Retinol & Vitamin A to combat skin aging

Retinol – A micronutrient to slow down skin aging

Retinol is the alcohol form of Vitamin A. Vitamin A was discovered as a fat –soluble essential micronutrient for human body in 1913. After evaluating its uses and importance it was synthesized in 1947. There are many reported cases of vitamin A deficiency like night blindness and dry pale skin in the history.

Studies have shown that retinol, like hyaluronic acid, is essential for cell proliferation but decreases with age, as measured in the stratum corneum, epidermis, and dermis(Yan J, Xia Q, Webb P, et al. “Levels of Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol in Stratum Corneum, Epidermis and Dermis of SKH-1 Mice”, Toxicol Ind Health. Apr, 2006; 22(3):103-12).

In 1971 FDA approved the topical application of retinol for skin problems. Topical application gives good moisturizing of the skin with little systemic absorption for long term effects. Vitamin A or retinol has a direct role in the synthesis of glycoproteins for all epithelial cells. Topical application of Retinol modifies the structure of epidermis, dermis and glands in the skin layers.

Nowadays, wrinkles curing formulas having retinol as a major ingredient are in the market. It would help in reducing wrinkles and giving a younger looks to an aging skin.

After getting contact with your skin the retinol is converted into retinoic acid. This will help in exfoliation of dry skin and fresh cells rejuvenation.  Treatment with retinol is like an antioxidant bath for an aging skin that has damage cells due to free radicals.

 Retinoids increase sensitivity to sunlight and are used as monotherapy and in combination treatments for facial rejuvenation, hyperpigmentation, and solar keratoses(“Wrinkle creams: Your Guide to Younger Looking Skin”, Mayo Clinic. October 11, 2008. Available online).

Continuous application of retinol provides sustained effects on skin.  It is successfully used on skin for acne, clogged pores, premature aging, fine lines and collagen breakdown. Retinol is also effective in dermal hydration, photoaging, age spots and hyperpigmentation.

What is the Recommended Dietary dosage of Retinol?

The latest RDA is based on the amount needed to ensure adequate stores (four months) of vitamin A in the body to support normal reproductive function, immune function, gene expression, and vision (National Academy Press; 2001:65-126. National Academy Press).

For a normal adult the RDA of retinol or Vitamin A is from 2300 IU to 3000IU daily. During pregnancy and lactation a female should use higher doses of Vitamin A.

Natural food sources of Retinol

Free retinol is not found in food. Foods from animals contain the precursor of retinol, Retinyl palmitate. Yellow and orange vegetables contain good quantity of carotenoids, the precursor of retinols.  Egg, butter, whole milk, cord liver oil and carrot are naturally good source of retinol for you. Spanish, broccoli and mango have sufficient Vitamin A for you.

 

Reference:

Vitamin A (Retinol)”, National Institutes of Health. Medline Plus. March 1, 2008. Available online. Accessed June 5, 2009.

Retinol”, National Cancer Institute. NCI. Available online. Accessed June 5, 2009.
Yan J, Xia Q, Webb P, et al. “Levels of Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol in Stratum Corneum, Epidermis and Dermis of SKH-1 Mice”, Toxicol Ind Health. Apr, 2006; 22(3):103-12.
Kasilo OJ, Nhachi CFB. Retinol. “Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals”, INCHEM. December 1989. Available online. Accessed June 5, 2009.

“Wrinkle creams: Your Guide to Younger Looking Skin”, Mayo Clinic. October 11, 2008. Available online.

Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin A. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2001:65-126.  (National Academy Press)

 

Author: Dr. Rubina Mushtaq

 

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