Still on the hunt for that skin care product that will banish all of your wrinkles and make you look 10-years-younger? Well, the secret to youthful-looking skin might have been right under your nose this whole time. It’s long been known that vitamin A improves the appearance of skin and fights the signs of ageing. In fact, dermatologists have been prescribing it for its wrinkle-busting abilities for more than 25-years.
So, why didn’t you know about this holy grail anti-ageing marvel? The simplest answer is: Magpie Syndrome. Humans are drawn to every new and shiny product that gets released. As a result, this wondrous multi-tasking ingredient got left by the wayside – forgotten and overshadowed. The skin care benefits of vitamin A have been the centre of a multitude of studies over the last few decades. Many of which suggest vitamin A is one of the best known anti-ageing ingredients.
A study conducted by the Michigan University Medical School, for example, found that vitamin A could be the key to younger-looking skin. A lotion containing 0.4% retinol (vitamin A) was applied to the skin of 36 elderly individuals, 3 times a week for 24 weeks. At the end of the study, researchers concluded that topical retinol improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin A does this by increasing the production of glycosaminoglycan and procollagen. Glycosaminoglycan is a family of carbohydrates that primarily works to maintain and support collagen production. Meanwhile, procollagen is the main structural protein that is responsible for skin’s elasticity. Together they help keep the skin hydrated, healthy and firm – and most importantly, youthful-looking.
But here’s the bad news, our body’s production of procollagen begins to decrease when we reach the age of 20 years. The skin then gradually becomes thinner and less smooth, leading to fine lines, sagging skin and dark spots. This is where vitamin A swoops in to save the day. When applied directly to the targeted area, this wrinkle-busting ingredient will tackle all these tell-tale signs of ageing, leaving the skin looking smoother and firmer.
Tretinoin is a vitamin A cream that dermatologists prescribe to treat a number of varying skin concerns including acne, thickened skin, excess oil secretion and, you guessed it, wrinkles. However, before you rush off to book an appointment with a dermatologist, there are many products on the high-street that can give you similar results.
While many of these products will cite vitamin A as a core ingredient, others may use terms for forms of vitamin A that are lesser-known. When looking for a vitamin A cream, check the label for an ingredient called retinyl palmitate. This is the safest form of vitamin A and, as a result, is the ingredient most often used in skin care products.