I have had to give this email quite a bit of thought. You see, Vitamin A is like family to me. I first started to work with this precious molecule in 2006, long before social media existed. I was emerging from 11 years working with Decleor, an aromatherapy skincare range from Paris. Decleor had the most amazing aroma, all plant-based. Their treatments started with hot oil drizzled down the clients back and finished with a warm porridge-like mask at the end.
Then I am suddenly talking to my clients about this relatively unheard of skincare brand, Environ. Environ doesn't particularly smell great (perfume is not essential for skin health), there is no back massage, and the facial has electrical impulses throughout..However, Environ works.
I had to fight a tough fight to convince my clients and my team members that this skincare range would give them beautiful, healthy skin for a lifetime. Here I am, 17 years later, still in Environs corner, fighting. I try not to get emotional when a follower sends me a post on Instagram, a medical influencer might say that they don't rate Environ because they won't give out percentages of retinol or another saying that micro needling at .1mm is a waste of time even though it is scientifically proven to work.
These people have not treated 100's of skin types for almost 20 years and witnessed the life-changing results achieved. We have.
We have now reached an era where the unthinkable has occurred, Vitamin A is now sexy, and I am not upset to see this beautiful ingredient all grown up and in the spotlight, like a proud mum who always knew its potential, I am beaming. I am also very protective. For that reason, I want to clear up a few things about vitamin A. An international unit (IU) is an internationally and scientifically accepted amount of a substance.
It is not an alternative to %. It is the correct way to talk about chemicals. When referring to the potency of Vit A within a formulation, you must only refer to its international unit. To use percentages is a marketers dream as you could be referring to a portion of literally anything. So it can be very misleading. Which, unfortunately, is nothing new in the beauty and skincare industry. For example, take a 12 pack of toilet roll and a 6 pack. Both the same ingredient (Toilet roll) but 50% of one is 3 toilet rolls and 50% of the other is 6 toilet rolls.
Vit A comes in many forms, but ultimately they all do the same thing. 1 international unit of any form of Vit A will result in 1 international unit of retinoic acid. Imagine it to be a journey, and the destination is retinoic acid. All forms of Vitamin A will end up as retinoic acid in the cell. The difference between them is the speed that they get there. So like all journeys you choose your method of transport.
If you decide Retinyl Palmitate, you get to enjoy a smooth, stress-free journey, and even better, there is a built-in sunscreen as Palmitate is photoprotective. Acetate and propionate are similar without built in sunscreen.
Next up is retinol and retinal. Retinal is virtually the same as retinol and only 1 oxygen atom short of retinoic acid. I will call these two the motorbike; only one conversion is required before converting to retinoic acid in the cell. These forms are rapid but also turbulent. They can be irritating on the skin, especially if the skin hasn't been exposed to or prepped with esters first.
Finally we have retinoic acid. In nature, we virtually never find retinoic acid in our food, except in the tiniest quantities in animal tissues. At maximum, it represents 0.3% of the Vitamin A in the body. It is a tiny molecule. This has to be the helicopter. Its capacity to irritate the skin and make it light-sensitive is so great that it is a controlled drug. Only available on prescription. When the cell receives retinoic acid, it will convert it to retinyl palmitate if it doesn't immediately utilise it, such as retonic acid volatile nature. This also mirrors the skins harmonious relationship with retinyl esters.
You might wonder, if this is true, why would anyone ever want to use retinoic acid on their skin? Well, the truth is not everyone has heard of Environ skincare. A skincare range so passionate about skin health and its clients' results, they committed potential commercial suicide by creating a step-up system. It is so much easier for other brands to create a formula that screams (helicoptor) at the skin twice a week instead of gently whispering (Car) that same message morning and night.
I remember Dr Des Fernandes, creator and founder of Environ skincare, telling me a story about a conference he attended once. The host was saying how esters in skincare are ineffective and don't have the potential to change the cell's DNA. Des popped up to him afterwards and showed him some before and after pics from clients using the AVST line. The professor asked what international units were being used, and when Des disclosed, the professor was not surprised at the changes in the skin. The form of Vitamin is secondary to the dose. Dosage is key.
Sometimes I feel like screaming this information for all to hear, and other times I think no. I am happy once I know, and I can share this information with my clients. We can enjoy all the benefits of beautiful, healthy skin for a lifetime with no nasty side effects. Not everything needs to be spoken about. Sometimes we just sit back and let our glow do the talking.
Cleansing Cloud and Cloth
A reusable and soft makeup remover pad that allows you to remove your makeup with only water. This makeup remover wipes your face clean from all types of makeup without the need to rub or scrub. The water assists in loosening up your makeup while the technology of the fiber strands holds onto the makeup to ensure it does not transfer back on to your skin. The Cleansing Cloud reaches deep into your pores to remove all impurities allowing a clean and fresh face.
There is no need to add additional cleanser to SkinDeep cleansing cloth, you only need to run it under warm water and apply to your face to remove even the hardest-working waterproof and oil-based products. The cloth can be used over 1000 times and is machine washable. It is ultra-soft and so, can be used on sensitive skin. The cloths come in a pack with its partner, The Cleansing cloud.
The FACIAL KONJAC SPONGE is designed with 100% natural Asian root plant fiber to gently remove dirt, oil and makeup from even the most sensitive skin. Perfect for daily use, this super soft facial sponge naturally cleanses your skin, keeping it fresh, glowing and silky smooth. Use with or without cleanser. Konjac is a renewable plant source from Asia that has been used for thousands of years as medicine, food, dieting aids and in beauty products.
Makeup Brush Cleansing Mat
All of your holy grail skin care products mean nothing if you're just going to slap makeup on your face with brushes hoarding weeks worth of foundation and eyeshadow. I hate to be a downer, but dirty makeup brushes and sponges can make gross things happen to good people. Just as you're keen on washing your face regularly (hopefully), your makeup tools should receive the same attention. Stop Bacteria build up, Irritating skin, Aggravating and infecting acne by using are latest tool to effectively clean your brushes. Simple add and antibacterial liquid soap and work each brush onto the pad for the most effective clean imaginable. Leave to Corinna=dry in the sun or hot press, laying brushes flat so water doesn’t loosen hairs in the handle.