Sunscreen is the number one anti-ageing product. Second to that is a skincare range packed with vitamin A. Trudi Brewer discovers one that is gentle enough to use everyday.
Vitamin A and its various descendants namely retinoids, retinoic acid, and retinol are known as the gold standard in anti-ageing ingredients. They are the only tried and true vitamin that promise to stimulate the turnover of skin cells and increase collagen production. And this activity in skin has a dramatic effect on reversing the signs of ageing.
According to skin expert, Marianna Glucina owner of About Face clinics in Auckland, it is the one vitamin that normalises the cells. "Fundamentally working on cells’ DNA, it helps them to function in a healthy way, while repairing damage at the same time."
Acknowledged for its wrinkle-fighting properties back in the 70's, doctors stumbled across the anti-ageing effects of vitamin A when treating acne. Patients using prescription vitamin A (known as tretinoin) were also seeing softer, less pigmented, wrinkle-free skin. But there were side effects that were not so great: namely peeling, itching and sensitivity. Finding a product that is gentle and active, and that can be used during summer has been trial and error for so many women. Until now - with the arrival of Environ Youth EssentiA. "Today you can use low dose vitamin A all year round. Environ is a brand that is very kind to the acid mantle of the skin so we very rarely have any reactions to their products. However, high doses do work best at night, especially with our harsh New Zealand sun." Glucina adds "Start on a low dose of vitamin A (Youth EssentiA serum 1) and slowly move to higher doses over time as your skin becomes more accustomed. The most sensitive skins could start by introducing the product once a day and move to twice a day within two weeks."
The key ingredient in this range is retinyl propionate, a milder, more tolerable retinoid that works to speed up cell turnover and increase the natural moisturising factor, giving skin a healthy-looking glow. It can strengthen skin by stimulating protein levels, which is great news for acne suffers, as it can prevent breakouts. Finally a vitamin A charged eye cream rounds off this range nicely, formerly known as C-Quence Eye Gel. "Reformulated for even better results, this is our most popular selling eye serum. We love it for its small molecular structure which delivers the vitamins A, C, E and peptides at a much deeper level than most eye products. It's amazing for keeping the eye area looking youthful, correcting fine lines, ageing, and puffiness," says Glucina.
A solid preventative skincare routine established from your 30's will ensure your skin in your 40's and beyond appears smooth and free from dark patches. And it could also be good for you general well being. New research shows adding vitamin A to your daily routine can prevent the development of potential skin cancers.
The Environ Youth Essenti A range includes:
Environ Youth Essenti A Vita-Peptide Eye Gel, $109. Antioxidant Defence Creme, $221. Vita-Peptide C-Quence Serum 1, $239 and Vita-Peptide Toner, $130.
Glucina shares her best tips when using vitamin A.
1. You need to ensure you always use a broad spectrum physical (zinc based) SPF after using any vitamin A product daily in all weather, rain, hail or shine.
2. When using high dose vitamin A without sufficient preparation, you can get a retinoid reaction which can look red, irritated and you can experience breakout. Think little and often to build vitamin A receptors in the skin, which gives you a much better long term result.
3. Collagen Induction Therapy (micro needling or dermal needling) will enhance these already amazing results. We recommend the Environ Gold Roller for optimum results daily.
4. In clinic to amplify anti-ageing results, you can undertake a course of collagen induction therapy, once a week for six weeks, and then repeat this every 18 to 24 months.
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