One of my favorite skin care ingredients is definitely retinoids. In this article I will only focus on those applied to the skin.
WHAT ARE RETINOIDS?
Retinoids Are Known As Derivatives Of Vitamin-A
As a food source Vitamin A plays an important role in a variety of body functions such as proper vision, resisting infections, bone formation and growth, the function of the reproductive system, wound healing and skin health.
Retinoids Are Well Proven As Part Of Classic Treatments For Medical Skin Conditions
Recognised conditions are acne, psoriasis, congenital disorders of the skin, and severe sun damage. In recent years the very successful use of retinoid products in the treatment of cancerous skin lesions as well as rosacea, warts, and a multitude of other skin conditions and diseases has also been shown.
HOW DOES RETINOIDS WORK ON THE SKIN?
This section explains about collagen synthesis, hyaluronic acid and cell turnover which can be explained in reference to the picture.
Retinoids Applied To The Skin Bring About Skin Rejuvenation By The Ability To Treat A Multitude Of Skin Related Concerns
Retinoids Triggers Collagen Synthesis.
Collagen is the principal protein of the skin and an essential part of its framework and design. It provides strength, support, shape and elasticity. Retinoids increase production of collagen which in turn leads to increase in skin thickness and firmness. It is through this process that scarring due to acne is improved.
Retinoids Increase Hyaluronic Acid In The Skin.
Hyaluronic acid has an amazing ability to draw and hold water. Due to this the skin experiences a plumping effect which leads to a decrease in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Retinoids Increase Cell Turnover.
With retinoid use the skin appears less rough due to the quicker removal of old, dead skin cells.
It is also due to this process that pigmentation is treated and prevented. In patients with acne this effect inhibits the formation of black and white heads and inhibits the growth of the bacteria causing acne.
Retinoids Have Antioxidant Properties.
Antioxidants can stimulate blood flow in the skin that helps to encourage the growth of new cells.
Antioxidants also reduce inflammation thereby promoting more even skin tone and help to keep acne and wrinkles at bay.
Other antioxidants are recommended alongside a retinoid product to ensure full antioxidant protection
HOW ARE RETINOIDS USED IN PRACTICE?
Not all retinoid products work equally well in and on the skin. This can be explained by the three different types of retinoid products available on the market
1. Pro-retinoids (also known as retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate and retinyl linoleate) are the weakest forms of retinoids and are readily available in over the counter cosmetic products. These are not really recommended if you would like to have drastic results for a particular skin related concern. It will bring about change over long periods of time, but Pro-retinoids are a safer option for people with severely sensitive skin. In some medical graded skin care products they are used in conjunction with other ingredients that enhance their effect. Pro retinoids are also fantastic as an “entry level “when you want to gently introduce a retinoid product.
2. Retinol can also be obtained over the counter however the strength of Retinol in these products is usually weak. Retinol at higher strengths can be found through the use of medical graded skin care products – the use of which are supervised by physicians or trained aesthetic professionals. Some of these in the form of a Retinol Peel have been proven to be as effective after 8 weeks as topical retinoic acid.
3. Tretinoin is topical retinoic acid and only available as a prescription. It is significantly more potent than retinol. Treatment may provide results within as little as 8 weeks. This has been shown to be as effective in the treatment of acne as Roaccutane when used correctly
ARE THERE ANY SIDE-EFFECTS?
With the use of Tretinoin and certain Retinol containing products there usually are itching, burning sensation, peeling and redness at treatment sites. This response usually lasts 2-3 weeks after which it subsides
There has been a multitude of studies to investigate the use of a delivery mechanism that allows gentle, slow release of retinol, as well as combining retinol with other ingredients that will reduce the side effects
We do now have a wide selection of cosmetic preparations with retinoids as well as pharmaceutical preparations of vitamin A to choose from.
However: Best results with the use of Retinoids are obtained as part of a medically guided skin care regime. Through proper assessment the most appropriate retinoid product can be paired with your particular skin related concern.