Hi there, my geeks4beauty!!!
I have been asked numerous times to cover ingredients that really work to address aging skin. So I thought I could start by featuring one world class ingredient with a proven track record of success for overall age management, once a month. If you have specific questions, you can always shoot me an email!
(glossary of ingredients is coming along, but SLOWLY as I do have to earn my living…lol)
I will cover the science, and what products are using this active ingredient. Sound Good???
Most notable ingredient for age management is Vitamin A.
RESULTS DON’T LIE!
Vitamin A has a 30+ year history of being effective in improving cell turnover, reducing the appearance of spots and lesions and stimulating collagen (one of the main proteins in the skin that gives it its volume, youthful appearance), reducing the appearance of dark spots, age spots, fine and deep lines and wrinkles alike. It was originally discovered to have these properties by Dr. James A. Fulton, during acne treatment trials and in 1969 he co-develops Vitamin A acid for topical treatment of acne with Dr. Albert Kligman and Dr. Gerd Plewig. Formulation subsequently purchased by Johnson & Johnson and marketed as Retin A®. Then in the 80’s, it was beginning to be used “off-label” for the treatment of aging skin. A star was born!
Retin A® is considered the gold standard in topical age management by top dermatologists worldwide.
Vitamin A is a form of Retinoic Acid that has been shown to maintain normal skin health by switching on genes and differentiating keratinocytes (lower layer skin cells) into mature epidermal cells (uppermost layer skin cells). This means faster cell turnover which is what younger skin does without help.
Vitamin A comes in many forms- prescription as in Retin A®, and over the counter forms such as retinol, retinol palmitate, retinaldehyde. However, they all convert back to Retinoic Acid.
In the Rx form, it is dispensed in strengths from .025 to 1%. When using this stronger form, please note that it is also a more unstable form and can lose/change strength when not stored properly (ALL your cosmetics, skin care should NEVER by stored in your bathroom with shower- heat and moisture greatly affect your products chemistry; I use a tote to bring in my skincare and a separate one for my color cosmetics and keep them in my tiny linen closet- one day I’ll take a pic of my beauty regimen/loot and post). It also can have some minor side effects which will all subside with continued use. Side effects can be but are not limited to dry, scaly, peeling skin on areas of application, cracked skin at corners of mouth and eyes (AVOID EYE AREA, as this delicate tissue is already thinner than the rest of your beautiful face) and are NORMAL as your skin responds to the stimulation. Trust me (my skin is CRAZY sensitive) this will subside, unless you have an allergy- if you have a strange reaction- hives, bumpy red itchy texture- CEASE AND DESIST use, then go see your Doctor/Dermatologist ASAP.
The results can be astounding- softer,more even toned skin. Firm, youthful plumpness. Radiance- who don’t want more radiance???!!!??? Especially, after 40… glow on girls, glow on!
Other benefits are reduction in blackheads, skin congestion and acne breakouts- so if your one of my geeks struggling with adult onset acne- knock off 2 things on the “look your best” list- acne and aging!
Retinol, retinol palmitate, retinaldehyde- are all stabilized forms of Vitamin A, and they work the same way, just with less irritation and side effects and slower results in my opinion.
If you are looking for efficient results- I recommend seeing your dermatologist and discussing starting out on the lowest dosage (.025%) of Retin A® and use as directed. I also do NOT recommend starting in late spring/early summer as Vitamin A and its derivatives can make your skin more sensitive to the sun and UV rays (A,B, and C). This can result in damage to your skin- deeper sun burns and irritation can lead to pigmentation disorders and deeper fine lines and wrinkles – the opposite of our youthful pursuit!
I start the day after Christmas (winter regimen is all about deep hydration as I am inclined to eczema flare ups then) and off by late March. I then switch to ingredients that boost the skin’s ability to protect it from the sun (vitamin c, pomegranate extract, etc- more to follow on these ingredients in future posts), during the summer months, then back to deep hydration for fall/winter. Spring cleaning always includes Retin A® in my spring regimen. As I am aging, I have found that I can start at a higher dosage (please, consult your derm), and acclimate to it faster if I am diligent with keeping my skin well moisturized. I usually am, but sometimes I fall off the wagon- hydration wagon that is!
OTC forms I LOVE that are both effective, reasonably priced, can be found at cvs.com, dermstore.com and in stores where available: see slideshow below