KNOW YOUR VITAMIN A
VITAMIN A restores your skin, reduces breakouts, prevents future damage, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, giving skin a healthy and youthful glow.
There are so many different forms of Vitamin A derivatives. Which one to choose?
There are a variety of Vitamin A derivatives that are used in skin care which are: retinyl palmitate, retinol and retinaldahyde.
They differ in their strength and effectiveness but also in the way they are converted into retinoic Acid (which is the only form of Vitamin A your body absorbs)
Retinoids – Available with a valid script by term of tretinoin or by brand names such as retin-A / Retrieve. It is accepted directly into the skin cell without any conversion, which makes it a highly effective ingredient for the treatment of lines, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and acne. But it can be very irritating to the skin.
Redness, irritation and peeling of the skin are often experienced.
It is always advisable to use it in slow increments over few days and the reaction usually settles down.
Retinol – Is a good over the counter alternative to Pure Vitamin A. Retinol is converted in skin by a two step process but is still very effectve.
It is very well tolerated with some mild irritation initially, which usually subsides once the skin becomes accustomed. This is a great for long-term use.
Retinyl Palmitate – Is the Least effective of all the derivatives. This is a combination of retinol and palmitic acid, which takes a long path for converting to retinoic acid. This looses lot of effectivenes. You also need a high concentration of retinyl palmitate for it to be significantly effective. Be wary most skin care brands who use retinyl palmitate as their sole source of vitamin A, rarely put enough in the cream or serum. Note, unless retinyl palmitate is combined with other derivatives of vitamin A, then just adding it to the list of ingredients is inadequate if it appears so far down the list as to render it almost useless.
Retinaldehyde – Last but not the least, this is an important and potent form of Vitamin A as it requires minimal conversion and causes very little if any irritation to the skin. It only requires a one step conversion and is the closest to retinoic acid without all the irritating side effects or need for a prescription.
Note of where it appears in the ingredient list. For retinaldahyde to be effective it needs to be in a concentration of 0.05% to 0.1% which is equivalent to a 0.025% tretinoin topical cream.
Unfortunately retinaldehyde is an expensive ingredient so you will probably find most skin care formulations will be on the high-end in price (unless they’ve only included the tiniest amount) in which case it would not be as effective and a waste of money.
DR SQ contains more than 0.5% Retinaldehyde in it's active serums.