There’s one ingredient in my nightly routine that I will not budge on. One Vitamin that I can confidently recommend to every woman I know as being the hands-down-most-effective-potion-to-combat-aging. And a single ingredient that I look for when analysing whether an anti-aging product will actually work. If you haven’t already guessed it, I’ll fess up. It’s Vitamin A aka the Allstar of the skincare world.
It’s a little bizarre to think that when it comes to cosmetics, there is one ingredient that so obviously outruns the rest. You’d think that there would be a handful of winning actives that you could safely put your money on in the anti-aging race, but the truth of the matter is...
Vitamin A is the Usain Bolt of skincare.
Sure Vitamin C, AHAs and peptides are all pretty good at addressing specific issues of ageing, but A does that and so much more. Since its application in cosmetics in 1987, there have been over a 1000 studies published on the foremost vitamin, and scientists keep finding more ways that it totally renovates skin.
In short: it can reduce – and even reverse – wrinkles by speeding up cell turnover and boosting collagen production; it helps brighten the skin and gets rid of age spots; it shrinks large pores, refining skin tone and texture; it thickens the skin, helping it to heal faster AND it can even be used to manage acne and breakouts. Yep, it basically does everything but the dishes.
It’s perfect for use in your late twenties to help prevent fine lines setting in and well into your thirties and forties to reverse any skin stress, as it happens.
Sadly not all Vitamin A derivatives are created equally, and it’s common to experience a reaction of the bumpy, itchy, flaky or red variety. I’ve ended up with this so many times over the years, and it’s almost enough to send you on your own Usain-like Bolt. Naturally, you want to find a product that uses the right types of Vitamin A, and then introduce it slowly and carefully.
I’ve been using Alpha-H Vitamin A Serum from the Alpha-H Vitamin Profiling Collection for over six months now and, in that first week, I used it every second night, gradually adding a day every week as was recommended to me by the brand. My skin loved it - I didn’t have any reactions and I’ve been using it ever since. And you won’t find me stopping any time soon. I’m convinced this little gem is keeping my skin looking younger than it has in years.
Upon application this Vitamin A feels light and silky, it’s a clear, odourless gel that sinks straight in.
No stinging or burning. The reason is that Alpha-H used retinol (often thought of as a purer form of A) along with retinyl propionate, a very gentle Vitamin A ester (meaning it’s lipid-soluble and can penetrate the skin). This buffered approach is much gentler yet can apparently yield the same effectiveness as pharmaceutical grade retinoids, minus the risk of your skin freaking out. I am told that some skin types will naturally freak out with vitamin A anyway, no matter how gentle. Apparently it’s not due to allergies, but the receptors in their skin not metabolizing the ingredient. If they were to stick with introducing it super gradually for several weeks the dryness will disappear and they too will then be able to enjoy the beautifous-bounty that is Vitamin A.
Well thank God for that. I know it’s not a race, but if we’re going to be running, I’d damned-well better have Usain on my side.
Want to know your vitamin profile? Discover it on the Alpha-H website using their Vitamin Profiling Wheel.
Story by Sigourney Cantelo. In Association with Alpha-H