If you have sensitive skin, but still want to harness the incredible age-defying benefits of vitamin A, you do have options. A prescription strength Retin A product may be too harsh. But that’s not the only form vitamin A comes in.
Consider retinyl palmitate. Retinyl palmitate has considerable anti-aging and antioxidant properties. It accelerates cell renewal and stimulates the collagen in your skin, thereby diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a better option for sensitive skin, as it’s much gentler than Retin A. It won’t have the same exfoliation effect that retinoid acid will, and it won’t stimulate cell turnover quite as dramatically as Retin A preparations do. However, these effects that cause many people to rave about vitamin A are exactly what can cause your sensitive skin to react. So, if your skin is sensitive, it’s often best to avoid them. But you don’t have to miss out on the benefits altogether.
Studies have shown that retinyl palmitate will still increase your collagen production and help plump your skin. In fact, it could work along with the Retin A.
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If you have sensitive skin, but still want to give Retin A a try, you can start with a very low dose (the lowest is 0.025%). Try it just once or twice a week and see how your skin does. The rest of the week, try a formula with retinyl palmitate, such as Système 41 Restorative Night Treatment, which includes many other features and benefits. If you find that Retin A tends to dry out your skin, try applying hyaluronic acid or your usual nighttime moisturizer over the top of it to lock in moisture.
You’ll also want to make sure you use both Retin A and retinyl palmitate in the evening. The reason is that they tend to react to the UV rays of the sun. This is why some people don’t handle these products well. If you can avoid the sun after application, you might just be able to tolerate vitamin A better.
The main issue is to figure out just how much vitamin A your skin can handle. Choose the formulation that’s best for you and be careful not to overdo it. Start slowly and work your way up to see what works best for your skin. You can find the perfect balance of skin improvement and skin comfort.
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Katiyar SK. Skin photoprotection by green tea: antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects. Curr Drug Targets Immune Endocr Metabol Disord. 2003 Sep;3(3):234-42.