for last. Research suggests that the flavonoids in green tea can protect from inflammation and cancer, and a German study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank cocoa with a high level of flavonoids had smoother, softer skin than those who drank a lower flavonoid version of the liquid chocolate. Although the results so far seem promising, Burke says more research needs to be done to prove the effectiveness of flavonoids and to determine the best dose, but, in the meantime, you are more than welcome to experiment.

Are you a believer in antioxidants? Let us know which ones you are most faithful to and why. We love to learn from you!

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Vitamin A

Vitamin A Vitamin A has most commonly been associated with Retinol in the world of skin care. However, the vitamin also comes in several other forms which play a significant role in various functions of the body as well. Apart from being vital to skin and cellular regeneration, Vitamin A is also known to be useful in gene transcriptions, immune functions and bone growth. Vitamin A was first discovered by a group of researchers in the year 1917. Retinoic acid, a metabolite of Vitamin A was introduced to the world of skin care in the 1970’s and Vitamin A immediately transformed into one of the most important skin care ingredients.

One of the most usable forms of Vitamin A is Retinol (including retinoic acid, retinal and retinyl ester). Retinols are basically the animal forms of Vitamin A and they can be easily converted into retinoic acid by the skin in order to make it active. These ingredients are extremely useful in all sorts of skin care applications such as treating aging skin, reducing acne, increasing the collagen production and increasing the cell turnover.

Vitamin A is generally introduced into the body by two ways – food and skin care products. Vitamin A is present in the form of retinol and carotenes in food. Some of the most common food products that are rich in the compound include broccoli, meat sources, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and pumpkins. When it comes to skin care products, Vitamin A can be found in all sorts of creams, lotions, moisturizers and serums. When it is combined with ingredients such as peptides, lactic acids or skin building stem cells, it offers a gentle approach to anti-aging and also helps in providing hydration and strengthening the skin. When it is combined with ingredients like salicylic acid, it helps in skin regeneration and exfoliation. Finally, Vitamin A can also be found in the form of retinyl palmitate to help out with wrinkling problems, improving the skin texture and reducing the signs of aging.

To sum up, Vitamin A is one of the most powerful skin care ingredients that can be used to help out with things like anti-aging and regaining youthful skin. It is also known to be highly effective when it comes to treating acne. Here are some of the main benefits of using Vitamin A in your skin care products.

Reduce signs of premature aging – Vitamin A is considered to be one of the best anti-agers in the world. It firms up the skin, gives it luminosity, makes it look younger and adds radiance to the skin. Furthermore, the ingredient also promotes the production of collagen to help out with anti-aging.

Improve the skin tone and reduce signs of sun damage – Vitamin A helps in stimulating cell turnover, evening out the texture and the skin tone. It can be blended with Vitamin C as well as Vitamin E to give it plumping and moisturizing effects as well.  

Combat acne – Vitamin A can be used to treat your acne breakouts. In most cases, the dead skin cells clog your skin pores and contribute to your acne problems. Vitamin A helps to get rid of these dead skin cells and prevent breakouts.