Being a Skincare enthusiast, it is our passion to study what the most successful dermatologists are prescribing as anti-aging and anti-pigmentation in their creams (own label or commercial label) and what is that one ‘magical cream’ which they simply adjust the strength to achieve the desired results.
Based on my Skincare paparazzi moves and subjecting myself as to be the guinea pig (happily though), I found one hot favorite ingredient in these prescribed creams.
It is none other than Vitamin A. In this article, we dive deep into what makes Vitamin A the ‘new black’ for the skincare industry.
What is Vitamin A?
Retinoids work at a much more profound level by affecting gene expression and causing enhanced collagen production, anti-aging skin smoothing, and evening out of pigmentation.
All these R cream (whether retinoid, retinoic acid works the same). In prescription formula, doctors dish out the real thing, retinoic acid of different strength. In non prescription alternatives, it need to be converted into retinoic acid by the skin at the cellular level.
Wow!, if this ‘magical ingredient’ is so universal, why don’t the most manufacturers simply create 1 miracle cream instead of spending so much effort harnessing the rarest of minerals from deep sea and press tonnes of nuts, flowers, truffles just to get a fraction of the essential oil? The caveat is …
What to look out for?
Irritation does flare up after adding vitamin A to your regimen and it is “all part of the process,” It is believed that after two or three weeks, the skin cells adapt to the retinoic acid and begin to tolerate the ingredient. The skin may appear reasonably flushed, drier-than-usual, lightly peeling skin. If the discomfort is prolonged or very uncomfortable, use it once a week or switch to a weaker formula.
Do I still continue if there is sensitivity?
There’s often peeling and redness, but that’s a side effect of the irritation—not true exfoliation, like the one you get from an ingredient like glycolic acid. The peeling is certainly not why people start looking better. In fact, it’s why most people give it up.
How fast will it show effect?
According to Gary Fisher, a professor of dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical School. “Many over-the-counter formulas claim you’ll see results within weeks,” says Fisher. “But in my experience, it takes an average of 12 weeks for retinoic acid to produce noticeable changes in the skin—so stick with it for at least that long to see the benefits.
And yes, we believe it is good to use Vitamin A as a Booster to reap its benefits (though it is believed it can be use for good esp, in women above 45 years of age). Of course, besides topical cream application, a healthy skincare routine and balanced lifestyle with lots of anti-oxidant, good oil and protein source in the diet will help keep us in optimum state.
This article as part of the Skin Care Singapore series.