What is Vitamin A?

Retinyl Palmitate (Retinol Palmitate) commonly known as Vitamin A is a synthetic source of retinyl acetate obtained from animal fats, fish oils, and Vitamin A supplements. The milder, more soluble precursor to retinol is retinyl palmitate. When added topically to the skin, retinyl palmitate can convert to retinol and then react with skin enzymes to form the more potently active ingredient, retinoic acid. Because of its capacity to form retinoic acid, the advantages of retinyl palmitate include anti-aging effects and antioxidant defence.

How Vitamin A Works

The use of Retinyl Palmitate in skin care can help to reduce the appearance of rough, flaky skin. Meanwhile, its antioxidant effects aid in skin protection by neutralizing free radicals found in the environment. Overall, this enables Retinyl Palmitate to add to the consistency and attractiveness of the skin, as well as to extend the shelf-life and purity of cosmetics. As a consequence, Retinyl Palmitate is used in a wide range of moisturizing and cosmetic materials, including lotions, creams, foundations, and blush.

What Vitamin A does to the skin

Retinyl Palmitate, like other retinoids, works on the skin's surface as well as deeper layers:

  • Increases cell turnover: Vitamin A allows the epidermis (the skin's outermost layer) to quickly turnover and die. This allows for new cell growth underneath the surface. Cell turnover results in cleaner, more radiant skin with less discoloration and a more even skin tone overall.
  • Collagen production stimulation properties: Retinoids also inhibit collagen breakdown and thicken the deeper layer of the skin (the dermis), where wrinkles tend to develop. In addition to inhibiting collagen degradation, it promotes the formation of new collagen. Once retinyl palmitate is converted to retinoic acid in the skin, it attaches to various receptors in the cells, resulting in increased collagen output.
  • Keeps pores clean: By increasing cell turnover and serving as an exfoliant, Vitamin A can help unclog pores and keep them clear, which is why it's often used in acne treatments.

Reference Sources

  • Boehnlein, J. et al. Characterization of esterase and alcohol dehydrogenase activity in skin. Metabolism of retinyl palmitate to retinol (vitamin A) during percutaneous absorption. Pharmaceutical research (1994)
  • Duell, E. et al. Unoccluded retinol penetrates human skin in vivo more effectively than unoccluded retinyl palmitate or retinoic acid. Journal of Investigative Dermatology (1997)