Since I mentioned Vitamin A in my last post, I think it is important to know what it is too and how it figures into skin car formulations.

Vitamin A is considered a good antioxidant in some of its forms, particularly retinol (the technical name for Vitamin A) and retinyl palmitate. There is research showing that retinol and retinyl palmitate can have the same action as tretinion (the active acid form of Vitamin A). For retinol or retinyl palmitate to have as tretinion, these two substances must become tretinion at the cell’s receptor site if they are to do the same thing. Retinol can be absorbed into the skin and if certain enzymes are present, it has the potential of being converted to tretinoin. There is research showing that retinol can increase the epidermal thickness and can function similarly to tretinoin.

The reason retinol is not used “as is” in formulations is that it is unstable and thus packaging becomes a big concern. Any container that allows the product to be exposed to the sun or air means the retinol will not remain active very long.

The salt form of retinol used is retinyl palmitate in skin care products because it stabilizes retinol as a salt.

Carol Clifton – Senegence

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