Nothing betrays your age more than the texture of your skin.
I’m talking about the way your skin gets thinner and more fragile as you age, giving it a look that’s almost translucent, like tissue paper. Thin skin is also the reason for puffy eyes.
At the same time, the delicate blood vessels beneath the surface of your skin lose their support tissue. And your blood vessels themselves become thinner and less elastic.
This causes veins to stick out, especially on your hands, and the slightest trauma leaves you with broken vessels and unattractive dark bruises.
Dermatologists will tell you nothing can correct thinning skin… that you just have to accept it as a natural part of aging.
But they’re wrong…
You can repair and strengthen thin, fragile skin with retinol. A study published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that vitamin A can be used topically to counteract environmental damage that leads to thinning skin.
Vitamin A has been shown to reduce wrinkles, pigmentation-related issues, and spider veins.
It can also improve skin texture, smoothness, and firmness because it increases the collagen content within your skin’s dermis.
But if you’re like a lot of women I see at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging, retinol comes with side effects, especially if you have sensitive skin. And a lot of women with thin skin report increased sensitivity.
That’s why I recommend using vitamin A palmitate.
It’s a gentler form of retinol. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not as effective.
Vitamin A palmitate, which is also known as retinyl palmitate, is just as powerful at fighting the signs of skin aging.1 It stimulates the production of new skin cells. Without it, skin can become too dry.
In a study reported in the Archives of Dermatology, researchers at the University of Michigan gathered 36 subjects with a mean age of 87.
Half of the subjects applied retinyl and the other half used a placebo. After applying the lotion three times a week for 24 weeks, the participants returned for clinical assessment and testing.
The researchers were stunned with what the study revealed… The retinyl treatment significantly increased glycosaminoglycan expression (the skin’s ability to retain moisture) as well as collagen production compared with the placebo.
And more importantly, the retinyl reduced the appearance of wrinkles 20 times more than the placebo group.2
This study backed up earlier research.
In two clinical trials in Korea, researchers had 46 women apply retinyl twice daily to one side of their face. The other side got a placebo.
All the women reported significant improvement, including the reduction of wrinkles around the eyes known as crow’s feet.3
Vitamin A has also been proven to:
- Boost collagen production
- Fade brown spots
- Smooth roughness
Even though retinyl palmitate is more mild than retinol, I still recommend that you introduce it to your skincare routine gradually. Start with applying it to clean skin once a week. Then build up as your skin tolerates it.
If you experience irritation, stop using for a day or two before reintroducing. Some people can use it daily, while others prefer to apply it only every other day.
Two More Ways To Age-Proof Your Skin With Vitamin A
In addition to applying vitamin A topically, I suggest including more of it in your diet.
- Use natural vitamin A. I recommend you get your vitamin A in its most native state. You can only get it from animal products and animal fats. That means liver, fish, eggs, cheese, and raw milk.
- Spice up your life. When you cook, you can also add spices like paprika, red pepper, cayenne, and chili powder. A tablespoon of paprika contains 3,691 IU of vitamin A equivalents. Other red pepper powders have similar amounts. Cayenne powder has 2,081 IU per tablespoon.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Zasada M, et Al. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2019 Aug; 36(4): 392–397.
2. Kari R, et Al. Improvement of Naturally Aged Skin With Vitamin A (Retinol). June 2007 Archives of Dermatology 143(5):606-12.
3. Kim H, et al. “Improvement in skin wrinkles from the use of photostable retinyl retinoate: a randomized controlled trial.” Br J Dermatol. 2010 Mar;162(3):497-502.