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Why Your Skin Needs Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for normal skin. There is no substitute or alternative to Vitamin A. Eating foods rich in Vitamin A will deliver Vitamin A to skin cells after 7 days. Applying Vitamin A to the skin in a form that the skin will accept will deliver this important molecule within several hours. This is vital because exposure to UVA and UVB light (i.e., sunlight, which we cannot avoid) destroys Vitamin A in the skin. This means we are ALL deficient in Vitamin A content in the skin unless we are applying Vitamin A to the skin every day!

Vitamin A affects the DNA of skin cells to reduce the effects of UV damage, and it is the only molecule that has been demonstrated to do so. Vitamin A promotes natural moisturizing factors for a radiant, glowing appearance. Vitamin A helps to normalize abnormalities for healthier (and healthier looking) skin. Vitamin A supports a healthy dermis and epidermis (deep and superficial layers of the skin) for a smoother appearing complexion. Vitamin A helps healthy collagen and elastin formation for firmer looking skin, and this is the major focus of most anti-aging strategies for the skin. Vitamin A helps to normalize pigmentation for more even looking skin tone. Vitamin A improves problematic, breakout prone skin conditions to prevent the visible effects of breakouts.

Topical Vitamin A comes in different forms. Ultimately, all Vitamin A molecules are converted to retinoic acid in order to exert their effects on the DNA of skin cells. Most (80-90%) of the Vitamin A that is stored in the skin, however, is in an ester (lipophilic or “fat-loving”) form called retinyl palmitate. There is a direct relationship between the amount of Vitamin A that the skin has been exposed to and the number of receptors for Vitamin A on the skin cells. Simply put, the more exposure to Vitamin A, the more receptors for Vitamin A the skin cells have. This means that if the skin has not been exposed to Vitamin A, it can have an adverse reaction to the application of Vitamin A in high concentrations or in certain forms. Adverse reactions can include dryness, flaking, redness, irritation and acneic breakouts. This is why people often have a strong reaction to Vitamin A related topical compounds (usually retinol in OTC compounds or retinoic acid in prescription compounds)—either they are starting with a concentration that is too high for their skin, or they are using a form of Vitamin A that is irritating to the skin, such as retinol, an alcohol or retinoic acid, an acid. In addition, these forms of Vitamin A are sun-sensitizing, which means using them will increase the likelihood of a sunburn. By using a low concentration of Vitamin A to start and gradually building up to a higher concentration of Vitamin A, it is easy to avoid to adverse reactions that can occur. Also, because lipophilic molecules are better absorbed by the skin and skin cells, by using the ester forms of Vitamin A, the Vitamin A will better penetrate the skin and skin cells and is recognized by the skin cells as the storage form of Vitamin A that they use. The ester forms of Vitamin A are much less drying and irritating to the skin and do not result in sun sensitivity.

Youthologie is proud to introduce the Environ line of Vitamin A based skincare to help you achieve the healthiest and most beautiful skin possible. We have several other new procedures that accompany the use of these products that will also contribute to your healthiest and most beautiful skin. A consultation will determine which of these products and procedures are most right for you.

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