What is the deal with retinol and why is everyone obsessed with it? The first thing you should know is that it is derived from Vitamin A which your body produces naturally and is found in food sources. Swiss chemist Paul Karrer was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his works in isolating and describing Vitamin A along with other vitamins. Retinol used topically to treat the skin increases your body's ability to produce collagen, a building block protein found in the skin and other tissue.
Retinoids (classes of vitamin A) are incredible little molecules that speed up cell turnover. Cell turnover is the process by which our skin produces new skin cells which travel from the lowest layer of the epidermis to the top layer and then shed off the skin. This is what keeps dead cells from building up on the skins surface (Annalotan-usa.com). Aging slows this process down, so the older you get the older your skin appears because of the number of layers of dead skins cells at the outermost layer of you skin. Using retinoids with time increases cell renewal rate. That means that your skin's appearance over time improves. There is a noticeable reduction in finalizes and wrinkles, sun damage, dark spots and clarity.
Protecting your skin against free-radical damage is another benefit of topical retinoids. What exactly are free-radicals?
- The body is under constant attack from oxidative stress. Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons. Electrons like to be in pairs, so these atoms, called free radicals, scavenge the body to seek out other electrons so they can become a pair. This causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA.(livescience.com)
Use with caution as retinoids may increase sensitivity and always no matter what use sunscreen. If you are taking a daily supplement that contains Vitamin A and you are also using a retinoid, this could increase your risk of high level Vitamin A in your blood (mayoclinic.org) and could be potentially harmful. And as always please consult your physician before starting a new regimen.