Vitamin A!! The Good the Bad and the Ugly!

We all have heard the many benefits of using Vitamin A in our daily skincare routine. Vitamin A is a phenomenal ingredient that does the heavy lifting and gives so many benefits for the skin. When you use any form of Vitamin A in your daily routine you will notice your skin transforming. Vitamin A improves fine lines, increases the thickness of the skin, reduces pigmentation, improves the skins over all texture, improves acne and helps to neutralize free radicals. Adding a Vitamin A to your treatment room and homecare can be beneficial. With the six different forms of Vitamin A that are available on the market it can be a little over whelming to try and find the correct formulation that works best for your skin type, skin condition and the correct formulation that will address your skincare goals.

6 types of Vitamin A that are available:

Retinoic Acid is the strongest form of Vitamin A. It is only available with a prescription from your doctor. RA prevents aging, corrects and reverses current damage that has been done to the skin. RA can be very irritating to the skin causing redness, dryness and sun sensitivity.

Tretinoin is a synthetic form of Vitamin A. Tretinoin will still have the same benefits and the same draw backs as Retinoic Acid.

Retinol is the Alcohol form of Retinoic Acid. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and communicates to cells to produce new skin cells. Retinol triggers GAG’s and helps stimulate elastin. Retinol does have some downsides. This form of Vitamin A is unstable in light and can oxidize quickly. Retinol can be drying and irritating to the skin if the skin is not conditioned for it.  

Retinyl Palmitate & Retinyl Acetate are the most well-known ester forms of Vitamin A. They are antioxidants that convert to Retinol inside the skin.  This form of Vitamin A is less irritating than Retinol and is more stable in light.

Retinaldehyde is a form of Vitamin A is not a very common ingredient used in skincare. It is a transitional form of Vitamin A.

4 different Vitamin A products that Circadia offers!

The first introduction to Vitamin A with Circadia is Nighttime Repair. This formulation is a lotion base that has a .3% Retinyl Acetate. The lotion base gives your skin a drink of hydration while doing double duty of exfoliation and anti-oxidant protection. This formulation is gentle on the skin and doesn’t cause any irritation when introduced properly. Nighttime Repair has a stable form of Vitamin C and an anti-aging complex that helps prevent glycation. When a client is new to using Vitamin A this is where you begin. Have them use one pump on their face and one pump on their neck and décolleté. Inform your client about how Vitamin A works with the skin to produce fresh glowing skin. Also, be sure to explain to them that one pump of Nighttime Repair has .3% Retinyl Acetate. So, if the client uses 2- 3 pumps of this product they are doubling and even tripling the percentage of Retinly Acetate. If this happens the skin can have some adverse reactions like sensitivity, some minor redness and minor flaking. Have your client begin to integrate Nighttime Repair 2-3 times a week for the first two weeks. On week 3 have them up their usage to 3-4 nights a week and on week 4 have them up their usage to 5-6 times a week. Once the client has reached 7 days a week with Nighttime Repair have them finish the product and then move them up one more level to Nighttime Repair Plus.

The second level of Vitmain A with Circadia is Nighttime Repair Plus. This formulation has .5% Retinyl Acetate. It is best suited for clients that are 35 and above. Nighttime Repair Plus is almost double the strength of Nighttime Repair. It has higher levels of Vitamin A, more antioxidants and more peptides. This increases cell turn over, increases skin strength and increases the anti-aging process. Nighttime Repair Plus is a product that can be used right away for any client that has already been using a Vitamin A product. If your client is using any form of prescription Vitamin A then the client needs to be off the prescription for at least two weeks before they begin use of any other form of Vitamin A product. Nighttime Repair Plus was formulated to be gentle enough for daily use. If you are transitioning from Nighttime Repair to Nighttime Repair Plus be sure to increase the usage slowly.

The third level of Vitamin A is Vitamin A Boosting Cream. It is a 1% Retinyl Acetate. This cream is a power house. It repairs sun damage, helps to rebuild aging and damaged skin and it improves breakouts. Vitamin A boosting cream can be used as a spot treatment and a full-face treatment to boost your weekly cell turnover. I like to use this cream 2-3 times a week to accelerate my cell turnover, hydration and anti-aging benefits. You can apply this to your full face and neck and have remarkable results. Once you get into higher levels of Vitamin A it is suggested to be very cautious with your use. If you do use this product daily and your skin is not adjusted to the strength you can experience dryness, flaking and you can purge. These are all things that can happen while your skin is adjusting to the strength of the product. The adjustment phase can take 2 weeks to a month. So, during the adjustment phase really stress that this should be used 2-3 times a week and very gradually move up your daily uses while your skin adjusts. Give your skin the right amount of rest and hydration.

The final level and the strongest level of Vitamin A that Circadia offers is the Vitamin A gel. This little bottle is 1% retinol in a concentrated gel.  Vitamin A gel is best to be used as spot treatment to help break up hyperpigmentation as well as any acne or acne scarring. You can also spot treat certain areas like the nasal labial folds. I must caution you to not use this product daily. It is not made for daily use. If you do choose to test this theory then you will experience a lot of redness, stinging, peeling and irritation. There may be those rare clients that can use this on their full face a couple of times a week. These clients are the rare cases not the normal cases. So be cautious when using this in the treatment room with your clients. This is also not an item that is recommended for home care use. Your client will have better results using a combination of levels 1-3 than they will with the Vitamin A Gel.

All in all, Vitamin A is a game changing ingredient that should be added to homecare and the treatment room.  When you use this ingredient properly and in the right formulation your skin will bounce back, clear up, lighten and brighten. With daily use you will see the good not the bad and the ugly that can come from Vitamin A. There are a couple of formulations that do cause sensitivity to the sun. Really all Vitamin A products can leave your skin sensitive to the sun. It is recommended that Vitamin A be used in the evening. During the day remember to apply your antioxidant serum like Circadia’s Vitamin C Reversal Serum and your SPF! Wearing your sun protection is a must when you use Vitamin A.