Retinoids are a group of active ingredients derived from Vitamin A. There are a number of different types of retinoids found in skin care products including retinyl palmitate, retinol and tretinoin (retinoic acid). Retinoic acid is the active form of Vitamin A derivatives and all other forms including retinol and retinyl palmitate must be converted to retinoic acid before they can deliver any skin beneficial effects.
Retinoids are known as cell communicating agents because they encourage skin cells to communicate and function normally. This is a process than is often disrupted during the aging process. When retinoids help skin to function normally, skin derives a number of benefits including:
- An increase in new skin cells due to an increase in cell turnover at the top layer of skin. Skin looks brighter and smoother
- Smoother, plumper skin due to an increase in collagen production
- A reduction in pore size because they can penetrate oil glands and help to unclog pores
- A reduction in skin pigmentation associated with sun damage or other hyperpigmentation disorders such as Melasma
- Protection against free radical damage due to its antioxidant action.
Retinoids are an integral part of any anti aging skin care regimen because their regular use results in skin that is tighter, smoother, brighter and blemish free.
In order to be effective retinoids must be delivered in adequate concentration. You can obtain a product containing tretinoin (retinoic acid) with a prescription from your physician. At prescription strength concentrations, these products will deliver skin benefits. While prescription retinoids are highly effective, they can also cause a great deal of skin irritation in many individuals. If this is the case, then a non-prescription alternative containing retinol or retinyl palmitate is a good option.
If you opt for a non-prescription retinol skin care product, look for one that is packaged to protect it from air and light. Retinoids are sensitive to both and break down quickly if exposed. As well, ensure that your product contains adequate concentration of retinol to deliver skin benefits. If the concentration isn’t listed or retinol is listed towards the end of the ingredient list, chances are that you aren’t getting much active ingredient. A product like Green Cream is available in 3 different concentrations to suit all skin types, and it is packaged appropriately.
If you are concerned with sun damage, pigmentation disorders, wrinkles, fine lines or acne, consider adding a retinoid to your routine. Younger looking, smoother and more luminous skin are the potential rewards.