We start aging from the day we are born and it just never stops. The best part of the skin is that it keeps on renewing itself, but as we get older this process slows down.
The good news is that we can apply certain ingredients to the skin that assist the skin with this amazing renewal process. Vitamins, hydroxy acids and peptides are vital for a renewing skin. The most important vitamins are vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins provide your skin with all the tools needed to produce beautiful new collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. All three of these substances are vital to keep the skin looking young and firm, it is what we like to call the 'scaffolding' of the skin. Without these vital elements the skin will give way and sag.
Three different types of Vitamin A are normally used in skincare formulations:
Retinyl Palmitate: This is the mildest of the 3, but it takes much longer to change the skin and has an impact on collagen production. It is a very good antioxidants and is mostly used for that purpose.
Retinol: This is the fat soluble or oil soluble form of vitamin A. Clinical research shows that if a 1% Retinol is applied to the skin we have an increase in collagen synthesis within 48 hours, whereas it takes Retinyl-Palmitate about 2 weeks to have the same effect. Retinol is used for its skin renewal properties and is one of the best ingredients to treat skin aging. It also helps in the removal of hyperpigmentation, sun spots, wrinkles and even breakouts.
Retinoic Acid: This is the strongest form of vitamin A and although an amazing ingredient, most skins can't tolerate it.
If you have never used vitamin A on your skin before, you might experience a 'retinization' process, this is when the skin gets red and very dry. It normally lasts for 2 weeks at the most. During this time just apply rich moisturizers containing Shea Butter and Hyaluronic Acid as this will ease the dryness.
Vitamin A in general is known as the normalizing vitamin, it brings balance to the skin and body. It is an essential part of any skincare routine, young or old.
Besides these amazing ingredients we also need a lifestyle that supports these natural processes.
The following are essential for a healthy body and skin:
- Regular exercise (a minimum of 3 times a week)
- Fresh foods rich in antioxidants (daily intake)
- High water intake (2-3 liters a day)
- Enough and good quality sleep (7-8 hours)
- A good quality multivitamin containing vitamin A, C and a variety of Bs.