What Vitamin is Responsible for Regenerating the Skin?
There is a vitamin that plays a significant role in our body’s gene transcription, immune function, bone growth, antioxidant activity, and even enables our retina to process low-light and color vision. I guess you could say this is a fairly important vitamin. So what is it?
It’s vitamin A, and it does one other important thing – helps reverse skin damage and signs of aging. You might more commonly know it – as it relates to skin care – as retinol.
What It Is
Some reports link the discovery of vitamin A to research conducted in 1906 that found compounds other than carbohydrates, proteins and fats were necessary to keeping cattle healthy. In 1917 researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Yale University discovered a vitamin A substance.
Ten years later vitamin A was being used to treat certain skin diseases. By the 1970s science in skin care brought about the use of retinoic acid, a metabolite of vitamin A, to reverse the signs of aging. This came after researchers Kligman and Fulton, who had originally developed it to treat acne, discovered its benefits on aging skin.
How It Works
The most common forms of vitamin A are retinols, which also include retinal, retinoic acid and retinyl ester. Retinols in general are the animal form of vitamin A – these can be converted to retinoic acid by the skin. Once it undergoes this conversion, the magic happens.
The chemical compounds retinal, retinoic acid and retinyl ester are collectively referred to as retinoids, and are effective in treating acne and aging skin. With acne it helps prevent build-up in the pores to prevent breakouts and drain any existing acne.
For aging skin retinoids are used as anti-aging chemicals where vitamin A is absorbed through the skin, increasing the rate of cell turnover and collagen production, which reduces the visual signs of aging. Retinol also stimulates the new growth of tiny blood vessels, which improves circulation and increases the oxygen supply to the skin.
Where to Find It
In food sources vitamin A can be found in meat sources, dandelion greens, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, and pumpkin, to name a few.
In skin care products vitamin A can be found in varying strengths typically labeled as retinol, retinyl palmitate or vitamin A palmitate. We use it in our Wrinkle Diminsher and Radical Redux to resurface the skin, regenerate cells, and reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. One word of caution however, when using any form of vitamin A either use them at night or be sure you stay out of the sun and use a good sun block. Vitamin A and UV rays are not a good mix – the combo has been shown to increase the sun’s damaging effects