Tag Archives: Retinol

Vitamin A Derivatives That Improve Skin Texture, Tone, and Color

As is the case with many of the best discoveries, the use of vitamin A as a wrinkle control agent happened largely by accident. It all began in the laboratories of Dr. Albert Kligman in the 1960’s when the controversial dermatologist began to experiment on prisoners with a vitamin A derivative called tretinoin as an acne treatment. Imagine the delight of the incarcerated men to discover not only the disappearance of their acne, but a noticeable decrease in wrinkles and smoother skin tones!

Woman applying vitamin A on her skin

Vitamin A and its derivatives have often been referred to as the “gold standard of skin care,” a paragon of excellence against which all other skin care products can be measured. If you are thinking of incorporating some vitamin A into your routine, here are some things you may want to know.

Retinoids
Retinoids are also known as the generic term for tretinoin, retin-A, or differin, and are available only by prescription. They are absorbed directly into the skin cells which makes them highly effective against hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and acne.

The downside of this miracle cream is its likelihood to cause skin irritation. Retinoids are often associated with redness and peeling and require adjustment to the dosage to combat these side effects. The key with these products is keeping the applied amount to a minimum. A pea-sized amount should be enough for the whole face, and a larger quantity is unnecessary.

Retinol
Retinol is vitamin A in its pure form and is an over the counter alternative to harsher retinoids. While the conversion to retinoic acid will decrease the potency of the retinol, it should still be effective enough to bring noticeable results. Although retinol may trigger minor irritation, side effects should generally subside over time as the skin grows more accustomed to the treatment.

Retinyl Palmitate
This combination of retinol and palmitic acid is one of the less effective vitamin A derivatives. While it does convert to retinoic acid, the process often takes so long that by the time it is completed, the product has lost most of its ability to affect the DNA of the cell. As a result, you would need a very high concentration of retinal palmitate to have significant effect, and most cosmetic companies who use it as a source of vitamin A usually do not put enough of it in their serums and creams to make a difference.
The bottom line: If retinyl palmitate is not combined with other vitamin A derivatives, it is almost useless.

Retinaldehyde
Retinaldehyde is a potent over the counter form of vitamin A which is commonly perceived to be the closest to retinoic acid without the irritating side effects. However, it is important to take note of content in your product. In order to be effective, a retinaldehyde concentration of 0.05% to 0.1% needs to be present. This is the equivalent of a 0.025 tretinoin. The biggest side effect of retinaldehyde will be the lightening of your purse. Most skin care products containing substantial amounts of the ingredient will be on the high-end side in price, so be prepared to pay for quality.

Other Advice
Be aware that vitamin A is not stable and tends to lose potency when it interacts with sunlight. Creams and serums are therefore best applied at night. Do not use a cleanser with retinoids, as the retinoids depend on contact with skin to achieve full benefit and should not be washed away. When purchasing retinoids, look for packaging that minimizes exposure to air and light which can affect the stability of the vitamin.

Let us know your choice when it comes to choosing Vitamin A derivatives. Which ones work best for you?

Battling Adult Acne

  Women examining acne on her face.

Most of us talk about how we would like to turn back the clock.  Sure, we would all like to look a bit  younger, but there are definitely some things about youth that we are happy to see the back of that denim jacket with the heavy metal patches on it that you wore until it rotted, the self-administered buzz cut, the experiments with green hair dye, and acne.  Yes, if there is anything to be glad about when it comes to aging, it would have to be the end of acne.  But, what if you find yourself having graduated to  adulthood when……THEY’RE BACK! Just when you thought you zapped, squeezed and hid your last pimple, white or black head, they’re back and badder than ever.

Why?

Hormones
Teens are not the only ones whose hormones are aflutter.  According to dermatologist Julia Tzu, MD of Wall Street Dermatology says,”Fluctuation in hormones, such as before one’s menstrual cycle, is the main cause.” Hormonal acne is identifiable by a painful outbreak around the chin neck and back and may occur before your menstrual cycle. High-stress levels can also contribute to hormonal imbalance.  When the stress hormone, cortisol, is released by the body, it is often accompanied by testosterone, a male hormone which leads to the production of more oil, ultimately resulting in more outbreaks.

Using the Wrong Products
If you are prone to breakouts, you should be using products that will not clog your pores. DR. Neal Schultz, of Beauty RX Skincare, suggest looking  for  the words “oil-free”, “non-comedogenic” or “water -based” on the label.

Overcleansing
 Dr.  Rebecca Kazin, MD of the John Hopkins Department of Dermatology says cleansing more than twice a day is too much and can just dry out skin “which can cause it to produce more oil to overcompensate.  Grainy and gritty cleansers  that rub your skin can similarly promote acne.    Try switching to a gentle detoxifying gel cleanser and two is the magic number.

Food
Many of us have heard that there is a direct relationship between chocolate, greasy food and acne, but. before you put down that Hershey’s bar, there is no statistic proof of any of this.  However, you would be well advised to avoid iodine, found in shellfish and greens like kelp and spinach.  Sugary food can also be a culprit.  By raising your insulin level, sugary foods can boost oil- triggering hormones, like testosterone.

Treatment Ingredients

Salicylic Acid
Also known as beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid exfoliates gently to unclog pores.  It is go-to in anti-acne products and can be found in most OTC cleansers and spot treatments and is mild enough to use on your whole face.

Benzoyl Peroxide
This stuff kills acne bacteria whole exfoliating the pores but stick to spot treatment for this one.  It has been known to make skin irritated and should not be used all over the face.

Glycolic Acid
If you are facing the acne meets wrinkles stages, this may be just the thing. It removes dead skin cells on the surface and stimulates the collagen and  hyaluronic acid, improving skin’s texture on the whole.

Retinol
Another godsend for the acne meets wrinkles crowd.  It is one of the most effective treatments for acne and also has collagen building properties, but , be aware, can be too harsh for those with sensitive skin so try testing it on  a small spot on your skin before you commit to it.

Exfoliate
Probably the best thing you can do to fight acne is exfoliated and the best way to so it is with glycol acid.  A glycol cleanser is helpful, but exfoliating pads and serums that really soak your skin are more effective.

Keep Spot Treatment on Hand
As soon as you feel that zit waiting to burst our, zap it with some benzoyl peroxide to start killing bacteria immediately.  Try to look for a gentle formula with soothing ingredients  for adult skin.

In closing, while these treatments are all effective, keep in mind that hormones are some pretty powerful players.  If topical treatment isn’t enough, talk to your doctor.  He may have the best advice on the best course of action.

Key Anti-Aging Ingredients

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just click a button and magically stop our aging in its tracks? Well, of course, that would be amazing but unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury. We DO however have the ability to consume a number of ingredients that will help us slow down the aging process and look our best over time!

Woman applying sunscreen

First and Foremost. Sunscreen.
Sunscreen is easily overlooked and passed by day after day. Many of us think that sunscreen is only necessary when we are going to be in the sun for extended periods of times. But, we are so, SO wrong. Sunscreen should be part of your daily “getting ready” routine. Yes, that means before your makeup and before you leave your house for a “normal” day that may not even include any outside time. The sun’s harmful rays have a way of getting to our skin even in very short amounts of time. Using sunscreen daily helps prevent and slow the development of wrinkled, aged skin. As a result, your skin appears smoother and has a healthy glow rather than the leathery look the sun can cause.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids are the Next Best Option to Save Your Skin!
How would an acid prevent aging?!? Well, not all acids are bad for the human body. Alpha-hydroxy acids or AHAs have been around for quite some time but recently there has been more attention brought to them for their lasting effects on keeping your skin young! AHAs are found in nature, specifically in fruit and milk. These acids work to break apart the intercellular glue that holds old skin cells on the epidermis. Without this happening, your skin looks finer and brighter. That’s not it! Alpha-hydroxy acids also work to increase the production of collagen and elastic, both necessary for healthy looking skin. This leaves your skin feeling oh-so-soft because it allows your skin to retain more moisture. Be sure to apply your sunscreen before going into the sun if you are planning on introducing AHAs to your beauty regime. AHAs can cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun but are TOTALLY worth the anti-aging benefits.

Retinol formula

Retinol AKA Vitamin A
Retinol is one of the most effective ingredients that has a way of telling cells how to act like an un-aged, healthier, younger skin cell. In other words, retinol is able to stop free-radical harm within skin cells that ultimately results in aged, wrinkly skin. Just as Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, it also has the ability to increase collagen production for smoother skin. But wait, that’s not all! This vitamin will literally decrease the appearance of discolorations on your skin from previous sun damage. Remember when you are shopping for Retinol products to stick to products that are in an opaque, closed container as sun exposure can break down the vitamins. In addition, start with a small mix of retinol and your normal moisturizer. Retinol creams can be known to aggravate skin so it is best to gradually introduce it into your daily routine.

The Spot Remover: Hydroquinone
For those who are looking for a way to look younger by banishing those darn dark sunspots from years of sun damage, you might want to try hydroquinone. Skin bleaching is a controversial topic so this product should be used with caution. A small amount will go a long way. This product will virtually fade hyperpigmentation by stopping the enzymes that increase melanin production.

Best Ingredients for More Youthful Skin

The ingredients you put onto your skin have a significant and direct impact on your appearance. If you’ve been looking in the mirror and seeing skin that appears dull, rough, dry or lackluster, it’s time to add some serious anti-aging ingredients into your skin care routine. However, there are so many products with even more ingredients and it can be a little daunting to know what ingredients really are the best when it comes to achieving more youthful looking skin. Read below to find out the top five best ingredients for more youthful skin and why they are the best.

Woman holding a vitamin capsule

Retinol
Retinol is the purest form of vitamin A and it is one of the most beneficial ingredients to keep your skin looking young. Retinol is a cell-communicating ingredient that essentially tells your skin cells to look and act younger. It stimulates collagen production, activates cellular metabolism for more rapid cell turnover, fades the appearance of sun or age spots and reduces fine lines. By communicating with your cells to perform all of these tasks, retinol gives your face a firmer, younger and more even appearance.

Green tea

Antioxidants
Free radical damage is one of the most significant causes of aging and unfortunately, there are types of free radical exposure that you can’t avoid such as the sun, oxygen or pollution. What you can do is to look for skin care products that contain an array of antioxidants to fight free radical damage. Look for ingredients like vitamin C, green tea extract and vitamin E. Vitamin C is a favorite among dermatologists because this antioxidant boosts your skin’s natural defenses against sun damage and also encourages collagen production.

Hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic Acid
Hydrated skin is an important part of a youthful appearance, and hyaluronic acid is one of the greatest skin care ingredients for adding moisture to your skin. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it is able to draw moisture from the air and hold that moisture into your skin, and hyaluronic acid is so powerful that it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Hyaluronic acid makes your fine lines and wrinkles become significantly less noticeable because as it holds water, it plumps the appearance of your skin.

Grapes in a vineyard

Resveratrol
Resveratrol is found in the skins of grapes, blueberries, cranberries and Goji berries and also in wine and some nuts. High-quality skin care products also harness the power of resveratrol to fight signs of aging. Resveratrol features a number of potent antioxidant properties and helps keep your skin looking young. It also helps protect against further environmental damage by fighting off free radicals.

Milk

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Exfoliation is a crucial step in maintaining youthful-looking skin and alpha-hydroxy acids are incredible for this purpose. Alpha-hydroxy acids are generally derived from fruit or milk sugars. Some common alpha-hydroxy acids are lactic acid and glycolic acid. These acids exfoliate your skin by gently dissolving the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. This allows for the dead skin cells to be sloughed away from the skin to reveal smoother, more even skin and can also help reduce the appearance of pores.

Not all skin care ingredients are created equal. Some, like the five above, are seriously powerful anti-aging ingredients that provide your skin with a more luminous and youthful appearance. When selecting skin care products, always check the ingredient list to see how high on the list these anti-aging superstars are. The closer to the beginning of the list, the higher the concentration of each ingredient in the product. Choosing well-formulate, quality skin care products that contain these five best ingredients for more youthful skin will keep your face looking young and radiant.

Why Retinol is so Important for Anti-Aging

Retinol, while not a new skincare ingredient, is everywhere and pops up in products from potent antioxidant serums to foundations. The reason that retinol is everywhere? Because it works. Retinol is an incredibly effective skincare ingredient that fights the signs of aging and encourages skin to act in a younger, healthier way. Find out just what retinol is and why it is so important for anti-aging below.

Vitamin A chemical formula

What is Retinol?
Retinol is just another name for vitamin A and it can be broken down into more potent compounds that are referred to as retinoids. “Retinol is an extremely effective cell-communicating ingredient, which means it can literally connect to almost any skin cell and tell it to behave like a healthy, younger skin cell,” explains skincare expert Paula Begoun. Retinol is somewhat of an umbrella term and the vitamin A molecule is broken down into many derivatives of vitamin A that are known as retinoids. In a paper published on PubMed Central, a service of the US National Library of Medicine, the authors state that “retinoids are very well known to influence a variety of cellular processes, such as cellular growth and differentiation, cell surface alterations and immune modulation.” It is the influence that retinol and retinol derivatives have at the cellular level that are responsible for the immense anti-aging benefits of these ingredients.

How Does Retinol Counteract Aging?
“Retinol is an antioxidant, and thus can help interrupt the free-radical damage process that cause skin to look and act older. This action helps prevent wrinkling and increases collagen production,” says Begoun. In order to actually influence cell behavior, retinol has to undergo a process of breakdown and conversion. “Before retinol can successfully go to work in skin, it must be converted into it’s active form – all-trans retinoic acid. Once retinol has been applied to skin, enzymes in the skin break it down into all-trans retinoic acid, which then goes on to help regulate cell function,” notes Begoun.

As you age, the effects of sun damage become more visible and apparent in the forms of discoloration or sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles and larger pores. Retinol, when converted to retinoic acid, is able to influence cells that fight against these signs of aging. Although retinol can’t reduce large pores caused by genetics, it is able to decrease pore size that occurs as a result of sun damage. In addition, retinol promotes an increase in substances that enhance and improve the skin’s structural elements, meaning your skin is strengthened, and retinol is also helpful at stimulating collagen production which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Retinol is available in a variety of forms and can be found in cosmetic products that are readily available. There are also prescription strength retinol products that are used both for acne and aging. Before beginning a retinol regime, it’s important to know that retinol can cause sensitivity and irritation and it often takes some time before your skin gets used to this ingredient. Consulting with a dermatologist or doctor is a great way to know what concentration of retinol would be most beneficial. While there is no single ingredient that magically solves aging concerns, when retinol is used with other quality ingredients and products, it is an incredibly effective ingredient that helps skin look and act younger.

How 3 Powerful Anti-Aging Ingredients in Skincare Work

There are so many anti-aging ingredients available in skincare today that it becomes difficult to know which ones really work and what exactly these ingredients do to your skin. Three incredible anti-aging products are retinol, resveratrol and peptides. If you’ve heard these words but wondered what they actually meant to your skin in terms of aging, wonder no more. These three powerful anti-aging ingredients aren’t just fads, they have been proven to work by scientific research. Find out more about three of the best anti-aging ingredients below.

Grapes.

Resveratrol
One of our very favorite anti-aging ingredients ever, resveratrol is an incredibly potent antioxidant. Resveratrol is found in berries such as blueberries and blackberries and some nuts like peanuts, but the highest concentration of resveratrol is found in the skins of grape. As it relates to skincare, resveratrol is highly effective at protecting your cells against oxidative damage. Free radicals that are produced by exposure to oxygen and sunlight damage collagen and activates enzymes that break down elastin and collagen, but resveratrol is able to combat free radical damage. Additionally, resveratrol is an anti-inflammatory and a small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, indicated that resveratrol may also be useful in the treatment of acne and acne scarring.

Retinol
Dubbed the King (or Queen) of anti-aging, retinol is a true skincare superstar that can solve a wide variety of skin issues from aging to acne. Retinol is the entire vitamin A molecule and retinoids are all derivatives of vitamin A. Retinol and retinoids have anti-aging benefits in skincare products because they prompt skin cells on the surface of your skin to turnover and die more rapidly. In doing this, retinol makes way for new cell growth underneath, which will reveal newer and healthier skin. Retinol also prevents the breakdown of collagen and make deeper layers of your skin, where wrinkles begin, thicker which slows the appearance of wrinkles. Additionally, retinol can help reduce dark spots caused by sun damage by gently exfoliating the skin and preventing the production of melanin which is responsible for skin pigmentation. Retinol is not only an anti-aging superstar, but it also is widely used to treat acne.

Peptide

Peptides
Collagen loss is one of the most troublesome areas when it comes to aging and your skin and peptides can help to fight this issue. Peptides are chains of amino acids that serve as the building of protein in the skin, such as collagen. Collagen is responsible for skin thickness and suppleness, but your production naturally slows down as you age. When peptides form a short chain of amino acids, they can send signals to your skin cells that tell them how they should be behaving. Applied topically, peptides send signals to your cells that indicates it’s time to begin the formation of new collagen. As new collagen forms, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is diminished.

Anti-aging ingredients can be very powerful on their own, but most work better when combined with other ingredients as well. Now that you know what these amazing anti-aging ingredients do, you can look for products that contain them with confidence that they are going to perform well for your needs.

Why Retinol is Everywhere

Seriously you can’t shop for skincare products without seeing the word retinol plastered on nearly every package and ingredient list. What’s so great about retinol that it is everywhere in the skincare world? Well, we’re about to tell you. Below, find our five favorite reasons why retinol really is everywhere.

Retinol formula

What is Retinol?
Retinol, also known as vitamin A, is one of the most effective cell-communicating ingredients, which means it can literally connect to almost any skin cell and tell it to behave like a healthy, younger skin cell.

Why Retinol is Everywhere

  • Retinol Rejuvenates Your Skin – As you age, your natural levels of collagen drop and your production slows considerably. Retinol helps to promote new collagen production which results in a more plump and youthful appearance. “Retinol is an antioxidant, and thus can interrupt the free-radical damage process that causes skin to look and act older. This action helps prevent wrinkling and increases collagen production.” A 2007 study published in The Archives of Dermatology indicated that participants who applied a product with .4 percent retinol concentration to one arm for 24 weeks had dramatic improvements to their skin and biopsies revealed that the arm treated with retinol had more building blocks (such as collagen) that make skin more resilient and smooth than the untreated arm.
  • Retinol Stimulates Cell Turnover – Exfoliation is essential for healthy, radiant skin and retinol is a skin care ingredient that helps you skin cells turnover to reveal healthier skin. Improved skin cell turnover results in a smoother, more even complexion and it helps other skin care products work more effectively. With proper exfoliation, products are able to fully penetrate your skin, which enables them to provide maximum benefits.
  • Retinol Controls Acne – Acne can occur at any age and it can be more difficult to clear your adult acne than it was when you were younger. Part of why adult acne may be more stubborn is that your skin and the components that keep you skin smooth and clear begin to work differently as you age. One contributing factor to acne is the accumulation of dead skin cells and other debris is trapped in your pores. Because retinol is stimulates cell turnover and exfoliates your skin, dead skin cells and debris are removed from your skin and your pores are unclogged.
  • Retinol Can Reduce Pore Size – Okay, so before you fall in love with the idea of poreless skin, that’s not possible. Your skin will always have some pores and when it comes to pore size due to genetics, retinol will not be effective. However, if you have large pores as a result of sun damage or clogging, retinol can help to reduce their size with consistent use. Your pores stretch when follicular keratin, a part of the pore lining, builds up and retinol communicates with these cells to remind them to function properly which results in improved pore functioning. Over time, as your pores work properly, it’s entirely possible to see a reduction in pore size.
    Retinol Improves Overall Skin Appearance – Retinol is a skin care ingredient superstar because it not only functions as an anti-aging and anti-acne ingredient, it generally improves the all around appearance of your skin. Retinol can also address skin issues like eczema, decrease discoloration and sun spots, reduce fine lines and re-texturize the face for a smoother, more even complexion.

Retinol is, as we mentioned, widely available in skin care products and retinol products do not require a prescription. When selecting your retinol products, look for containers that are dark colored, because all forms of vitamin A deteriorate when exposed to light. If you are just introducing retinol into your skin care routine, note that it can be irritating to your skin so it’s best to start slowly. Begin by using your retinol product once every other day and monitor how your skin handles retinol. If you don’t experience irritation, go ahead and use your retinol products daily. Once you start making retinol a part of your skin care routine, you will completely understand why retinol is everywhere.

Skin Care Ingredients to be Thankful For

Clear, glowing, healthy skin is something that you should definitely give thanks for. Most of us are in constant pursuit of younger looking, healthier skin and there are some skin care ingredients that are superior to others. We’ve listed our four favorite skin care ingredients and why you should be thankful for them.

Hyaluronic Acid formula

Hyaluronic Acid
You can’t go to any skin care or beauty blog without reading something about hyaluronic acid. While some skin care ingredients are just hype, hyaluronic acid deserves every bit of praise that it gets. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in your body that is responsible for cell renewal and maintaining skin’s elasticity and moisture levels. When you apply hyaluronic acid topically, this amazing skin care ingredient creates a moisture barrier for your skin. In doing so, hyaluronic acid “traps” moisture into your skin, and the hyaluronic acid molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. In addition to major moisture, hyaluronic acid makes your skin smoother and helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping the skin up.

Retinol
When it comes to anti-aging, retinol truly is one of the best skin care ingredients you can use. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that fights fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, dullness, sagging skin and can help with acne. This powerhouse works by increasing the rate of cell turnover while also gently exfoliating to get rid of any dry, dead cells on the surface of your skin. Retinol also stimulates cellular repair deep in your skin, which helps boost your levels of collagen and elastin. When using retinol, be sure to look for packaging that is airtight and opaque, or very dark because air and light can degrade retinol making it far less effective.

Red wine

Resveratrol
It’s not secret that we absolutely adore resveratrol as a skin care ingredient, but there are so many great reasons for our love affair with this potent antioxidant. Resveratrol’s antioxidant power fights against oxidative damage and helps repair old damage from free radicals. This protection against free radical damage is essential for young, healthy looking skin because free radicals actually damage collagen and they activate an enzyme that breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin. Resveratrol also has anti-inflammatory properties so your complexion looks even and radiant.

AHA/ BHA
Alpha-hydroxy acids are organic acids that are typically derived from sugar cane, milk and apples and pears. Sugar cane is responsible for glycolic acid, milk for lactic acid and apples and pears for malic acid. These acids work on the surface layer of your skin to gently exfoliate and brighten dead, dull skin. BHA refers to salicylic acid, which is derived from plant sources. Salicylic acid also is responsible for gentle exfoliation, but it penetrates far more deeply than AHAs do. BHA actually gets down into your pores to clear them of oil, dead skin cells and other debris. AHAs are most frequently used by those with drier skin while BHA is used commonly among those with oily or acne-prone skin.

Quality ingredients equal quality skin and these ingredients are truly skin care superstars. Using products that contain these amazing ingredients, like our Vine Vera Collection skin care, will help you to achieve the healthiest, most radiant skin possible and that’s something you should certainly give thanks for.

Why Your Skin Craves Vitamin A

Woman applying eye serum.

Vitamin A is an important ingredient if your want to have your skin looking healthy, radiant and clear. You may already be using products that contain vitamin A and you might not know it. Vitamin A is more commonly referred to as retinol when it comes to skin care. Below, check out what forms of vitamin A are available and why your skin craves this skin care ingredient.

Forms of Vitamin A
When it comes to vitamin A, there are three major derivatives and the terms are often used interchangeably. Although many use the terms to refer to vitamin A, there are subtle, but important differences.

Retinol – Retinol is the most widely recognized form of vitamin A and is readily available in cosmetic products. Retinol is the entire vitamin A molecule and as such, it can be broken down into a variety of potent compounds. Skin care experts explain, “[r]etinol is a cosmetic ingredient that any cosmetic company can include in its products. It does not require a prescription. Retinol is effective because when it gets absorbed in the skin, it gets broken down into retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is the compound which can affect your skin cells and their behavior.” Retinol is an excellent ingredient for helping your skin reduce signs of aging.

Retinoids – Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds that are derivatives of vitamin A or are closely related in chemical structure. Retinoids are primarily used in the treatment of acne and aging, but there are other skin conditions that benefit from the use of retinoids. Inflammatory skin disorders, psoriasis and photoaging are conditions that can benefit from the use of retinoids.

Tretinoin – Tretinoin is retinoic acid that is available in prescription form. The most frequent use for topical tretinoin prescriptions is acne control. This retinoic acid manages acne by promoting the peeling of skin to reveal newer, healthier skin. Additionally, tretinoin deep cleans and unclogs pores while also reducing sebum (oil) production. While tretinoin is usually used as an acne treatment, it is also the first retinoid approved by the FDA to treat wrinkles.

“All forms of retinol have similar, although not identical, functions and provide truly impressive results for skin, which explains their popularity in the world of skin care,” note experts.

How to Give Your Skin the Vitamin A it Craves
The first place to begin with making sure your skin is getting plenty of vitamin A is to include foods that are rich in vitamin A in your diet. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, romaine lettuce, dark, leafy greens such as kale and sweet red peppers are all foods that provide high amounts of vitamin A. Seafood like salmon, sturgeon, mackerel and oysters are also a great addition to your diet if you are looking to increase your vitamin A intake.

Next, using topical vitamin A products helps keep your skin looking and feeling happy. Many forms of vitamin A, retinol and its derivatives (retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde to name a few) are widely available in cosmetic products including face cleansers, toners, moisturizing creams, face masks and serums. For more serious skin problems, like severe acne, tretinoin and other retinoids are available in prescription form.

No single ingredient can magically cure all of your skin concerns, but vitamin A does provide many significant benefits. Vitamin A, in any form, gently exfoliates your skin, repairs the cellular structure of the epidermis and promotes healthy cellular membranes. It is important to note the while the benefits of vitamin A are undeniable, you should proceed with caution when beginning to use topical forms of vitamin A. Most people experience increased redness, flaking and irritated skin when first beginning a topical vitamin A regimen. Allow your skin to become used to the ingredient by using every other day at first and be sure that other products you’re putting on your face (cleanser, toners, etc…) are gentle on your skin to avoid increased irritation. Vitamin A is an important ingredient in a healthy skin care routine and is a widely available ingredient.

Skin Care Ingredients that Make Skin Happy

There are constant breakthroughs and improvements when it comes to skin care and it seems there’s always a hot new miracle ingredient. Some of these skin care ingredients are more of a fad than anything, but others are truly incredible ingredients. The three ingredients below have all been in the skin care spotlight for some time, and with good reasons. These skin care ingredients are staples for healthy, happy skin.

Hyaluronic acid chemical formula.

Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the body and it is responsible for the regulation of cell renewal and maintaining the moisture and elasticity of your skin. Skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid are beneficial to all skin types, but they may have the most profound effects on dry skin. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant and when applied topically, it not only adds moisture to the skin, but it creates a moisture barrier on the skin that keeps the moisture from leaving the skin. Because hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, it is incredible for keeping skin hydrated. Recently, hyaluronic acid has been making news as the hot new injectable. When used as an injectable, hyaluronic acid smooths out wrinkles. While hyaluronic acid applied topically does help to “plump” and soften the appearance of wrinkles, the molecule is too large to fully penetrate into your skin and eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.

Peptides
Peptides are a cell-communicating skincare ingredients. These segments of active proteins alert your skin to act in particular ways, one of which is to signal the skin to increase production of elastin. Elastin keeps your skin plump and gives it its ability to bounce back. Additionally, peptides are beneficial in helping skin heal itself after an injury or wound. Peptides are an important anti-aging ingredient that can help minimize the appearance of wrinkles because one of the things they can communicate to cells is the signal to relax facial muscles. They also are helpful in stimulating collagen production, helping to fight fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin A chemical formula.

Retinol
Retinol is an active form of the vitamin A molecule and it is one of the greatest skin care ingredients that you can use. This vitamin A derivative is a powerful exfoliant that encourages your skin to shed layers to turn over younger, healthier skin cells. The use of retinols as a skin care ingredient can improve skin firmness, reverse visible signs of sun and environmental damage, reduce hyperpigmentation and dark circles, treat acne and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to those amazing benefits, retinols also increase natural production of hyaluronic acid and collagen, which keeps skin smooth and supple. When buying products containing retinol, it’s important to pay attention to the packaging. Light and air can degrade retinols, so look for opaque packaging with a pump to preserve its integrity.

These skincare ingredients are beneficial to all skin types and they are most effective when used as part of a healthy skincare routine. Be sure to cleanse your face, tone (if necessary) and hydrate frequently. Drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet will also significantly improve your skin, making these skincare ingredients even more effective. Look for products that contain these ingredients to keep your skin radiant, glowing and happy.