• A New Generation of Retinoids

    While it is common knowledge today that Retinoids, including Retinol (pure Vitamin A), Retinyl Palmitate and Retinoic Acid, are amongst the most powerful topically applied ingredients to address the signs of aging, perhaps less known is the fact that of all the Retinoids only Retinoic Acid, has a direct biological effect on the skin. One certainly has the option of applying Retinoic Acid to the skin; however, it is only available as a prescription drug cream in most parts of the world. In fact, Retinoic Acid (Tretinoin) is the active ingredient in Retin-A TM (TM Ortho Dermatological) and Renova,TM (TM Ortho Dermatological) two of the best-known prescription anti-wrinkle/anti-acne creams. Unfortunately, topical Retinoic Acid often causes skin irritation including excessive peeling, redness and photosensitivity which limits its use.

    If Retinoic Acid is the only biologically active form of Retinoid that has a direct effect on the skin, why is it that the cosmetic companies still use Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate to fight aging? Fortunately for us, our skin has naturally occurring enzymes that convert Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate into the active form, Retinoic Acid. While it may take two and three steps to convert Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate to Retinoic Acid, they can deliver the well-established skin benefits of Retinoic Acid while producing fewer side effects.

    At The International Dermal Institute we have discovered a new patented molecule, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (abbreviated HPR), that is an ester of Retinoic Acid and works similar to Tretinoin (Retin–A) but without the irritation. Unlike Retinoic Acid, results of the standard RIPT (Repeat Insult Patch Test) skin irritation test showed no irritation after 21 days of continual use. And because it is not a drug it can be used in cosmetic products. Results of a two week study showed that a 0.1% concentration of HPR applied topically gave a 50% improvement in skin roughness and a 40% improvement in skin surface scaling, an indicator of dryness. No irritation was evident in any of the test subjects. And unlike Retinol and other derivatives that must be converted to the biologically active form of Retinoic Acid, HPR binds directly with Retinoid receptors to initiate a response (i.e. cell proliferation and differentiation) in the skin. Think of receptor binding as turning on or off a light switch. When the Retinoic Acid binds to the receptor the light switch turns on, initiating a cellular response. By the same token, HPR is also capable of turning on the light switch, whereas, Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate must first be converted to Retinoic Acid.

    Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate represents a new generation of Retinoids that will no doubt be continually researched for their positive impact on the skin especially in addressing skin aging.

    For more information on the research behind Retinol, refer to this blog entry: