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Retinol for skin

September 28, 2021 2 min read


• What are retinols?
• Side effects of retinols
• What retinol does to the skin?
• Types of retinols
• Assorted uses of retinol

What are retinols?

Retinoids are compounds derived from vitamin A. They are both natural, biologically active forms of vitamin A (retinol, retinal and retinoic acid) as well as synthetic analogues. Their mechanism on the skin are similar to those of vitamin A and includes inhibition of inflammation, keratinization, and cell growth. Tretinoin is natural occurring vitamin A. Tretinoin is used for the treatment of acne vulgaris and including flat warts, disorders of keratinization, wrinkles, and sun-damaged skin and oral lichen planus.

Side effects of retinols

side effects of retinoid are dryness, irritation, and possibly photosensitivity.

What retinol does to the skin?

Vitamin A halts the aging process. The fat soluble retinol when applied penetrates the stratum corneum and slightly penetrates into the dermis. When the retinol reaches a keratinocyte, it enters and binds to its receptor. Retinol stimulates the cellular activity of keratinocytes, fibroblasts, melanocytes and Langerhans cells. By interacting with receptors inside keratinocytes promotes their proliferation, strengthens the epidermal protective function, reduces transepidermal water loss, protects collagen against degradation and inhibits the activity of metalloproteinases which are responsible for degradation of the extracellular matrix. And it enhances and restores reticular fibres and stimulates angiogenesis in the papillary layer of the dermis. Retinol inhibits collagenase and MMP expression stimulates collagen type 1 and GAGs synthesis this is used to treat antiwrinkle, dyspigmentation, dryness, fine lines and improves texture. 

Types of retinols

Retinoic acid
Retinoic acid( tretinoin) it stimulates the process of epidermal cell proliferation and accelerates the elimination of sebum remaining in ducts, and reduces inflammation in sebaceous glands and loosens connections among cells in stratum corneum and therefore inhibits keratosis. It is used to treat acne, psoriasis, chronic inflammation of hair follicle and sebaceous glands.

Retinyl esters
Retinyl esters it first converts to retinol by cleavage of the ester bond and then converts into retinoic acid and then stimulates the epidermal cell proliferation and regulates the sebum. It shows antioxidant activity treats wrinkles and has stabilizing properties.

When Retinaldehyde is applied it oxidizes to retinoic acid by retinaldehyde dehydrogenases or some enzyme of the CYP family and then stimulates the epidermal cell proliferation. It shows stabilizing properties, treats wrinkles and improves texture of skin.

Adapalene (naphthalenecarboxylic acid) it changes gene expression and mRNA synthesis, it is a strong modulator for keratinization of hair follicle cells, so it modifies keratinocyte metabolism and increases their proliferation and has keratolytic effect. It treats acne, inflammation and excessive keratosis.

Tazarotene it is a receptor specific retinoid regulates down markers of keratinocyte differentiation, keratinocytes proliferation and inflammation. It treats acne vulgaris, psoriasis, chronically photodamaged skin, photoprotection from sunlight.

Assorted uses of retinol

Vitamin A is essential for vision, immune response, bone growth, reproduction, maintaining surface linings of the eye, it grows and repair epithelial cells and epithelial integrity of the respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts. Vitamin A is essential for embryonic development and the regulating adult genes. And it also improves tone, hydration level, improves texture, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, acne flare- ups and breakouts. Vitamin A is used for acne, psoriasis, and disorders of keratinization.

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