Vitamin A is hands down one of the most effective ingredients for targeting multiple skin concerns. From acne to wrinkles, from acne marks to dull skin, there is no skincare ingredient in the world of skincare that is more lauded.
So, what exactly is vitamin A??
Retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinoids, retinoic acid esters all actually are different derivates of vitamin A, which plays an important role in boosting up the cellular turnover of your skin i.e., the rate at which your skin sheds dead skin cells. All though the process isn’t as dramatic, human beings actually shed more dead skin cells than snakes. An average cycle is somewhere between 2-4 weeks and with age this keeps increasing, Now here comes the role of vitamin A, if your skin sheds dead skin cells every 30 days then regular use of vitamin A will bring it down to somewhere around 18- 21 days, therefore giving you a skin that is healthier and younger looking.
This exfoliation of dead skin cells or corneocytes is a good thing not only because it will work to improve your overall complexion but also because this process sends signal to the basal layer of our skin to produce more new living skin cells.
This in turn will make your skin healthier and will actually thicken your skin in the long run. Another key thing to remember here is that vitamin A only removes your dead skin cells and not your living cells so please do your own reach and don’t believe these fear mongering claims telling you that vitamin a thins your skin.
Key benefits of vitamin A;
It can protect your skin against free radical damage and slows signs of
aging- Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant and they are great for protecting your skin against free radicals by neutralizing them before they damage your collagen. They prevent your skin from sagging and enhance its elasticity.
It increases cellular turnover – Retinol is important for healthy cell production and their growth. They also stimulate the production of fibroblasts (the cells that plays an important role for developing skin tissues) and keeps your skin healthy.
It protects your skin against infections- Your skin acts as a wall against the outside pollutants and bacteria and by enhancing cell production, retinol can help strengthen the skin barrier which in turn protects your skin against harmful bacteria and irritants that attacks the surface.
It helps with clearing acne- Clogged pores results in acne. Now when you apply Vitamin A, it increases cellular turnover, slowing the sebum production of your skin and keeping the pores clear. It also prevents the cells from become overactive and calms inflammation. It soothes wrinkles, evens out your skin tone and gives you a glowing skin- By normalizing cell production they help your skin to shed off damaged, pigmented and rough cells therefore, allowing more space for healthier cells to grow. They also inhibit melanin producing enzyme and lead to a more even skin tone. They also encourage collagen production which in turns fills in fine lines below the skin surface so that your skin looks smoother.
How does vitamin A work??
Now no matter what type of Vitamin A you choose, our skin can only recognise the active form of Vitamin A and i.e. Retinoic acid. This is the actually ingredient that is responsible for bringing about all the positive changes in our skin.
Though pure retinoic is very effective, but it is equally irritating for your skin. Redness, dryness, flakiness, sensitivity are few common reactions that you might experience if you are using pure retinoic acid for the first time and your skin is not used to it. You might even experience purging if your skin is prone to acne because vitamin A will push the trapped acne bacteria to the surface. This period of adjustment takes up to 3-4 weeks and you skin starts to get better after that.
Even then sometimes people can’t tolerate pure retinoic acid and it is
always advisable to start with different derivatives of vitamin A The different derivatives of vitamin A has to go through multiple conversions to reach the final stage i.e. retinoic acid. Keep in mind that there is some loss in potency at each conversion stage.
Retinol takes three steps to get to retinoic acid therefore losing potency at each stage. However, Granactive retinoid is a cosmetic grade ester of all-trans retinoic acid. This is a new generation of retinoid esters that binds directly to retinoid receptors. Performance wise it is very similar to pure retinoic acid minus the irritation. In fact it is also less irritating than retinol.
Granactive retinoid uses an advanced mechanism as compared to other retinol derivates which enables them to skip several enzymatic process to be metabolized to an active form. It is unique in the sense that it has innate retinoic activity facilitating their binding process with the retinoid receptors without any need for the them to be converted into an active form first (therefore maximizing efficiency). Granactive retinoids have also been tested to be less irritating and
more gentle than other vitamin a derivatives, therefore making them an excellent option even for sensitive skin types.
FINAL THOUGHTS - Granactive retinoid has definitely been a revolutionary invention in the world of actives , making vitamin A available to a section a population that can’t tolerate stronger derivatives, along with increasing the stability of the vitamin A formulations. However, before starting your vitamin A journey, keep in mind your individual skin type and always member less is more when it comes to skincare actives.