Magical Vitamin A
Posted on November 12 2018
Vitamin A isn't just for your eyes and bones, no ma'am. Vitamin A is also epic when topically used on your skin. You may know it by the name Retinol, retain-A or Retinoid. Yes, that same name that got a horrible rep in the 80's, is actually a magic potion for your skin, held in high esteem by dermatologists around the globe.
Why is this so magical? Imagine your skin speaks french, and you keep talking to it in Spanish. Your skin is like, I have no idea what you are saying, can't help you. Bye Bye.
But now imagine, you speak French. and you tell your skin in French, act younger.
Ah, "je comprends", your skin says! and does as it's told! That is pretty much what vitamin A can do. It communicates with your cells in a language the cells understand, and chemically get's the skin cells to behave like healthy, young skin cells.
I said it was magic, didn't I?
Vitamin A also encourages your skin to produce collagen, and helps combat free radicals that cause aging. Oh, it is also great at fighting dark spots and helping skin remain elastic. They promote cell turn over to reveal newer, fresher skin sooner, AND they can help unclog your pores helping them appear smaller. Wow, what a power house!
Now that we have established that this is magic, and you need to use it, what is a good product to use?
First let's talk about retinol vs. retinoid. In plain english your body has to convert retinol into retinoid to use it on a cellular level. Where as a retinoid is already in the form your body can use straight away. They both DO the same thing in the end, a retinol just has a few extra steps to go through.
I personally use a 3% retinoid by Peter Thomas Roth because its very mild but VERY effective and feels like silk on your skin. You can grab this at Sephora, or Ulta.
Few things to keep in mind. While the PTR 3% retinoid suggested above is relatively mild, don't use it every day to start. Retinoid's can cause your skin to purge if you rush into it, so start with 3 times a week in the evenings. IF you use a skin exfoliating acid, skip that step on the nights you use the retinoid.
If you tolerate this well, you can add days in until you are at a regimen that you like. Once your skin has adjusted you can start to use the acid and retinoid together but you want to make sure your skin has had time to adapt.
Do NOT use these products if you are pregnant or nursing ladies. Studies show this particular skin care step isn't fabulous for gestating babies or babies that nurse.
Last, use a good sunscreen. This should be a part of your routine no matter what, but especially so when using retinol or retinoid.