Rethinking Retinoids: A New Approach to Skincare's No. 1 Anti-Aging Ingredient

Vitamin A has been scientifically proven to turn back the clock by decreasing the look of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, acne, as well as helping to decrease the loss of elasticity. Choosing the best type of Vitamin A is key.  Retinol (Vitamin A) and its natural and synthetic derivatives are collectively known as retinoids. Retinaldehyde (aka retinal), retinoic acid and retinyl esters are all part of the retinoid family. Retinoids are the most efficacious ingredients proven to stimulate fibroblasts cells that aid in maintaining the integrity of the skin matrix and promoting collagen thus significantly reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Retinol and its derivatives remain the closest thing skincare companies have to a “fountain of youth,” however they're not without its weaknesses. Retinols degrade rapidly in light and oxygen and cause irritation in large doses.
Of all the members of the retinoid family, only retinoic acid is biologically active. This means a retinol has to be converted to retinoic acid before it can do its magic on the skin cells. This is the most aggressive form of Vitamin A and is typically found in prescription strength formulations. Because retinols can cause severe side effects such as redness, peeling and sun sensitivity for many, products with additives such as mineral oil or alcohol may exacerbate the very skin conditions you're trying to treat.
A less irritable form of Vitamin A or retinol, is the most common form of retinoid in skin care. It can be obtained from certain foods, such as fish oil and liver, or indirectly from fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, melons, apricots, mangos, spinach and tomatoes. With the help of enzymes, it is then converted to retinal to penetrate the skin. To be effective, retinal is then converted into retinoic acid for cell delivery. Retinol is equally as effective as retinoic acid, but with minimized side effects. Retinol's counterpart, retinol ester, is also widely used but can be less effective because it must be converted into retinol first. COSMEDIX has developed a proprietary chirally-corrected complex that takes vitamin A to the next level. By rethinking retinoids, science comes ever closer to creating a true skin care miracle.

Retinol and L-Lactic Acid

The skin is the body's largest organ and its first line of defense from free radicals. This complex and fragile system needs protection from harmful environmental aggressors, such as UV radiation, toxic substances and oxidation. Being a very active organ, it is also the first to suffer from these aggressions, as seen in the formation of wrinkles, loss of elasticity and even in extreme instances€“ skin cancer.
Retinol and its derivatives are essential in the fighting of free radicals and maintaining the skin's healthy look. Retinol can work with chirally-correct L-lactic acid to stimulate change in the skin without irritation, making it an ideal choice for all skin types and conditions. This natural exfoliant is used in many of COSMEDIX's nourishing, anti-aging skin care products.

Getting the Best from Retinoids

Chemists have also found that combining retinol (or even more active retinal) with certain lipoproteins, glycoproteins, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and other natural plant-based amphiphilic compounds can help overcome the challenge of permeating both water and oil-based cellular barriers as well as the challenge of problematic irritation. In this case, multiple water and lipid-soluble layers act as alternating keys, each allowing the transported ingredient the retinoid to pass deeper into the skin with less irritation. By minimizing irritation, retinoid concentrations can increase. Combining retinoids with intelligent encapsulation has helped to create a new generation of retinoid that's more effective and gentler than ever before.