Dhav Naidu says not all things are created equal.

Not all things are created equal

10:22:AM 12/04/2013
Dhav Naidu

It all started in 1913, when scientists Elmer Verner McCollum and Marguerite Davis discovered the chemical vitamin A while studying rats. In the late 1960s, Dr Albert Kligman, a dermatologist, started testing a vitamin A derivative called tretinoin. By 1973 Kligman patented his formula as Retina-A, a topical cream that was approved in America for the treatment of acne. But when patients started using the prescription cream they found that their fine lines were fading along with their breakouts. Kligman ran further trials and supported their findings and within 12 years secured several sets of patents that extended the use of vitamin A derivatives beyond the scope of acne. This started a huge race for effective science-backed professional skincare. Fast forward and the beauty industry still cannot get enough of this miracle ingredient. Vitamin A, or retinol, as it is popularly known in the beauty world, is still the only independently researched and widely trialled ingredient that is effective in reducing wrinkles. The term retinoid refers to any vitamin A-based molecule, similar to an antibiotic. Its efficacy depends on its dosage and strength. All forms of retinoid have similar but not identical efficacy but provide amazing benefits for the skin. Boston dermatologist Dr Jeffrey Dover says "retinoids are truly the gold standard when it comes to knocking years off your skin's virtual age because they reverse and prevent the signs of ageing''. He says that "when applied regularly, the retinoids helps shed the cells of the outer skin layer [epidermis] replacing them with plumper, healthier, better arranged cells. Underneath the surface, in the second layer of skin, the retinoid normalises blood vessels and stimulates the production of new collagen, fibres and hyaluronic acid." Dr Leslie Baumann, director of the Baumann Cosmetic and Research Institute in Miami, says "wrinkles are caused by changes in the lower layer of the skin or dermis. Unfortunately, many skincare ingredients cannot penetrate far enough into the dermis to affect dermis ... Many studies have shown that retinoids can affect wrinkles."
Over the counter products to try ... SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 (30ml, $115.50) is the most potent over-the-counter product on the market with 1 per cent pure retinol. 1800 242 011 Medik8 Retinol 3 TR With 0.3 per cent retinol, this is a mild but effective night serum. 1800 242 011 REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate (30ml, $92) the vitamin A derivative in this product is 100 per cent natural. www.meccacosmetica.com.au Philosophy Help Me Retinol Night Treatment (30g, $65). Selected David Jones, 1800 812 663 RoC Retin - Ox Wrinkle Correxion Regenerating Night Cream (40ml, $54). 1800 774 590 Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion (50ml, $52) www.meccacosmetica.com Neutrogena Ageless Intensive Deep Wrinkle Serum (29ml, $30) www.neutrogena.com.au Aspect Retinol Brulee (30ml, $118.80) This product is free from parabens, mineral oils, petrolatum, propylene glycol and artificial fragrance. www.advanceskintecnology.com.au
Over-the-counter retinoids include ... Retinyl palmitate is the version of vitamin A you typically see in over-the-counter products. Retinol is less aggressive than retinoic acid. Found in over-the-counter products and professional ranges. Retinyl propionate or vitamin A propionate unlike retinyl palmitate, this is a small enough molecule to penetrate into the dermis (second layer of skin.) It promotes healthy collagen and inhibits scarring. Retinaldehyde popularly known as retinal and is the cool kid in the skincare world. Research shows that it tackles sun-damaged skin, broken capillaries and premature aging well. What to take note ... Vitamin A products can be irritating and/or sensitive - always patch test. Retinoid creams make skin sensitive to sun; the best time to apply a retinoid cream is just before bed, at least five to 10 minutes after cleansing and drying your face. If using during the day, load up on sunscreen. Retinoids come in various concentrations. The strongest is not necessarily most effective. It depends on skin type and concerns - speak to a professional. If you are using retinoids for the first time, use your product every other night, gradually building up your skin's strength. Keep creams away from sun and light and buy only products in opaque containers - no jars. Count on at least 12 weeks to see any improvements AHAs and benzoyl peroxide may make retinoids inactive, so don't layer them. Waxing can cause excess redness on retinoid-treated skin; avoid using retinoid creams for several days. Not all vitamin A products are created equal. Read ingredients lists, research further and/or speak to a medical professional. Retinoic acid or tretinoin is the most potent form of vitamin A, found only in prescription creams such as Retina-A. Vitamin A Reduces wrinkles and fine lines Increases production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid Normalises blood flow and helps reduce symptoms of rosacea Smoothes, tones and evens out skin tone and texture Exfoliates the epidermis Decreases enlarged pores Stimulates skin repair Improves hydration Promotes a healthy cellular membrane Diminishes acne Win! To win a beauty stash worth $500, CLICK HERE and post a comment on what other products/ingredients you think help skin health.

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