Medik8’s Cutting-Edge Retinol Cosmeceutical Products
Products containing Retinol, a pure form of vitamin A, help to fight and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol is proven to improve mottled pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, skin tone and colour, and your skin’s hydration levels. Retinol exfoliates the skin constantly, and helps with collagen production, improving the skin’s appearance. The effects of retinol in the skin depend on its concentration, if the concentration of retinol is low, it will not have any effect in the skin and if the concentration is too high it could irritate the skin. Skin irritations from too high a dose of retinol include: skin redness, itchy skin, stinging, skin scaling, increased sensitivity to light.
All retinoids have chemical and photochemical stability problems, meaning that they are particularly difficult to formulate with. To what extent they are stable is dependent upon factors such as solvent, temperature and available oxygen. Dehydration of the product is used because where there is a high water content or the presence of oxygen or surfactants the stability problems are enhanced. If retinol becomes unstable, the effectiveness diminishes and the benefits are lost.
ASSURANCE OF QUALITY
The All-Trans-Retinol that Medik8 uses is assayed at the place of manufacture to ensure that only the correct isomers are used, and that all the retinol is all-trans. The retinol must be at least 95% all-trans-retinol in order to ensure that it meets the criteria. The retinol is completely stable for at least six months in cosmetic formulations that have been manufactured under an inert atmosphere and stored in aluminium tubes at 20°C. Due to the fact that retinol is so unstable, it is dissolved in oils, filled under nitrogen, stabilised with antioxidants and stored in aluminium cans at low temperatures.
We use a blend that contains all-trans-retinol, tocopherol and stabilisers. The ratio and absolute concentration of these three ingredients is well balanced to achieve maximum stability of retinol in cosmetic formulations. This blend offers significantly improved stability, without relying on the use of inert gas technology during manufacturing and packaging. The blend will remain stable for at least twelve months when stored at low temperatures (5-10°c). This blend also has the added advantage of containing a vitamin E derivative and a vitamin C derivative, meaning that retinol has the support of vitamin C and E in order to remain stable (please see Antioxidant, Vitamin C or Vitamin E handout for details).
STABILITY AND BATCH CYCLE
The all-trans-retinol that we use is encapsulated so that it can be released over time into the skin cells where it is required. By encapsulating the retinol it is inhibited from irritating the skin as it is released in small doses over time as required. We use molecular film and liposomal technology to ensure that penetration is enhanced and optimum results are gained from the application of the product.
The above graph shows that it is important to store Retinol 40 at the correct temperature in storage (Medik8 stores at 12⁰C), and during manufacture to ensure that it does not lose any of the potency required to affect the skin. Medik8 retinol is stored in aluminium cans under nitrogen before filling ensuring stability and potency until it reaches the client.
Medik8 is able to ensure maximum stability for its retinol products as we manufacture all retinol serums in our on-premises laboratory. We can therefore guarantee that all are produced only 30 days before they are shipped to store. We make small batches to make certain that when the product reaches the customer it is effective and stable and the client will receive the desired effects.
The all-trans-retinol that we use is encapsulated which not only improves stability and shelf-life markedly but also has the benefit of introducing a “time-release” effect, so that it can be released over time into the skin cells where it is required. By encapsulating the retinol it is inhibited from becoming unstable by interacting with oxygen or other elements that it comes into contact with. We use molecular film and liposomal technology to ensure that penetration is enhanced and protection from oxygen is further increased.
The effects of vitamin A on the skin (after topical application) has been confirmed in a number of studies.
A study utilising human skin samples found that topical 1% retinol inhibits the increase in metalloproteinases and stimulates collagen synthesis in both intrinsically aged and photoaged skin. Varani et al. also used tissue specimens to show that retinol may be able to restimulate fibroblast growth potential, which seems to decrease with increasing age. Varani J. et al. Vitamin A antagonizes decreased cell growth and elevated collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinases and stimulates collagen accumulation in naturally aged human skin. J of Investigative Dermatology 2000; 114: 480-86
This and other studies show that 1% retinol produces the equivalent results to prescription strength retinoic acid.