The ABC’s of Skincare: Vitamin A
It’s nearly impossible to talk to any skincare enthusiast or professional who isn’t obsessed with vitamin A in some form. And trust me when I say that it’s for good reason! Vitamin A, also known as Retinoid, is an incredibly powerful organic compound that combats what seems like every skincare need and condition!
Vitamin A, in essence, is an active ingredient that increases the speed at which your skin sheds its dead cells to reproduce new ones. While the skin, without coaxing, typically sheds its surface layer of dead cells every 30 days or so, the regular use of Retinoid, or vitamin A, can quicken your cells’ turnover rate to roughly 14-21 days.
Even if with only a peripheral interest in skincare, you have, without a doubt, heard of Retinol, the anti-aging, acne-busting secret to so many people’s skincare routines! So, what is it? Let’s talk one of skincare’s most buzzing ingredients!
What is Vitamin A and What Does it Do?
Vitamin A retinoid, they are one and the same, but Retinoid chemically subsists broadly of two sub-components: Retin-A and Retinol, both of which you can easily find in many skincare products, or be prescribed for at high concentrations by your dermatologist. These organic compounds do naturally occur in the body, helping to support immunity, tissue repair and more, so it’s no wonder that it can perform miracles when applied topically, directly to the skin.
Essentially, Retinoid takes layers off the skin’s surface while fortifying and densifying the sub-layers of skin. Try to envision wrinkled silk draped over a deflated balloon. If we were to inflate that balloon, the silk would regain a flatter, firmer look, losing its wrinkled, crumpled appearance. In addition, this process also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. This is why so many estheticians, dermatologists and skincare enthusiasts swear by vitamin A and its cohorts for its incredible anti-aging benefits.
But this is a product that requires consistency and patience. The skin can only absorb, respond to and process vitamin A in the form of Retinoic Acid, also known as Tretinoin, and it takes regular applications of vitamin A for a minimum of two weeks before your body begins converting the compound to its absorbable form. It could also be a few months of consistent, regular usage before you begin seeing tangible results, because the processes that Retinoid enhances fundamentally restructures and reprograms the way your skin functions.
Why Are We Obsessed?
Plumping your skin’s appearance would be enough, right? Not for vitamin A, which seems to have a never-ending and remarkably varied list of skin benefits! Often used to fight acne, vitamin A normalizes oil production, mitigating the over production of your skin’s acne-causing oils, while killing P. acnes, otherwise known as acne causing and spreading bacteria. It has also been shown to decrease skin inflammation.
Impressively, vitamin A is a powerhouse when it comes to unclogging pores while shrinking them for less visibility. And because of its rapid, increased shedding, it has shown astounding results for skin re-surfacing and eliminating dry, rough textures. Retinoid is an esthetician’s go-to where working toward a smooth, soft and even texture is concerned!
And last, but certainly not least, vitamin A does an incredible job regulating any issues of skin pigmentation, from sunspots to acne scarring to hyperpigmentation, vitamin A has proven its proficiency in evening skin tone! Not to mention, because of always having a fresh, youthful surface layer of skin (due to the constant shedding and rapid turnover rate), vitamin A will give you a perpetual glow, so say goodbye to dull and tired skin forever.
But Let’s Not Get Ahead of Ourselves!
But remember, too much of anything can be detrimental to the health of your skin. Over application of vitamin A can inflame dryness, irritation and sensitivity, and if you already have a skin condition that causes these things, like eczema and rosacea, it’s important that you introduce your skin to vitamin A products slowly, and I would highly suggest speaking with your dermatologist before making that decision. Those with skin prone to sensitivity alone should integrate vitamin A into their regimens gently and slowly with an awareness of the potency and strength of their products.
If you do begin or are already using vitamin A in your skincare routine regularly, make sure to always apply an SPF daily. Because the surface layer of your skin is being constantly shed with vitamin A, you become much more susceptible and sensitive to UV light and damage, and its crucial for the health and vitality of your skin that you prepare for this increased sensitivity!
Basically, vitamin A does everything, tremendously. Its ability to regulate all things concerned with skin health and appearance continues to amaze skincare enthusiasts and professionals alike. With safe usage, vitamin can alter your skin forever! Maybe it’s time to start considering it for your routine!