Did you ever wonder why fruits like Papaya and Apricots are marketed as active skin ingredients in many natural skin care products? In addition to the enzymes and topical nutritional factors, these botanicals also contain high levels of bioavailable Vitamin A which is a powerhouse Anti-Aging ingredient known to modern science (but utilized in Ayurveda for ages) since the ’60s, with the introduction of Retin-A. As well as Retin-A works though, it’s a synthetic derivative, meaning devoid of co-factors that we increasingly know are very important for uptake and is also quite harsh, to the point of many people not being able to use it at all.
If you’re getting discouraged about the increase of wrinkles, dark spots, or adult acne, Natural Vitamin A Treatment (not to be confused with lab-synthesized Retinol) can truly be an effective addition to your skin care regimen.
Are All Vitamin A Derivatives/ Extracts Good for your Skin?
Knowing the benefits of Vitamin A, the skin care industry manufactures Vitamin A with a variety of synthetic derivatives such as retinyl palmate or acetate (esters), retinol (alcohol) and retinaldehyde. Depending upon their strength and chemical composition, all these forms ultimately get converted into ‘Retinoic Acid’ which is the only Natural form of Vitamin A that our body’s cell receptors recognize and accepts to start over its function of DNA repair.
The downside is that Vitamin A is unstable and loses potency on interaction with sunlight. Therefore frequent re-application is required for topical Vitamin A skin treatments, but it’s also important to choose a form of Vitamin A that quickly breaks down into the active retinoic acid form is critical for visible, quick results. Here is a brief explanation of which forms the best suit our skincare needs.
- Retinoids – Fast-acting treatment for wrinkles, crow’s feet, lines, hyperpigmentation, and acne. However, it causes redness, peeling and cracking of the skin and irritation for a great many people.
- Retinol (Accutane/Tretinoin/Isotretinoin/Retin-A) – Often used in OTC topical creams and serums, it is derived as a two-step conversion process that may give delayed results compared to Retinoids as well as irritation.
- Retinyl Palmate – The palmate derivative is a long process and by the time it breaks down, it completely loses efficacy! Cheap anti-aging solutions often use this toxic form in high concentration which is not good for your skin (and health in the long run)..and it doesn’t even work!
- Retinaldehyde – Closest to the chain, Retinaldehyde only requires a one-step conversion and causes very less irritation. It’s a highly priced ingredient and should be used at least in a concentration of 0.05-0.1% to see any real effects.
On the other hand, Pro-Vitamin A Carotenoids and Beta-Carotene (these two being converted by body mechanisms into Vitamin A) are not only non-toxic, even in large amounts, but they can also be directly obtained from botanical sources. When they enter into our body, they are naturally converted into retinol and glycoproteins. Some of the best sources of Natural Vitamin A are carrots, apricots, papaya, sweet potato, and spinach. Such naturally obtained Vitamin A is several times more effective and non-toxic in protecting the cells from harmful damage of free radicals and promoting growth and faster cellular turnover (a key component of younger looking skin).
What are the Benefits of Vitamin A for Skin?
Protection Against UV Damage – Beta Carotene and Provitamin A carotenoids in Vitamin A are potent anti-oxidants that destroy free radicals, which are responsible for breaking down the collagen net that supports your skin. Vitamin A provides protection from sun-induced photo-aging, redness and pigmentation (sun spots).
Caution: Use of synthetic products that include high doses of Vitamin A as this can actually increase UV sensitivity, ie; increase the possibility of sunburn. To boost the effects of Vitamin A in the sun, it should be combined with Vitamin C & E in the product formula.
Smoothens Wrinkles, Fine Lines and Crow’s Feet – Upon entering the cell, Vitamin A switches on enzymes produced by younger skin, and aid in the synthesis of collagen and keratinocytes. Carotenoids are known to facilitate communication between cells and improve expression of genes that produce the proteins (called connexin) that fill the gaps between cell membranes and allows exchange of molecules, a critical issue in keeping skin young looking!
Topical Natural Vitamin A enriched skin serums are dermatologically proven wrinkle fighters which boost collagen synthesis by up to 80% with regular application.
Evens Skin Tone and Fights Hyperpigmentation – Research shows that Vitamin A can block an enzyme critical for melanin synthesis. This inhibitory action helps maintain even-toned skin and reduces age spots, sun spots, blemishes, and skin tanning.
Protection Against Pathogens – Vitamin A control acne bacteria, such as Propionibacterium acnes. This reduces acne blemishes and breakouts and their attendant post acne redness and scarring.
Deals with Oily/ Combination Skin – Environmental stressors (such as UV rays, pollution, and smoking) can cause oxidative stress which leads to increased production of sebum. This becomes a problem for people with already oily/ combination skin. Vitamin A helps clear pores, controls sebum production and promotes collagen synthesis to promote clarity and smoothness without excessive oiliness.
Treatment of Dry Skin Conditions – Beta Carotenes (natural forms of Vitamin A) conversely also improves and treats dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and even ulcers and age spots. The powerful anti-oxidant and growth and repair skin actives speed up the healing process, and when used in conjunction with Vitamin E, it helps your Vata skin receive intense moisturization.
Is Natural Vitamin A a part of your daily Anti-Aging Skin Care Regimen? Start protecting your skin today by choosing only Organic, Wild-Crafted, Free-Trade, Sustainable and Balanced Vitamin A (Naturally Sourced) Skincare.