Large pores? More fine lines? -Because you didn’t use retinoids

Large pores? Wrinkles have been deepening? That is because you did not find suitable ingredients and products. Come, today we talk about the ingredient -Retinoids.

I believe that those who are just getting started in the ingredient party will have heard of Retinoids, which is the ingredient of retinol, which is also the ingredient and product recommended by various ingredient KOLs. Because it has a definite effect in anti-wrinkle and delicate skin.

In fact, Retinol and its related components are one of the broad categories of Retinoids. Vitamins contain a series of ingredients, such as retinol, retinoic acid, retinal, and a variety of retinol esters, etc.

Relationships among RETINOL ESTERS, RETINOL, RETINAL, and RETINOIC ACID

According to the Journal of Clinical Medicine’s “Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System”

Vitamin A (VitA) is a group of unsaturated monohydric alcohols that contain an alicyclic ring. VitA is insoluble in water but is fat-soluble. In 1928, Green and Mellandy reported that VitA could enhance the anti-inflammatory response of organisms and called VitA the “anti-inflammation vitamin”. Later, the anti-inflammatory capacity of VitA was widely studied in the 1980s and 1990s. VitA exists in the form of retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid (RA), among which RA shows the most biological activity. RA exists in two significant derivatives: 9-cis-RA and all-trans-RA (ATRA). The primary biological functions of VitA include maintenance of vision, growth, and the integrity of epithelial and mucous tissue. However, the immunoregulatory mechanisms of VitA are not entirely understood. The authors, here, conduct a detailed review on the most recent advances of VitA function in immunology. We briefly introduce the clinical application of VitA in the treatment of several contagious diseases to provide theoretical support for VitA research in immunology and its therapeutic applications.


J. Clin. Med. 20187(9), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090258 Journal of Clinical Medicine’s “Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System”

Transformation of retinol into bioactive retinoic acid involves a two-step oxidative reaction. To do this, a group of enzymes, divided in three families, will act together to form the final compound retinoic acid (RA). Retinol transforms into retinal under the catalytic action of the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) family; this step can also be regulated by the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase family, which shows a wide affinity for alcohols and aldehydes. The aldehyde dehydrogenase (RALDH) family then catalyzes retinal to form retinoic acid. Both of the oxidation reactions transmit electrons through the electron acceptor NAD or NADP.

J. Clin. Med. 20187(9), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090258 Journal of Clinical Medicine’s “Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System”

In a simple chart:

Retinol Esters need to be converted into Retinol on the skin to be effective. Retinol is then oxidized and converted to Retinal and then oxidized to Retinoic Acid. Due to this conversion step, the efficacy of Retinoic Acid is theoretically about 20 times more than that of Retinol. But this is just a theory because later studies have found that even if Retinol is not converted into Retinoic Acid, it can still play a skin care effect.
Because Retinoic Acid is a medicine, it is often used in anti-acne medicine (note, not acne skin care products). Because retinoic acid is not within the allowed range of cosmetics (although it cannot be avoided in many beauty salons), so I don’t talk about this ingredient. I put pen and ink on Retinol and Retinol Esters, which are commonly used in skin care products.

Skin care effects of retinoids

Retinoids can be obtained from food and have many important functions in the body, such as eye health, cell proliferation and differentiation, regulation of bone growth, immune function and activation of tumor suppressor genes and so on. If used externally on the skin, it has the following effects:

1. Acne:

Retinol has an anti-inflammatory effect and can relieve inflammation that is not only the result of acne but also the cause of acne. Moreover, it can inhibit the secretion of hair follicle skin glands, promote normal cell growth, and improve the accumulation and blockage of keratin inside and outside the pores.

Retinoic Acid is used to treat acne, including various configurations of Retinoic Acid (cis, trans), etc., and has been widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. For example, tazarotene is a commonly used drug for acne treatment in dermatology, but Retinoic Acid Medicine is very irritating to the skin and may have great side effects. Therefore, if you use A to treat acne, please follow your doctor’s advice.

2. Refine pores

The desire to shrink and refine pores has come to be realized by skin care products. Retinoids can increase cell renewal and prevent collagen breakdown, thereby improving skin texture and making pores less visible.

3. Anti-aging, anti-wrinkle

Because retinoids can prevent the decomposition of collagen, it is anti-aging to prevent wrinkles. Therefore, the tretinoin in retinoids has always been the gold standard for anti-wrinkle efficacy testing. It has been proven to be very effective for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, rough skin, and improving skin texture. What is the gold standard? The following clinical effect chart before and after treatment with Retinoids can explain everything.

Skin change 9 weeks after using retinol skincare products

4. Thicken the epidermis

A very troublesome problem is how to thicken the epidermis for people with thin skin. Then, this time, retinoids can meet your requirements. For example, in the picture below, it can be seen that retinol and retinol propionate have a significant effect on thickening the epidermis.

Of course, the functions derived from retinoids, such as brightening, anti-oxidation and firming, are omitted here.

Which of these numerous retinoids is more effective? Better to use?
Retinoic acid is of course the most effective, but it is very irritating, so it is not used in skin care products. Patients with extreme acne should ask a doctor to prescribe medication. Note that it is prescribed.

Due to patent restrictions, Retinaldehyde (retinal) was mostly used in Avene before. However, the current patent has expired, but not many companies are used. Several comparisons of the efficacy of 0.05% retinal and 0.05% trans-retinoic acid in the treatment of photoaging skin show that retinal and trans-retinoic acid are equally effective in reducing wrinkles and rough skin, and may be more effective than retinol. effective. However, the incidence of skin irritation caused by retinoic acid is higher than that of retinal.

The stability of Retinol Ester is better, but it takes great effort to convert Retinol Ester into Retinol and then into Retinal. However, Retinol Ester is widely used. For example, RETINYL PALMITATE is A widely used Retinol Ester. However, retinol palmitate is actually very weak in reducing fine lines, pigmentation and other functional effects. And many companies actually add a small amount, so in many cases, it is just an ingredient for shouting out loud. There are many types of Retinol Esters, such as RETINYL LINOLEATE, and more, which will not be listed in this posts.

Retinol: All the effective but at the same time less irritating is still Retinol, so this is also a vitamin-like ingredient used by many cosmeceutical brands, and it is currently one of the most effective skin repair active ingredients.

In summary, in terms of irritation and efficacy balance, as well as stability considerations, Retinol is a good choice. Although Retinol is still difficult to add to the formula, because it is too easy to be decomposed by light, oxygen, heat, etc. And the irritation is not small.

Is there a small amount of Retinol added, but it can improve the effectiveness of Retinol and other retinoids?

Yes, a technology called Retinol booster can meet the demand.

What is retinol booster? That is, the ingredient that allows retinol to better play its potential role, better absorption and better conversion can be considered as this technology. What are the benefits of this? For example, when you originally used 0.15% Retinol, you now only need to use 0.1% Retinol + booster to achieve the effect. What does this mean? This means that irritation will be greatly reduced, and stability issues will also be improved.

Which boosters can be used, let me list a few for you to appreciate.

Citral/Coumarin/Linoleamide DEA/Acetamide MEA/Linoleic acid, etc.

The search and application of these retinol boosters has always been a research topic for several large companies that have not given up on the Retinol ingredient, so new results are still emerging. In recent years, Unilever has made new discoveries in this area. It is the discovery of an anti-dandruff agent Climbazole. It is also a booster of retinol. What people in the general industry will think is this special? An anti-dandruff and antiseptic ingredient. However, science is like this, there will always be some new discoveries, update or even subvert your cognition.

In addition, due to the extreme instability of Retinol, a relatively new type of Retinol ester is currently used in the industry, namely retinyl propionate. The stability of this Retinol ester is not bad, and the effect is not bad. Very good, much better than the retinol palmitate commonly seen in the big brands before. Therefore, Unilever also found that if retinol propionate + clomibazole is used together, it can also play the role of retinoids, and the key is not to stimulate. Retinol can be considered not to be used. The older generation of formulators has already been crying and crying by Retinol. If they knew that they had these things, they would save a lot of things.

Thank you so much for reading this, please leave a comment if you have anything to say about this post.

Reference list:

J. Clin. Med. 20187(9), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090258

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