Retinol is one of the hottest skin care ingredients in the beauty industry. Derived from vitamin A, retinol has primarily been used as a topical ingredient but is starting to trend as a popular ingredient in skin care ingestibles. But does it actually work when taken as a supplement?
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent and reverse free radical damage from environmental aggressors. Not produced in the body, vitamin A is an essential nutrient needed for the optimal growth and functioning of many parts of the body including the eyes, immune system, reproductive system and you guessed it – the skin!
There are two types of vitamin A. Preformed vitamin A – or retinoids – which are found in animal products like organ meats, fish, eggs and dairy products and Provitamin A – or carotenoids – which are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. The liver converts both types to retinol but the provitamin A takes a lot more work, requiring six times the amount to convert to one unit of retinol.
Vitamin A assists in promoting and maintaining a healthy dermis and epidermis (the top two layers of our skin!) When it comes to the skin, retinoids like retinol promote skin cell turnover. They help improve overall skin tone and texture, making it more even overall while lightening hyperpigmentation, sunspots and age spots. They also boost the production of collagen and elastin, which helps improve skin elasticity and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, they help increase oxygenation and circulation which helps in the removal of toxins at the skin’s surface. Vitamin A and its byproduct, retinol, lead to clearer, smoother, plumper skin with a healthy glow.
When used as a topical, retinol goes deep into the dermis, the middle layer of the skin, and neutralize free radicals which in turn helps boost the production of elastin and collagen, creating a plumping effect that can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, it can be harsh on the skin, causing dry and irritated skin and even weaken the skin barrier.
The reason topical retinol causes irritation is because the skin is metabolizing the ingredient and converting it into retinoic acid. When you consume retinol through ingestible sources, the body is actually metabolizing the retinol and converting it into retinoic acid – not the skin - which means there are fewer side effects to the skin and no damage to the skin barrier.
The body doesn’t produce vitamin A but it can be found in many foods. And while the body is also able to convert some carotenoids, like beta-carotene, into vitamin A, it takes a lot of fruit and vegetables to get to a single unit of retinol. Another way to get vitamin A is through supplements. Most commonly used for treating a vitamin A deficiency, supplements are also used for aging skin, acne and many other conditions like cataracts and infections.
Vitamin A is a key ingredient in Afterglo Gummeceuticals, as Retinyl Acetate, a preformed vitamin A. In Afterglo, this skin loving vitamin helps support the skin’s immune system, hydrate the skin and give the skin a radiant glow.