Retinol. Your girlfriend with the perfect I-woke-up-like-this skin swears by it. Your friend with the not so perfect skin in high school had a prescription for it. It's on the top recommendations list of every influencer you can find. You've done your research and are ready to take the plunge on a quality retinol. But then you come across an article about "the purge." 6-8 weeks of red, flaking, irritated, hypersensitive skin? Um, yeah, no thanks.
We hear you, we really do. Who has the time or the moolah to wean on to a skincare ingredient like that? But the end results are so worth it!
Oh hey, we're embody: the ingestible retinol. Tasty, easy, no purge. You're welcome.
So what’s better for you? Ingestible or topicals? Do they work the same? Which one is right for you?
Here’s some research gathered around this debate:
Vitamins and nutrients from our diets eventually enter our bloodstream, which flows to the blood vessels that feed our skin. Gotta love the circle of life! So if that’s the case, is it even necessary to apply vitamins topically if we are ingesting them through healthy diets and supplements? Well yes and no. Topical vitamins target a particular skin issue and are limited to the specific application area. When ingested, the benefits are seen all over the skin at a lower potency, which is why it is good to both ingest and apply vitamins to the skin to achieve the optimal benefits.
Another concern with topicals is that they may be applied unevenly or insufficiently, and wear off from sweating, swimming, or rubbing against clothing. Uneven application means uneven results. Ingestible supplements may be able to offer a more consistent baseline of skin care results, especially if used in combination with topicals. Not to mention some topicals cause irritation and purging for several weeks. Which will not be cute for your sister's wedding.
So why does this purge happen? In the case of topically applied retinoids, the actives stimulate your skin cells to turn over at a faster rate than normal, meaning you lose your old layer of skin faster. Eventually your skin cells are trained to maintain that speed of turnover leaving you with baby soft, fresh skin all the time. But until that training process is through you'll be left with dry, flaky, peeling, and red skin. The key to a (semi) painless topical retinol experience is MOISTURE and BABY STEPS. Don't skimp on the moisturizer while you're weaning on to retinol, and take it just a few days at a time to allow your skin to adjust to that new turnover speed.
Let's talk about the concerns with ingestible supplements. There is such a thing as too much with vitamins. Ingesting high doses of certain vitamins (like Vitamin A) may cause a condition called hypervitaminosis, also known as vitamin toxicity. Hypervitaminosis is often caused by taking large amounts of these vitamins over an extended period of time but can usually be reversed by discontinuing use of the vitamin in question. You shouldn't mix supplements that contain the same ingredients to make sure that you're not doubling up.
Similarly, applying too much of a vitamin to the skin can cause intense irritation and damage. For both ingesting vitamins and applying them topically, it is always best to stick to the recommended daily dose, and consult with your doctor if you have any questions.
Conclusion: Do both to see the best results! You may find one works better over the other so make sure you test out both options in small doses and consult your doctor if you have any questions.