1. Health and Wellness

Why you should not jump on the retinol bandwagon?

Aging is a natural process, but a number of people try to counter this effect of nature. In the quest to remain radiant and young, many people seek products claiming to reduce the effects of aging. 

Retinyl palmitate and retinol (Vitamin A) are the most widely used ingredients in anti-aging skincare products. They are targeted for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin. They are antioxidants that may be helpful in boosting skin collagen and elastin. 

Why Retinyl palmitate and retinol might not be good for use?

  • Retinol is a powerful exfoliating agent; it aggressively sheds the outer layer of the skin causing it to thin out. This increases the risk of UV damage and sunburns on the skin. Regular use of retinyl palmitate and retinol can lead to severe skin conditions like severe dryness, redness, and irritations.
  • Retinol is fat-soluble, therefore taking an overdose of retinol can cause it to build up in your liver. It has a low metabolism; it doesn’t leave the system on time. So, once it accumulates in your liver, it becomes a health issue. 
  • Large amounts of retinol can cause birth defects. It is teratogenic and causes several abnormalities in a fetus. It can also affect the cardiovascular system of the fetus. Retinyl palmitate and retinol are generally bad for pregnant women. If you are pregnant and taking supplements, you should talk to your doctor about the amount of retinol you should take.
  • The Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database warns against the adverse effects of retinyl palmitate and retinol which may include organ toxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, cancer,  and cellular fluctuations. 
  • Retinol should not be used during the daytime due to the risk of UV damage. Applying retinol to the skin during the daytime can actually have the reverse effect and cause skin aging.

How does retinyl palmitate and retinol end up in a product 

Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate and retinol) can be a derivative of either animal or plant and made into drugs. These are then added to skincare products as anti-aging agents. Retinol encourages dead skin cells to turnover, therefore removing older more wrinkled skin and revealing younger less damaged skin.

Which products are retinyl palmitate and retinol found in?

Retinol can be purchased and taken as food supplements and it is added to skincare products. The skincare products include body creams, face creams, hand creams, lotions, facial masks, scrubs, makeup, and even lipstick.

How to recognize retinyl palmitate on labels?

Since Vitamin A is one of the most sought vitamins many manufacturers boldly states that their product contains Vitamin A. It could either be written out in the ingredient list as Vitamin A, retinol or retinyl palmitate. 

The recommendation of doing your research before buying a product continues. Vitamin A or retinol might at the surface seem like the best of both worlds – natural and helpful. However, vitamin A added to products are synthetic and used in ways not intended by nature. If you must use it, please use in moderation and do not apply the creams when you will be exposed to sunlight.

Be careful of applying vitamin A to your skin