Retinol, otherwise known as Vitamin A, is an essential antioxidant recognized as one of the most effective vitamins for anti-aging treatment as it improves the appearance of skin elasticity, smoothness, softness, resulting in younger, clearer and healthier looking skin.
Retinol also improves visible signs of photo ageing (meaning sun damage), enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone. It also has the ability to support collagen production, maintain the skin matrix and thus prevent the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
We use microencapsuled Retinol which provides advanced stabilization and penetration technology. The retinol is incorporated inside tiny microspheres which protect it from oxidation and thus significantly prolongs its shelf life when compared to free retinol. The retinol is released from within the microsphere upon application which has also shown to reduce any irritation associated with retinol use.
Retinol vs Retinyl palminate, guess who wins?
Retinol is superior to other forms of Vitamin A commonly found in cosmeceuticals such as retinyl palmitate. Retinyl palmitate has not been found to be biologically active in the skin (J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 39[2, pt. 3]:S2-7,1998).
To be converted to retinol, retinyl palmitate requires cleavage of its ester bond and then conversion to retinoic acid in order to exert an activity when applied topically. (For the non-Dermatoligists amongst us, this basically means it has to go undergo a complex process in order for you to get benefits that real Retinol just doesn’t have to do.) Many products which claim to contain 1% Retinol actually contain 1% Retinyl palmitate. When you remove the palmitate part only 0.54% is actually retinol but this also assumes 100% conversion of the palmitate ester into retinol. In reality you will never get anywhere near 100% conversion so in fact you are actually only getting a fraction of 0.5% retinol.
Many products that claim to contain retinol actually contain retinyl palmitate so make sure you read the label.
Issues with Retinol
The main problem with retinol use is that it can cause irritation in some people and is reasonably unstable so has a limited shelf life.
These issues have been overcome by using microencapsulated retinol which protect it from oxidation and reduce irritation.
In addition we also add a combination of natural soothing agents to minimize any associated irritation however we still recommend to gradually increase to nightly application as tolerated to avoid any problems. Our Rejuvenate Night Cream and A Plus Cream both contain microspherical retinol. Start with the former product which has a lower strength retinol and once you skin can tolerate it you can increase to the high strength A Plus cream if desired.