What Is Retinol And Is It Good For Your Skin?

What is Retinol? 

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and belongs to the family of retinoids that include Retinoic acid and retinaldehyde. Vitamin A is needed for a broad array of biological functions including embryonic development, tissue maintenance, reproduction, vision, growth, inflammation, differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis.

Retinol is obtained naturally in our diet from foods such as fish and liver as well as from beta-Carotene. Natural enzymes convert these food materials into Retinol for membrane transport. Retinol can then be further converted to Retinoic acid for cellular delivery. Research has proven that Retinol is less irritating than Retinoic acid, making it more suitable for repetitive topical applications.

How Retinol Functions on Skin

Topical Vitamin A treatments in the form of Retinol are highly effective for promoting cellular turnover and epidermal renewal to even skin tone and diminish the signs of both intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging. 

Retinol is sometimes preferred for use versus Retinoic acid as it is less irritating and tolerance is established quicker. Usage compliance is also typically better with Retinol, as Retinol converts to Retinoic acid. 

Retinol’s Effect on the Epidermis 

• Helps restore the water, lipid and protein balance,  restoring barrier function and reversing sensitivity 

• Enhances the proliferation of epidermal cells, resulting  in a thickened epidermal layer, improving the protective capacity  of skin

 • Improves a healthy keratinocyte cycle by stimulating  basal cell mitosis • Has the ability to induce superficial exfoliation by  desquamation to promote cell turnover and improve overall  skin texture 

• Use results in a more compacted Stratum Corneum, while  keratin composition becomes more gelatinous, lending to a softer,  smoother outward appearance 

• Breaks up existing pigmentation to improve skin tone  and complexion • Inhibits melanin synthesis in cells stimulated by alpha-  melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) or by inhibiting  the expression of tyrosinase

 • Creates a blending effect when mixed with hydroquinone,  decreasing melanin and distributing it more evenly to  keratinocytes Retinol’s effect on the Dermis 

• Stimulates fibroblasts, resulting in healthier collagen,   Retinol’s effect on the Dermis • Stimulates fibroblasts, resulting in healthier collagen,  elastin and glycosaminoglycans production 

• Improves skin firmness and elasticity due to its ability to increase  collagen and elastin; also reduces the appearance of fine lines  and wrinkles

 • Regulates glycosaminoglycans, leading to improved  natural hydration 

• Stimulates the skin’s natural rebuilding process by supporting  the expression of glycosaminoglycans, chemicals that bind with  water molecules. This binding of water results in desirable,  visible changes such as firmer skin with more even texture as  well as fewer lines and wrinkles

 • Improves angiogenesis, maximizing the delivery of nutrients and  the removal of waste material 

 • Inhibits the induction of matrix metalloproteinases by exposure  to ultraviolet light, thus providing a cellular protective effect to  prevent photoaging of skin I would recommend to use the Zo Medical Retinol or our OC Facial Center Super Facial Serum for less irritating retinol with green tea.