Livermore, CA, March 10, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Each year, a new ingredient emerges in the skin care industry, promising breakthrough benefits. Antioxidants came along to protect the skin from UV damage. Alpha hydroxy acids revolutionized with their resurfacing action. Peptides promised to smooth and repair, and, recently, stem cells surfaced to replace damaged and aging skin cells. But few skincare ingredients can promise the same proven and versatile benefits as retinoids (Vitamin A). Now, upon the recent news of the death of Dr. Albert Kligman, the dermatologist who coined the term 'cosmeceuticals' and patented the retinoic acid drug, Retin-A, a tribute to Vitamin A's long-held role in skincare only seems fitting.
Often referred to as the 'Gold Standard' for treating aging skin, Vitamin A and its retinoid family, address a wide range of conditions from oily skin and acne, wrinkles and collagen to age spots, skin tone, texture and hydration.
Skincare practitioners are more likely to choose retinol (without a prescription) and retinoic acid (tretinoin with a prescription) as ingredients that would address signs of UV damage, the No. 1 cause of aging in the skin. That is because Vitamin A resolves most skin conditions by promoting healthy cell differentiation. Vitamin A also has a small molecular structure capable of penetrating the underlayers of the skin where collagen and elastin are produced. By itself, Vitamin A does not have any direct effect on the skin. Rather, specialized enzymes in the skin convert retinol and other biochemical derivatives of Vitamin A into retinoic acid, which interacts with receptors that bind to DNA. In turn, this binding action activates genes related to cell growth and cell cycle regulation, resulting in younger-acting, healthier skin cells. But not all retinols deliver the same results. If you were to line up the derivatives on a spectrum, it would look something like this:
Retinyl Palmitate (or Retinyl Acetate) --> Retinol --> Retinoic Acid
All eventually convert in the body to retinoic acid, the active form of Vitamin A, but the conversion process and potential irritation they cause in the skin can vary. As a rule, the ester (lipid-based) forms farthest to the left are the most stable and cause the least irritation. But they also take the longest to convert to retinoic acid, the bioactive form used by the skin, and therefore may be least effective. Conversely, the more active the form, such as a pharmaceutical retinoic acid at a .025%, .05% or 0.1% level, the Vitamin A is less stable and carries a higher potential for irritation.
Indeed, many skincare clients eagerly seek out the benefits Vitamin A retinols offer but all too soon shelve the cream or serum once the peeling, redness and irritation develops. Fortunately, experts today have identified delivery systems that make stability, penetration, bioavailability and, yes, less irritation all possible.
The R&D team at G.S. Cosmeceutical USA, Inc., in Livermore, CA, for instance, has perfected delivery systems that either entrap or encapsulate the more active forms of retinol in polymer systems that create a more stable, more active and more bioavailable form of Vitamin A with minimal irritation. These entrapment and encapsulation delivery systems also provide a time-release effect to feed the skin the benefits of the retinol over a prolonged period. "The key is the delivery system, which stabilizes the formula while still working with in a free form to derive its maximum benefits," says Irvaz Husic, Product Development Manager, at G.S. Cosmeceutical USA.
Retinol, a material that's highly sensitive to light and air, requires precise working conditions to maintain its integrity. At G.S. Cosmeceutical, this custom contract manufacturer processes retinol under fluorescent yellow lights and nitrogen gas to protect the material from reacting. "We have special lights designed to help stabilize retinol in processing, which would otherwise oxidize faster under the normal white lights," says Husic. "Using a blanketing process with nitrogen helps create less concentration of the oxygen and thus lowers the incidence of oxidation." Companion ingredients in the formulation, such as aloe vera, chamomile, bisabolol, Vitamin E and natural anti-inflammatories, also help offset irritation.
By perfecting the formulation with the precise ingredients and delivery system, the researchers at G.S. Cosmeceutical have been able to attain as high as 1% pure retinol formula where indicated, as well as 0.1% or less optimal concentration.
While others wait for the latest, greatest anti-aging topical to emerge, skincare professionals know that one of the best active topicals has actually existed for some time -- retinol, still setting the gold standard in anti-aging skincare.
About G.S. Cosmeceutical USA, Inc.
G.S. Cosmeceutical USA, Inc. is a privately-owned contract manufacturing company. Headquartered in Livermore, California, the company is a leader in providing R&D, manufacturing and warehousing services to physicians, cosmetic entrepreneurs, corporate manufacturers, beauty start-ups and leading professionals in the spa and beauty industry. The company formulates across a broad range of categories, including anti-aging skincare, body care and hair care, organic- and natural-based products, paraben-free cosmetics and over-the-counter (OTC) cosmeceutical products.