Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The role of Vitamin A in skin care formulations

The role of Vitamin A in skin care formulations
Retinol capsules

Cosmetic chemistry is a very wide field and it takes many years of study to become an expert in the field.  However, with modern technology and the internet, these formulations are readily available to everyone.

I am not suggesting that all of us should make our own cosmetics!  It is just much easier nowadays to get hold of the information that is out there, for us to make informed decisions about which products to buy.

Laboratory equipment


In this series of articles, I will try to explain how the most innovative and the dependable work-horses of the beauty industry work, and what the benefits are to our skin. I am not going to give Cosmetic Chemistry lessons and bore you all to death, but will be as clear and concise as possible. 

Vitamins as active ingredients in cosmetic chemistry:
Vitamins are nutrients that are essential to all life.  They are fundamental building blocks for our bodies and perform many functions. These articles will deal with vitamins as active ingredients in cosmetic formulations and not as nutritional actives.

These days vitamins in cosmetics are nothing new, but up until the mid 1990’s very few vitamins were used in cosmetics. It was very difficult to stabilize and to maintain the active action of the vitamins in cosmetic formulations. With the progress made with new formulation techniques and discoveries as to exactly how vitamins function in our bodies, it is now much easier to use these ingredients effectively and safely.


Vitamin A in its many forms…

Beta-carotene or pro Vitamin A

As an anti-oxidant, beta-carotene is very stable and will almost always be combined with other anti-oxidants, such as Vitamin C.

Beta-carotene has inherent photo-protective properties, which makes it ideal to use in sun protection creams. Its ability to reduce redness during sun exposure, makes it a key ingredient in products to prevent and treat photo ageing as well as after-sun –exposure treatment.

Retinyl Palmitate
This Vitamin A ester account for around 80% of the total vitamin A found in the skin. The skin cells convert retinyl palmitate into retinoic acid which then sustains the DNA and cellular structures in our skin. Because of the skin’s ability to use this form of Vitamin A, this is the ingredient that is mostly used in topical application formulas.

Retinyl Acetate
This is a much gentler form of vitamin A. Like retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate is often used in cosmetic products because of its superior thermal stability over retinol.

Retinyl Palmitate and Retinyl  Asetate  are the two forms of Vitamin A that are most used in cosmetics and they provide the same benefits and results as the more “aggressive” versions of Vitamin A, such as tretinoin (retinoic acid).

Studies have shown that these two esters absorbs better into the cells and therefore produce better results.

Retinol-the alcohol form
Retinol is on the most usable forms of Vitamin A, but has a short shelf life.  It absorbs quickly into the skin from surface applications but changes into retinyl palmitate to enter the cells.

Pure retinol is extremely sensitive to oxidation and is prepared and transported at low temperatures and oxygen free atmosphere (the containers are filled with nitrogen). 

Vitamin A creams can be used by men and women.

Why do we need Vitamin A in our skin care?
Isotretinoin,  know as the trade names Accutane or Roaccutane, is used orally as a treatment for severe acne.
Retinol is used as a topical treatment for acne, pigmentation, wrinkles and fine lines and prevention of ageing in the skin.

Vitamin A creams can be used by men and women.

Use a SPF daily and try to avoid the sun!

A word of caution:
Products containing Vitamin A should only be used at night and washed off in the morning. One should always wear a sunscreen if you use Vit A.

Which products in the salon contain Vitamin A

Vitaderm Skin Perfection Capsules-Retinol 
This high performance product contains an extremely effective form of Retinol.  The fact that it is encapsulated in a liposomal formulation, increases penetration and decreases the sensitivity that is normally associated with this active form of vitamin A.

Within a week of starting to use Vitaderm Skin Perfection Capsules,your skin will develop a renewed suppleness, regardless of age or skin type.  Within 2-3 weeks of use, wrinkle depth will appear to be reduced, while there is a noticeable increase in skin radiance and elasticity.

Use only at night.  It is essential to use a sunscreen daily since Retinol can cause photo-sensitivity

Vitaderm Skin Perfection Capsules



Vitaderm Vitamin Night Cream-Retinyl Palmitate
This vitamin-enriched cream contains both vitamin A and vitamin E.
Apply after cleansing and toning at night only. Use only at night.  It is essential to use a sunscreen daily since Vitamin A can cause photo-sensitivity

Vitaderm Vitamin Night Cream


Please feel free to contact me at 082 398 9817 or gerda@agbeautysalon.co.za for more information.






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