Powerful retinol

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Avatar for alladin
2 years ago

Due to the fact that the health of skin beauty is considered one of the main factors that represent the perception of "health" of people, in recent years much attention has been paid to developing strategies to combat aging, as well as developing new technologies and active substances. Various products or treatments, which are placed on the cosmetic market, accelerate keratinization, achieve collagen synthesis, active growth factors, in order to improve appearance of the skin and accelerate regeneration, and thus delay or reduce the signs of skin aging.

Among them, preparations with retinol stand out, which are in the form of serums, , night creams, masks and numerous preparations. Is it possible to use the same substance in the treatment of acne and oily and problematic skin, and at the same time to be effective in the fight against the effects of aging and care for dry and mature skin?

Retinol is one of the most well-known skin care ingredients on the cosmetic market. Vitamin A derivates (retinoids) are a set of substances that have a very important place in modern dermato-pharmacology, and some of them (adapalene, tretinoin) are the gold standards for dermatological diseases, from acne to psoriasis.

Versions of retinoids used in cosmetics are less "powerful" than those used in dermatological purposes, in the treatment of acne and other skin diseases. Retinoids used in dermo-cosmetic products are: retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinyl propionate, retinaldehyde and the provitamin form beta-carotene. However, retinol is still the strongest version of retinoids on the cosmetic market, and there are many potential ones to consider. In addition to these forms, there are retinoids registered as drugs, such as adapalene, tretinoin, (retinoic acid), acitretin, tazarotene... and which as such mustn't be found in cosmetic products, and are mostly considered high-risk drugs due to teratogenicity.

"Cosmetic" retinoids are currently the most effective evidence-based cosmetology, especially when it comes to anti-aging products, and for acne therapy.

Positive effect on collagen metabolism in the skin

Vitamin A (retinol) and its derivates (retinaldehyde and tretinol) are primary used in anti-aging products, due to their antioxidant effects, but also due to proven inhibition of enzymes that break down existing collagen, so retinol has a strong positive effect on collagen metabolism in the skin. The lipophilic nature of retinol ensures its penetration through the skin, and the possibility of achieving the intended therapeutic goals and better efficiency.

Penetrating the middle layer of the skin, retinol helps neutralize free radicals, as well as strengthen free radicals, as well as strengthen elastin and collagen. This gives him the so-called plumping effect which is reflected in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores. At the same time, retinol has an exfoliating effect on the surface of the skin, and constantly leads to exfoliation of the surface layers of the skin. In that way, retinol conditions the improvement of skin tone and texture, prevents the appearance of wrinkles, and also leads to its lighting and softening.

Thank to its exfoliating effect, retinol also has a comedolytic effect, prevents wrinkles, while stronger forms are the gold standards in acne therapy. In addition, clinical studies have proven that retinol has an effect on increasing skin hydration, so such a wide range of effects is the reason for its great popularity in skin care.

Multiple action

Retinoids have multiple mechanisms of action, and only some of them are: induction of epidermal thinning, acceleration of cell division, reduction of sebum production as well as reduction of sebaceous cell size, simulation of collagen synthesis, stimulation of keratinocyte differentiation... Retinol and its derivatives are used in cosmetics to reduce wrinkles, reduce hyperpigmentation and blemishes, to improve the appearance of photograph skin, in the treatment of acne, as well as in all indications related to wrinkles and symptoms of skin aging and to revitalize the skin in general.

However, although dermatologists and the cosmetics industry favor retinoids due to scientifically based evidence on the prevention of premature skin aging and photoaging, as well as acne, vitamin A derivatives show a high risk of skin sensitization as well as a teratogenic effect. Therefore, the use of products containing retinol and its derivatives is prohibited during pregnancy and lactation, especially if they are in higher concentrations, due to systemic absorption.

Adverse reactions to retinol

Side effects of the preparation with retinol and derivatives are redness, itching, peeling of the skin, rarely blisters, photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to sunlight). Therefore, it is recommended that retinol preparations be used for night skin care. These side effects can be temporary and often disappear after a few weeks, when the skin get used to their action. It is also advisable to apply the preparation with retinol 30 minutes after washing the face, so that the irritation is minimal for sensitive skin. Another way is the gradual introduction of the preparation, by applying it first it first every third day, then every second, and finally every day, if there is no reaction. The risk of reaction increases if there are several such preparations at the same time, so pay close attention to what you combine, especially if you have combination and mature skin, because retinol found is found in a large number of preparations for this type of skin care. Also, the use of preparations with fruit acids should be avoided while using retinol, because this combination can also cause skin reactions. The effectiveness of these preparations depends on the concentration of retinol in them, so you should always consult an expert when choosing them.

Use in the long run

There isn't right time to use a preparation with retinol. Experts advice that their use can be started as the middle of the twenties, especially in people who have blemishes or are prone to hyperpigmentation. It is best to start using preparations with retinyl palmitate or retinol, and use them for three months. The reason for this that clinical research suggests that retinol-induced cell renewal is maximal for three months, and doesn't increase thereafter.

This applies in general to all preparations with retinol, and unlike hyaluronic acid, the visible effects of their action take a little longer, at least a few weeks. That is why they are preparations that are used in the long run. Whether you have young or mature skin, oily or dry, you can always find the right retinol product for yourself.

It is important to use a moisturizer with a such a preparation, because it dries the skin, or if you have mature and dry skin, such a preparation also contain hyaluronic acid, ceramides or some vegetable butter (shea butter) for maximum effects.

And finally, what we emphasize all year round - protection from UV radiation. If you use preparations with retinol, UV protection is necessary throughout the day, because retinol can cause serious skin irritations in the sun.

Literature and images: Lily magazine, winter 2020/21, page 50

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Avatar for alladin
2 years ago


Very useful text about retinol, for skin care. My personal choices have always been baby creams, for skin care, because they are mild and cannot cause side effects.

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2 years ago

Thank you for your response, my friend. That is good choice. You take care about your health and renew your skin on very good way. I want to say Merry Christmas to you and your family. Celebrate in peace and family warm and oak's tree fire. I wish you all the best!

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2 years ago