There is one ingredient that skin experts consistently recommend for fighting the signs of ageing: vitamin A. So powerful is this mighty vitamin, that it can actually change the way your skin cells behave, prompting them to turn over faster like they do in our youth, and thus make your complexion look more luminous. Vitamin A occurs naturally in fish and liver and you’ll generally see it on skincare labels listed as retinol or retinoid. There are some new plant-based alternatives though … we’ll spill the beans on this in a sec!
If it’s so great, why doesn’t everyone use vitamin A?
Well, that’s just the trouble, not everyone can tolerate retinol. Retinol can have really irritating side effects for many people, ranging from flaky, dry skin to redness and irritation. Ouch!
I’ve heard retinol makes your skin sensitive to the sun?
It’s true. It does. You’ll need to be extra vigiliant about sun protection or you risk causing serious skin pigmentation. Dermatologists usually recommend applying vitamin A at night, but you’ll still need sun protection anytime you’re exposed to UV light.
I don’t want to deal with irritation. Is there an alternative?
Thankfully technology means we now have plant-based vitamin A alternatives that are less harsh on the skin. Vitamin A is usually derived from animal products, but the demand for vegan-friendly options means there are some brilliant plant-based options now available. The best of the bunch is Stevisse, a vitamin A derived from the stevia plant, a South American native that also thrives in the beautiful Bordeaux region of France. Studies have shown that Stevisse helps to stop one of the skins pro-inflammatory pathways, so it directly targets the cause of visible ageing. Stevisse produces a similar skin-smoothing effect as retinol, but without the irritating side effects. Hooray!
That’s great news! Is it suitable for everyone?
It sure is. You can use it twice a day, morning and night, without the irritating side effects of retinol. Stevisse works in a similar way to retinol – it acts a bit like an antioxidant and ‘tells’ the cells in the deeper layers of the skin to make healthy cells – but it doesn’t cause redness, flaking or sensitivity in the process.
Can’t you achieve the same result with an exfoliant?
Not really. Chemical exfoliants, such as AHA’s and BHA’s, do improve skin radiance but they do it in a different way, primarily by removing dead skin cells from the uppermost layer. Stevisse works in the deeper layers of the skin, prompting skin cells to turn over faster, like they do when we are young. Exfoliating has fairly immediate results as it removes the top layer of dull skin and, although it takes a little longer to see a visible difference in skin texture when using vitamin A, the longterm benefits make it totally worth it.
Are there other benefits of vitamin A?
We’re glad you asked because, yes, Stevisse doesn’t just make skin cells turn over faster, it also encourages the production of collagen in your skin, which will plump up the complexion and reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time.
Can it help reduce crow’s feet?
We would normally advise against using retinol around your eyes because of the potentially irritating side effects, but Stevisse is brilliant for helping to reduce visible crow’s feet, so it’s worth hunting down an eye cream that contains it. Unlike regular vitamin A, Stevisse is well tolerated, so you can safely use it on the delicate eye area daily and get great results.
Is Stevisse earth-friendly?
It sure is! It is derived from a renewable plant-based resource, which also makes it vegan-friendly. Stevisse is part of the new future of skincare: it’s a science-meets-nature approach to naturally restoring the skin’s youthful glow.