Vitamin A, retinol, retinoic acid and retinoids have proven anti-ageing properties since the 1990s. Originally developed to treat acne, retinoids lead to both reduced acne counts and an improvement in skin texture- reducing unwanted pigmentation, shrinking pores, reducing blackheads, and acts as a powerful anti-aging cream.

Anti-aging properties are due to thickening of both the epidermis and dermis. It decreases solar elastosis or sun damage, and increases the production of elasin, and most importantly collagen. In most countries, retinol can be bought without prescription, however retinoic acid or tretinoin requires a doctor’s script. Retinol is readily absorbed through the skin and up to 10% of this acid is converted into active retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is the active ingredient of retinol.

First generation retinoids include tretinoin, second generation retinoids include adapelene, and third generation retinoids include tazorac or tazarotene. Retinoids work by modulation of DNA via RAR receptors- this in turn produces collagen and increases turnover of skin cells, producing a healthier epidermis and increasing blood vessels and collagen. The biggest skin care tip I can give you if you are contemplating on starting retinoids is to start slow, and work up. Moisturise 30 minutes before application, avoid the folds around the nose, and your eye lids.

Dilute the retinoid in a moisturiser such as Obaji Hydrate or Cetaphil- especially if you have sensitive skin. Retinoids should be incorporated in everyone’s skin care routine for healthy skin, as this improves skin dullness, fine wrinkles and pigmentation.

Retinoids also work as a powerful anti-ageing prevention cream. For more information on where to purchase retinoids, consult a dermatologist, skin care physician. They can guide you as to your starting concentration depending on your skin sensitivity and examination. A choice of retinol products can be purchased online from companies like Neostrata, Obaji and many others.

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