Vitamin A

Vitamin A or retinol as its commonly called is the cornerstone ingredient used in Environ Skincare and Skin Formulas Skincare both sold by us in Celebrate Skin.  Vitamin A belongs to a family of organic chemicals called retinoids (gets its name because of its close association with the chemistry of vision in the retina of the eye). In Environ vitamin A is found in plant easter form and e.g., of these are beta-carotene, retinyl palmitate, acetate, propionate then retinol and these are the levels found in the step-up system. In Skin Formulas vitamin A is 0.2% retinol along with Tocopherol (fat soluble vitamin E).

Here is a quote from Dr. Des Fernandes about vitamin A “We believe that skin has a life, and that Vitamin A is the ‘oxygen’ it needs to look healthy and beautiful.  It is for this reason that we actively pursue skincare science to skilfully and consistently develop the best-in-class, scientifically researched and developed products that work with the skin”.  It is for this reason that we as therapists here in Celebrate Skin are so passionate about our clients using Vitamin A on their skin because we know and have seen the powerful results of using this vitamin in products.

Did you know that 95% of us are deficient in vitamin A and is an essential nutrient that has to be replaced each day for a healthy, youthful appearance and that is why it is known as the skin vitamin. It takes 7 days for vitamin A to be restored in the body through diet, after heavy sun exposure, it is also destroyed by smoking and pollution.  That is why we have to apply vitamin A to our skin topically morning and evening so that our skin doesn’t become deficient, and it takes 3 hours for vitamin A to be absorbed and restored into our skin.

There is no equivalent or alternative to vitamin A and a deficiency in vitamin A can lead to skin abnormalities, lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation. Vitamin A is the only ingredient scientifically proven to repair and protect the skin and so is a crucial DNA regulator. Oral supplementation of vitamin A is important but is inadequate to treat the skin intensively at the doses generally used and that is why we have to reapply vitamin A on the skin every morning and evening.  There are so many benefits of using Vitamin A topically and they include 1) generates a healthy skin 2) compacts the stratum corneum – top layer of the skin 3) stimulates collagen & elastin 4) plumps the skin 5) balances oil production 6) strengthens skin immunity 7) naturally exfoliates the skin 8) stimulates glycosaminoglycans – which locks moisturiser in the deeper layers of our skin 9) normalises pigmentation 10)stimulates blood circulation which brings in nutrients to the skin while removing toxins leaving a glow to the skin.

Environ uses Both Environ and Skin Formulas use a step-up system when introducing your skin to vitamin A because a retinoid response only occurs if the client is using too much vitamin A too soon. A retinoid response may look like dryness, redness, puffiness or inflammation and small reddish pimples that may be itchy and it can last from 3-30 days, but we always advise our clients that if this should occur to stop using your vitamin A cream on the affected area and use Super Moisturiser from Environ or Hydra from Skin Formulas both don’t contain vitamin A and will help restore moisturiser and enhance the skin’s natural barrier. That is why it is so important that you as a client has a consultation with us so that we can go through everything with you and that you know we are there if you have any issues or concerns. We may also ask you to drop back to a lower dose cream and get you to take supplements containing vitamin A as this is like taking your AVST internally and will boost the health and strength of your skin.

There are some misconceptions about Vitamin A the first is that Vitamin A thins the skin but in fact it actually strengthens the stratum corneum (top layer of the skin) and leads to a histologically proven thicker skin. That is why Dr. Des Fernandes created micro needling to increase the penetration of the higher amounts of vitamin A and peptides found in the higher AVST number you use. The skin looks smooth and that is why people think it is thinner. Also, another one is that Vitamin A makes your skin more photo-sensitive but in fact Environ uses plant-based ester forms of vitamin A and Skin Formulas uses a plant derived “Bio-retinol” compound called sytenol A and these ingredients have a photo-protective action on the skin it creates a barrier against the sun so is in fact a more natural protection on the skin.

If you fall pregnant while you are on a high number of AVST then you will have to step back to AVST2 and is perfectly safe to use as it doesn’t penetrate down into the bloodstream, if you are breastfeeding then you can stay on your AVST2 and don’t apply anywhere near the nipple areas. With Skin Formulas it is not suitable to use in pregnancy, breastfeeding women. Both Environ and Skin Formulas Vitamin A creams are not suitable to use while a client is taking oral or topical acne medication or photosensitive medication. Please always use your vitamin A cream in conjunction with an SPF as we want to further protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun and ensure your vitamin A levels are not further depleted.

You can find out further information regarding Environ and Skin Formulas in blogs that I have written so please click on the link below.

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