Series: Must-have nutrients for skin remodeling: Vitamin A
Micro-needling is a minimally invasive skin rejuvenation procedure that helps minimize the signs of aging. The SkinPen micro-needling device causes controlled micro-injuries that stimulate your body’s natural wound healing process. The micro-injuries trigger the release of cytokines and growth factors that lead to remodeling of the tissue.
Cell nutrition is very important during the skin remodeling process following the SkinPen micro-needling procedure. Skin remodeling requires energy and nutrients that allow the body to produce ample amounts of collagen and elastin — the scaffolding that gives the dermal tissue its strength and resiliency.
Several nutrients are crucial for skin remodeling and are necessary ingredients in your post-micro-needling skin care, including vitamin C, vitamin A and copper peptides. In our series on must-have nutrients for skin remodeling after micro-needling, we’ll review these vital nutrients. Next up: vitamin A.
Must-have nutrients for skin remodeling: Vitamin A
Vitamin A can be found in several forms, also known as retinoids, and is an agent used on the skin to diminish the signs of aging. Topical vitamin A is also one of the best treatments for acne.
Dermatological research has found that long-term (at least six months), continuous exposure to .05% topical tretinoin (vitamin A) significantly improves these clinical signs of photo-aging:
- Fine wrinkling
- Skin roughness
Vitamin A promotes skin cell turnover, thickening the skin and decreasing collagen breakdown. In the skin, retinol (a form of vitamin A) is converted to retinoic acid. Retinoic acid influences cellular processes in the epidermis and dermis, thereby exerting powerful effects on skin health. There are several different forms of retinoids:
These forms of retinoid can range in the intensity of how they react with the tissues. While vitamin A is considered one of the best ingredients to combat several skin health issues, it is also notorious for causing harsh side effects such as rashes, sensitivity and burning. Therefore, your skin care products should contain a physiological concentration of vitamin A — just enough to provide the cells with the amount needed to do their job.
Benefits of Vitamin A
Physiological concentration of vitamin A results in higher extracellular matrix production, higher amounts of proper skin remodeling enzymes and a reduction in skin destructive enzymes such as collegenase, thereby supporting skin remodeling. A physiological concentration of vitamin A:
- Increases collagen
- Increases glycosaminoglycans (GAG), a component of the extracellular matrix that retains water, resulting in an improvement of the appearance of fine wrinkles
- Increases fibronectin, an adhesive protein that attaches cells to collagen in the extracellular matrix
- Decreases collagenase, an enzyme that promotes the breakdown of collagen, thereby reducing collagen breakdown
However, chronically using skin care products with too much vitamin A — a supraphysiological concentration — can lead to inflammation, negative side effects and a reversal of the benefits of the skin remodeling process. A supraphysiological (high) concentration of vitamin A:
- Inhibits wound healing
- Decreases fibroblast proliferation
- Decreases collagen
It also leads to several side effects, including:
- Skin rash (particularly with tretinoin)
- Light sensitivity, increasing the risk of sunburn
- Allergic reactions
- Burning sensation on the skin
- Birth defects, and should therefore not be used during pregnancy
When selecting skin care products, choose a retinoid that has high penetration yet low irritation such as retinyl safflowerate. Skinfuse SURGE 1 Collagen Boost contains retinyl safflowerate. It’s designed to be used once a week to enhance the skin’s repair process post-micro-needling, increase epidermal thickness and collagen and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Please consult your SkinPen provider regarding the best skin care products and protocol to use following your SkinPen micro-needling procedure.