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Skin Perfecting with Retinol

Skin aging is a biological process consisting of chronological or intrinsic aging, which is mainly genetic, and extrinsic aging from environmental stressors. While potent Retinoids have been prescribed by physicians for anti-aging for many years, scaling and irritating side effects limit acceptance by patients.

Retinol is the less-aggressive form of prescription-strength Retinoid, and is supported by ample scientific evidence for skin thickening and improvement in fine lines. Retinol can actually improve the behavior of the skin cell, resulting in improvement of sun-damaged and breakout-prone skin—even pore size (Mukheriee, Date, Patravale, Korting, Roeder, & Weindl, 2006).

Why does the retinol found in the cosmetics world work like the prescription versions? The reason is because once it absorbs, through conversion at the cellular level, you’re getting the same active ingredient which produces the same results as the prescription form. (Mukheriee et al., 2006; Rossetti et al., 2011). Although studies have shown that a retinol formulation may require longer use over time to improve fine lines, the advantage of fewer side effects and harsh irritation, compared to the faster cousin Retinoid, makes Retinol a popular choice.

In addition, combination therapies, using retinol with other anti-aging agents, are gaining importance. One of my favorite products is Jan Marini Age Intervention® Retinol Plus. Featured on the Today Show and two-time award winning Best Anti-Aging Retinol Cream by NewBeauty Magazine, this advanced solution combines retinol, peptides and antioxidants for superior improvement in the appearance of skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage for younger, healthier looking skin.

A word of caution, women who are pregnant or plan to get pregnant should avoid using any form of vitamin A, because it may increase the risk of birth defects.

Mukherjee S, Date A, Patravale V, Korting HC, Roeder A, Weindl G. (2006). Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging. 1(4): 327–348.

Rossetti D, Kielmanowicz MG, Vigodman S, Hu YP, Chen N, Nkengne A, Oddos T, Fischer D, Seiberg M, Lin CB.(2011). A novel anti-aging mechanism for retinol: induction of dermal elastin synthesis and elastin fibre formation.International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 33(1): 62–69.