When we look in the mirror we can see our skin beginning to change as we age. More lines and wrinkles begin to form, skin begins to sag or become lax and we tell ourself it’s because we are 'just aging or getting old’. But what if we could change what’s happening to our skin over time? Well, the good news is that you can by applying a topical vitamin A.

What most people don't know is that the changes they see in their skin over time are largely due to a cutaneous (skin) deficiency of vitamin A and this deficiency happens because of light exposure. You see, every time we step outside into daylight, our cutaneous reserves of vitamin A are depleted. This depletion, over time, shows up as fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, benign growths, redness, dryness, and in worst cases, skin cancer. Vitamin A is the non-negotiable, essential molecule for our skin's DNA. It’s needed for repair and regeneration.

The remarkable news is that we can replace the lost vitamin A on a daily basis, rain or shine, and recover some of our youth by using a bio-effective vitamin A topical. But the active forms of this vitamin A are dependent on the manufacture, dosage and packaging. Retinoic acid, Retin-A, is the active molecule in DNA. As many of us have experienced, Retinoic acid can be tricky to tolerate and is sun sensitizing as is the alcohol form retinol. However, what science is showing us now is that the fat soluble forms of vitamin A are actually stored and converted to Retinoic acid in the cell. Therefore, we can load up our reserves without irritation or sun avoidance using the fat forms of vitamin A and our skin cell nucleus has 24/7 access to Retinoic acid.

There's Three Environ products chalked full of Vitamin A that I like to recommend for patients who are looking to improve and repair their skin. First is the C-Quence step up series for more mature skin. The second is a budget friendly A,C,E oil for the face and body. The third product is a moisturizer in the AVST line that is great for all skin types including children and individuals with sensitive skin.

Environ products are highly concentrated and considered to be a medical grade skin care line which requires a consolation with a dermatologist or aesthetician. During the consultation the proper line will be recommended based on your skin type, pigment and if there is any sun damage.

Shawna Wiesner is a DermaConcepts / ENVIRON Skin Care educator and licensed master aesthetician. She works closely with Dermatology Associates of Seattle to educate staff and patients about anti-aging skin procedures and the Environ skin care line.