Retinoids are a class of compounds containing Vitamin A. They have been studied in countless clinical studies and are the most effective cosmeceutical active ingredients against photoaging.
Retinoids have various benefits as they act as antioxidants, boost collagen production in the dermis, increase epidermal cell renewal, and regulate hyperpigmentation. They have shown dramatic improvements in fine lines and wrinkles, the appearance of age spots, and overall skin thickness. As retinoids have skin normalising and antibacterial properties, they are also great actives for those suffering with acne and acne scarring.
Vitamin A is a well-studied and widely used cosmeceutical active ingredient with powerful anti-aging effects.
A compound that contains vitamin A (retinol) is classified as a retinoid. This can include synthetic or natural molecules. Some examples of retinoids include retinyl esters, retinol, retinaldehyde (retinal), and retinoic acid.
Retinoids are lipophilic molecules that can penetrate the skin barrier well. They can also pass-through biological membranes (lipid-based) and get into cells to reach their target. Inside cells, retinoids bind to retinoic acid receptors where they influence gene expression, cellular processes, and cell division.
Retinoic Acid is the biologically active form of Vitamin A that can bind Retinoic Acid Receptors. This means that other Retinoids must be converted into Retinoic Acid once inside the skin or body in order to act. Retinyl Esters are converted to Retinol in the body. From here, Retinol is converted into Retinaldehyde, then Retinoic acid.
Retinoids are naturally found in the skin, where most exist as Retinol and Retinyl Esters. Retinoids have powerful anti-aging benefits against photoaging. This is because Retinoids stimulate epidermal cell renewal, inhibit UV-mediated destruction of collagen (the extracellular matrix), regulate melanocyte function, and act as an antioxidant. Retinoids show significant improvements in fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, and skin thickness.
Retinoids are also effective in treating acne. This is because they have antibacterial properties against acne bacteria and boost cellular renewal.
1. Sorg O, Antille C, Kaya G, Saurat J. Retinoids in Cosmeceuticals. Dermatologic Therapy. 2006;19(5):289-296.
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