Vitamin A has many compounds, including retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and some carotenoids. They’re called Retinol derivatives, or Vitamin A derivatives.
Synthetic (human-made) versions of vitamin A compounds and derivatives of those compounds are common in personal care products. In addition to “vitamin A,” these go under many different names on product labels, including retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, and retinol. Another vitamin A compound, retinoic acid (also called all-trans-retinoic acid), is a prescription-only treatment for acne.
Vitamin A compounds and their derivatives are most common in “anti-aging” products, but also appear in moisturizers, anti-acne products, and foundation.
In terms of efficacy, Vitamin A and its derivatives rank from highest to lowest:
- Retinoic acid
The stronger the effect, the greater the irritation.
When you start to try Vitamin A skin care products, you may start from the mild ones first, choose the products containing Retinyl, there’re a few of them.
- Retinyl palmitate
- Retinyl acetate
- Retinyl linoleate
Vitamin A and its derivatives can promote the metabolism of skin cells, when the new cells grow out you’ll see less damaged collagen, thus a firmer skin.