From animal food sources like eggs, liver, fatty fish and dairy products; an alcohol form of vitamin A is sourced which is commonly known as retinol. Both of these i.e. retinol and retinyl palmitate is commonly used in most over-the-counter (OTC), non prescription skin care products.Function
Molecules wise, both the substances need to be converted to retinoic acid by the body in order to help the skin cells. While retinol can be converted in two steps, the other one needs a three step process. As the steps go up, lesser amount of retinoic acid is yielded. That is why, to make a difference in the cell, quite a large amount of retinol and even bigger amount of retinyl palmitate will be required by the body. Then only the resulting molecules, which are small in size, can go deeply inside the skin and help in stimulation of collagen, cell production and elastin production.
That is why palmitate form of retinoids is needed in a very high concentration in skin care products to be effective. But most OTC skin care preparations do not have that high concentration of this kind of retinoid to make any significant change in skin.
One the other hand, since retinol is one step metabolically closer to retinoic acid, it is available in such concentration of .15% to 1%. Available only through prescription, products with concentration of at least .3% retinol also have similar, but not that effective results to retinoic acid.
Elastin and collagen production in your body is stimulated when retinoids are applied topically. Both these components of skin decrease with aging and prolonged sun exposure. The result of this increased production due to retinoid is a much visibly smoother and firmer skin. By increasing cell turnover and production, retinoids also help in treatment of acne. As the dead skin cells fall off, new cells develop in their place before any acne pimple can rear its head! Your skin’s flaky and dry look is also due to these dead cells; so as cell production increases, these dead cells are removed giving you a fresher and healthier look.
Retinol and retinyl palmitate as well as other retinoids helps in reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, hydration and stimulation of skin cells which encourage repairing of damaged skin and also in increasing the thickness of skin. Thus skin tone is improved, skin discoloration is reduces and pore size is decreased with application of retinoids.
Though retinol based skin care products offer more important results, but they are also more prone to causing irritation and are also highly priced than those containing retinyl palmitate.
But products based on the latter, will irritate the skin less and hence great for those with sensitive skin. The skin improvement may not be that dramatic like retinol but is produced none the less. Also it is less costly and available in wider capacity in the market.
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