Various topical vitamin A derivatives (retinoids) have been used for the treatment of both intrinsic and extrinsic skin ageing. Topical retinoids are a very well-established ingredient group with proven histological and clinical improvements, including acceleration of epidermal cell turnover, repair of sun damage such as elastosis, stimulation of collagen biosynthesis and slowing down of collagen breakdown via inhibition of MMPs (matrix-metallo-proteinases).
Prescription tretinoin (retinoic acid) is still seen as the gold standard topical agent to improve skin ageing as well as chronic sun damage. Other prescription variants include Adapalene and Tazarotene. Trifarotene is a new, fourth generation retinoid, more selective for the gamma retionoic acid receptor type.
With regards to over-the-counter options, retinol is seen as an effective non-prescription alternative. Both act via the same nuclear receptor in the cell, only retinol has to go through a multi-step conversion into retinoic acid first, in order to fit that receptor.
In addition to retinol, there are various other over-the-counter vitamin A derivatives used in skincare, including retinaldehyde (retinal), retinyl esters (eg retinyl palmitate) and retinyl retinoate, (a hybrid of retinol and retinoic acid) amongst others.
The lecture will discuss the latest scientific evidence, exploring whether one ingredient has better evidence behind it than others, also comparing their irritation potential, thus making it a contender for an over-the-counter retinoid gold standard.