It is no secret, Vitamin A is a staple ingredient in any skin care program. There are many forms that can provide multiple benefits to the skin from antioxidant properties to medically proven to treat aging, acne, and sun damage.
In product formulation, Vitamin A is primarily converted into its corrective forms of retinoic acid, retinol, and retinal, depending on the intention of the product. Not every form of Vitamin A is created equally or is universally appropriate for all skin types.
Retinoic Acid is a common form of vitamin A found in medical creams such as Retin-A® and Renova® prescribed by a physician. Retinoic acid, however, can cause irritation, redness, and flaking to the skin making it unsuitable for some skin types.
There are two forms of Vitamin A which initiate skin correction, but in different ways: Retinol and Retinal. These “sister” molecules may look very similar but perform differently in the skin.
Always a favourite, retinol targets acne, ageing, and pigmentation, correcting skin concerns while targeting co-issues. Retinol (with an “o”) works well to prevent hyperpigmentation, thus encouraging skin brightening. It is an ideal ingredient in formulations for clients in their early 20’s combating adult-onset acne, premature ageing in their 30’s and hormonal acne in their 40’s and 50’s. “O” is for prevention, correction, and “Oh. My. Goodness! My skin looks great!”
Retinal (with an “a”) offers faster, visible results to the skin. For years, retinal was not a preferred ingredient because it was incredibly unstable. With technological advancements retinal can now be driven into the skin, while maintaining stability and potency without causing inflammation.
Retinal targets both ageing and all forms of pigmentation correction (brightening). For skin struggling with an unbalanced microbiome, retinal is the preferred ingredient as it fights bacteria better than retinol, making it the desired vitamin A for inflammatory acne. “A” is for acne, ageing, and “Ah. My. Goodness! My skin looks AWESOME!”
Retinol and Retinal are both powerfully effective, corrective ingredients. Yes, there is a difference and with today’s technology, we are able to deliver more correction, brightening, and hydration.
It is very easy to upset the skin barrier with an incorrect homecare prescription of the “active loaded” products at our fingertips today. At Blanc Spa the use of retinol and retinal in clinic and as a homecare product is prescription based to ensure the best clinical outcomes for our clients. Remember every skin is different and needs to be treated this way.
One exceptional introduction to the world of retinol is Payot’s 10-day express treatment a retinol starter kit - Payot Lisse Cure 10 Jour Rides Eclat Express. For more advanced formulations Retinol and Retinal we turn to Lira Clinical’s Pro line. Be sure to ask your therapist at your next appointment.