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The Importance of Vitamin A in Cosmeceutics

Over two decades ago, the importance of Vitamin A and cosmeceutics was pioneered by the likes of Kligman and Fernandes.

Today high dose topical antioxidant Vitamins A and C are widely recognized for their significant rejuvenating / anti-aging aesthetic properties, as well as important benefits against precancerous lesions in the case of Vitamin A. The focus of researchers in the field has now progressed to methods of enhancing penetration of these important vitamins into the skin. We present advances in the field that can enhance penetration of large-molecule vitamins up to 10,000 fold through the skin.

The conventional acid and alcohol forms of vitamins (like Vit A in the form of retinoic acid and retinol, or Vit C in the form of ascorbic acid), cause stripping, and photosensitivity of the skin. Other, ester-forms of Vitamins A & C exist, however, that can more easily pass through the skin’s lipid barrier, with minimal side-effects at the surface of the skin or systemically, and yet maximized bioavailability locally in the cells where they’re needed.

Techniques that further enhance absorption of these forms of vitamins, by bypassing the stratum corneum, without stripping it, are discussed, including ultrasound, iontophoresis, transdermal patches, and micro-needling.