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Vitamin A - our anti-ageing Super Hero!

If you haven't already, you need to reach for the Vitamin A in your products and skin care regime, due to its powerful effect on ageing skin. Did you know that Vitamin A stops the signs of ageing in it's tracks and can visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles? How does it work, I hear you say! Vitamin A is a powerful agent that stimulates cell turnover, pushing new, fresh skin cells up to the surface, resulting in younger, fresher, smoother looking skin. It is also a fantastic collagen and elastin stimulator, helping to target fine lines and wrinkles and evens out skin tone, by blocking the formation of pigmentation.

So how does it work? The different forms of Vitamin A have to undergo a conversion process, where they and transformed into retinoic acid. This then works on the DNA of skin cells, resulting in metabolic changes that help target the signs of ageing.

So, which products should you be looking to use to achieve these great results? There are numerous forms of Vitamin A in skin care products, so an easy guide helps you make the correct choices.

The most well-known and popular form is Retinol and undergoes the conversion process to retinoic acid when applied to the skin. Other forms of vitamin A that can be found in skin care products are retinoic acid (prescription only), retinaldehyde, retinyl esters (some of the most stable forms of Vitamin A and more tolerable by the skin) and retinyl retinoate (that requires no conversion and therefore acts directly on our skin).

How do you know what strength to get? When deciding what products to buy, it is important to look at the International Unit (IU) content or Retinol Equivalents (RE) rather than the percentage(%) due to different forms of vitamin A having different weights and therefore 1% Vitamin A in one product may be a lot weaker (or stronger) than another products with 1% Vitamin A in it, although, on face value, they may look the same when comparing percentages (%'s) rather than IU's.

How do you use Vitamin A? With caution initially is the answer to this, especially if you are choosing products with higher IU values of Vitamin A in them. I recommend that you aim to use them (amount per week) in relation to the decade you have been alive. Therefore, if you are in your 30's, then aim to get to 3 times a week, if you are in your forties, 4 times a week, 50's = 5 times a week and so on. But start slowly and build up to this. If your skin is not used to high levels of Vitamin A, it can respond with what is known as the Retinoid Effect.

This 'effect' results in skin become dry, flaky, puffy, spotty, red and sore and results in an impaired skin barrier. Eventually the skin will 'catch up' and heal, but why put it through that stress when you can go slowly and still achieve the results you are looking for?

As a pHformula clinic, I use Vitamin A in my treatment packages, helping promote skin regeneration and delivery of anti-ageing agents into the dermis of my clients. I use serums and masks to achieve this and also am able to offer my clients medical-grade Vitamin A homecare products to carry on stimulating skin cell regeneration and anti-ageing results. These include our Vitamin A 24-hour cream with 1.5% Retinol Complex/24 hour Moisturising Complex to be applied at night and our VITA A rejuvenating mask with micro-encapsulated retinol that is slowly released into the skin for enhanced delivery and effectiveness, to be used once a week for 10-15 minutes.

If you'd like to know more then please just give me a call or book in for you consultation and we can look at how our Super Hero Vitamin A can help tackle your signs of ageing.

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