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The Vitamin A Story

What Does Vitamin A Do For Your Skin and Which One is Best?

Vitamin A helps to speed up healing, prevent breakouts, promote natural hydration at the cellular level and support the skin's immune system. Importantly, vitamin A promotes a healthy epidermis and dermis.

History of Vitamin A

The importance of retinol (vitamin A) was discovered during World War I and subsequent research showed that its deficiency gives rise to xerosis and follicular hyperkeratosis. The retinoid drug project was launched in 1968 to synthesize compounds similar to vitamin A by chemical manipulation of its molecule to improve clinical efficacy and safety. The use of these substances in therapy dates back some 3000 years to ancient Egypt, where liver was used to treat endemic night blindness. The modern history of retinoids, however, began in 1909 when an essential factor in the viability of an embryo in the fatty extract of the egg yolk, called vitamin A, was discovered. Retinoids finally were introduced into the treatment of dermatoses including photoaging more than two decades ago.

Vitamin A and Collagen Formation

"Skin regeneration occurs by stimulation of cell differentiation via the nuclear retinoid receptor family of super receptors. The wound healing cascade relies on the presence of Retinoids and antioxidants to prevent excessive inflammation."


There are 3 forms of vitamin A (retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid) that collectively are known as retinoids. Retinol is the alcohol (OH) form, retinal is the aldehyde (COH) form, and retinoic acid is the carboxylic acid (COOH) form. Among these different retinoids, retinol and retinal are fairly interchangeable. Either form is readily converted to the other. However, only retinal is used to form retinoic acid, and this is a one-way reaction.

Retinaldehyde - The Next Generation

Retinaldehyde (Retinal) works 11 times faster than Retinol and is less irritating than Retinoic Acid. The tolerance profile of Retinal is ideal for sensitive skin and this powerful molecule resurfaces skin, enhances collagen production, reduces blemishes, fades fine lines and wrinkles and brightens the complexion in a gentle but effective way. Retinal acts in a similar manner as retinoic acid, but with minimal side effects. Retinal causes less transepidermal water loss, irritancy, erythema and scaling compared to Retinoic Acid with lower risk of retinoid dermatitis.

COSMED Skincare & Professional Peels

Cosmo Pro have launched the 'COSMED Pro Retinal' formulated with encapsulated Retinaldehyde (0.6%) Copper Tri-peptide and Vitamins B & C, this multidimensional product can be daily to target photodamage, fine lines, wrinkles, acne, sun damage, oily skin, dull skin and improve poor texture. Combine with the Pro Eye Serum which contains 0.05% Retinal to restore and rejuvenate the delicate eye area for optimal results.

In-clinic treatments include the COSMED Restore & Regen chemical peels formulated with a blend of acids, 0.6% Retinal and antioxidants.


Pre-treatment with retinoid products has been deemed essential to expedite re- epithelialization and epidermal healing; however regimens have varied greatly in terms of the strength of Retinoids used, length of the pre-procedure treatment and ideal time to stop treatment before the procedure. Optimal pre-treatment is 3 months depending on the depth of treatment and discontinuing 24-48 hours prior.


Once any irritation has subsided or the 'down time' period is complete, continue with Retinoids to support epithelialization and epidermal healing.

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