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Retinol | Vitamin A | Provitamin A

Retinol, or vitamin A1 or axerophthol, is the most potent form of the essential and fat-soluble vitamin A. The body cannot produce retinol itself but converts vitamin A or provitamin A into retinol. Unfortunately, this process of converting vitamin A into retinol, which is so important for the body and our skin, becomes increasingly difficult with increasing age. The natural aging process itself, as well as exposure to UV rays, depletes the skin of large amounts of vitamin A, leaving it less and less able to produce retinol.

A deficiency of retinol causes connective tissue cells to collapse, the skin loses elasticity and moisture, becomes thinner and wrinkles form. This deficiency also makes the skin weaker and more susceptible to external environmental influences such as UV radiation or fine dust. This in turn leads to irregular pigmentation of the skin and makes it appear older.

Retinol is transformed into vitamin A acid (tretinoin) in the skin and is found in a maximum concentration of 0.3 percent in skin care products approved in Germany. Retinol stimulates collagen production, which has been proven to counteract wrinkles, and alleviates symptoms of UV-damaged skin such as dryness, wrinkles and uneven pigmentation.

The basis for retinol, vitamin A, can only be absorbed by our body from the outside and mainly through food, from animal sources or its precursor, provitamin A, from carotenoid-containing plant foods such as oranges, carrots or spinach..

There are essentially three versions of retinol:

- Retinol- esters, which are found among the ingredients as "Retinyl Palmitate" or "Retinyl Linoleate" and are somewhat less potent, but also milder and more tolerable.
- Pure Retinol which is also indicated in the INCIs as well as
- Tretinoin or also Vitamin A acid which can be extremely irritating and therefore only found in prescription medications.

When using retinol it should be taken into account that the skin becomes more sensitive to the sun due to the accelerated cell formation and renewal. Therefore, retinol preparations should be applied in the evening and temporarily discontinued completely in case of impending stronger sun exposure (vacation in more southern regions, sunbathing etc.). As a precaution, pregnant women and nursing mothers should completely avoid the application of retinol.

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