Vitamin A – The Collagen Booster & Wrinkle Fighter


Vitamin A – what it does?

Studies have shown that vitamin A stimulates the production of new skin cells and inhibit the body’s natural enzymes that break down collagen.

It is believe vitamin A may prevent premature wrinkling and bumpy skin. Vitamin A deficiencies can result in rough, dry and scaly skin.

Vitamin A combines four wrinkle fighter in one. It’s an exfoliating agent, because it increases cell turnover. It helps to build collagen. It protects the fibers from damage by blocking the action of collagen-digesting enzymes. And it is an antioxidant that combats free radicals. 

Vitamin A — improves skin elasticity, promotes a more even texture, and promotes new cell growth.

One of the major beauty breakthroughs is the use of vitamin A derivatives to increase collagen production. Vitamin A is one of a family of natural and synthetic products that are incorporated into both prescription and non-prescription anti-aging creams known as retinoids. These agents are highly effective at skin rejuvenation, for example Retin-A and Tazarotene gels and creams. 

How does vitamin A combat or reduce skin aging?

Tretinoin or Retin A creams improve the outer layers of the skin by increasing the production of more normal-looking cells. By increasing cell production, they shed blotchy, dark pigment from the skin and also increase collagen formation in the dermis, both directly and as a result of increased outer skin layer production. The result is a brighter, healthier-looking and more supple skin with fewer fine lines and blotchy dark patches and a more resilient feel.

Other forms of vitamin A

Retin-A has been more recently formulated in ointments or ‘moisturising creams’ that were supposed to reduce the drying effects of Retin-A. One of these is called Retinova or Renova. One problem is that it is too ‘greasy’ for some people and leads to whiteheads and acne. This problem is known as ‘comedogenis’ or acnegenesis’. It is also a problem with some of the more greasy cosmetics, makeups and sunscreens. Look for the words ‘non-acnegenic’ or ‘non-comedogenic’ on the packaging.

Retinols are available as over-the-counter products, no prescription necessary. Although their effectiveness is a matter of controversy among dermatologists, these compounds, once applied, are converted in your skin to retinoesters and small quantities of tretinoin or Retin A. Furthermore, it does all this to rejuvenate the skin with far fewer side effects than tretinoin. Although retinol appears to be most active in the epidermis, where the skin cells are developing, research has also shown that it does penetrate as far as the dermis.

Retinyl palmitate is simply a kinder, gentler form of vitamin A. It’s not as active as retinol, buy many people with sensitive or very dry skin who can’t use retinol-containing products find they tolerate retinyl palmitate quite well. It’s believed that retinyl palmitate is converted to retinol in the skin and eventually the retinol becomes retinoic acid. 

The side-effect with vitamin A

If you choose to incorporate stronger versions like Renova, Retin-A and Tazarotene into your regimen, start out with the mildest version possible and gradually work your way up to a stronger one, if necessary. Because Retin-A and Renova are more potent than Retinol, their non-prescription counterpart, they can cause irritation and increased sensitivity to other active ingredients and to the sun. Still, they can yield beneficial results. Wearing an SPF 30 will help prevent further damage and worsening of any damage your already have.

If you find that retinoids are irritating to the point that they are preventing you from using your other anti-aging remedies, try either using your retinoid cream less frequently, like every other day instead of on a daily basis, or try a milder, more moisturizing version, or trading back down to retinol, the non-prescription strength. It’s better to combat the aging process from all angles with a varitety of different ingredients (antioxidants, exfoliating acids, vitamin C etc) instead of relying on a single ingredient that tackles only one aspect. 

What you can find it —  Yellow, green and oranges vegetables and dark colored fruits, such as carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, spinach. Egg yolks, liver, fish oils and dairy products.

Vitamin A and its derivatives can cause birth defects, and excessive doses can cause increased pressure on your brain. Therefore, vitamin A should not be used by women who are pregnant and dosages higher than those recommended should be avoided. 

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2 Comments on "Vitamin A – The Collagen Booster & Wrinkle Fighter"

  1. JP says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with Retin-a. I began using the product three years ago for hyperpigmentation / melasma for which it worked very well. Moreover, I have dealt with and overcome the dry flaking skin issue almost entirely. The hate portion of the relationship is a rather odd one. I began noticing an “increase” in wrinkling under my eyes, an almost crepe like appearance. I discontinued applying near this area and it resolved itself – almost. The biggest concern and the reason I have stopped using Retin-a, at least until I can tell if it is to blame, is severe wrinkling on my forehead. I am 34 years old and the amount of deep wrinkles is that of someone twice my age. What is startling is that I can look back to pictures taken at the start of this year and these wrinkles were NOT VISIBLE. Additionally since I suffer from melasma I am hyper vigilant when it comes to the use of sunscreen, staying out of the sun and I wear a hat whenever I am outdoors. The hate covers my forehead hence this premature wrinkling is simply ridiculous. I have read that Retin-a results in a thickening of the skin which I assume is the desired affect, i.e. plump the fine lines to make them disappear. This appears to be what has happened in my case, the forehead skin has thickened thus making the once nearly invisible fine lines appear deep and pronounced.I am hoping – no praying – that that after a few weeks maybe months the wrinkles will decrease to fine lines. I have no desire to undergo regular expensive botox treatments. Fingers crossed.

  2. Shirleen says:

    Hi JP,

    It is strange! More wrinkles using Retin-A?! What I understand is that Retin-A is quite drying on the skin and moisturizer is a must after Retin-A. I’m not too sure if the wrinkles or fine lines are due to dry skin. Perlong deydration will make the fine lines and wrinkles become permanent.

    I remembered I read a book that claims it is better to stop using Retin-A after 3 months and only continue using it after few months later.

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