It is no secret that Vitamin A is one of the wonder ingredients in anti-aging skincare creams and serums. However, its most potent form of retinoic acid often causes skin irritation such as redness and burning as side effects of its beneficial activity.
Hydroxypinacolone retinoate is a Vitamin A ester that effectively penetrates the skin without irritating the skin.
Hydroxypinacolone retinoate (HPR) benefits the skin by counteracting the effects of photodamage and the chronological effects of aging. HPR plumps out the skin by increasing cellular growth and collagen and treats skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis.
HPR is an effective and skin-friendly alternative to the more harsh Vitamin A derivatives such as tretinoin or even retinol. If you seek a new ally in your fight against aging, please read on to discover Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate benefits for your skin.
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How Does Hyroxypinacolone Retinoate Benefit Your Skin?
Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate works on a cellular level to stimulate epidermal growth and counteract the signs of intrinsic and extrinsic aging. HPR reduces hyperpigmentation and dark spots and evens skin tone while encouraging the growth of collagen and elastin affected by the aging process.
Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate is a chemical compound derived from Vitamin A.
This form of Vitamin A ester is quite revolutionary as it is milder than other retinoids such as tretinoin and, unlike retinol, does not require the user’s skin to metabolize the ester into beneficial retinoic acid.
Although Vitamin A has long been associated with anti-aging benefits for the skin, Retin-A, or tretinoin, irritates the skin. It often results in peeling skin, burning, and redness.
The milder version of retinol passes through several metabolic steps to be beneficial to the skin and loses much of its potency in the process.
HPR is an effective and comparatively gentle alternative to tretinoin and retinol as an effective Vitamin A-derived skincare product.
Bioavailable in its natural state, the HPR communicates with the cells of your skin and causes several beneficial responses.
These responses include stimulating new cell growth, including new collagen and elastin fibers, and stimulating new blood vessels in the papillary dermis. HPR harnesses the restorative power of Vitamin A and actually reverses the effects of both intrinsic and extrinsic aging.
Benefits of Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate for the Skin
Increased Collagen Production
A clinical study on human skin models concluded that models treated with HPR outperformed even the most potent Vitamin A acid called tretinoin or all-trans retinoic acid.
The results from a process of histologic staining showed increased procollagen production in the HPR treated models without an increase in an inflammatory response.
Collagen plays an essential role in the skin and is a protein that keeps our skin firm, plump and youthful-looking. As one ages, collagen production slows, leading to a drier, thinner, and less elastic skin leading to fine lines and wrinkles.
HPR works at a cellular level to promote collagen growth, plumping the skin and reducing the wrinkles associated with aging.
Control of Skin Conditions Such as Acne
This clinical study conducted on 98 test subjects with mild to moderate acne found that a combination of HPR, retinol, and papain was effective in treating irritant contact dermatitis.
The test subjects were treated daily for 12 weeks and showed a dramatic improvement in their skin conditions.
After their 12-week course of application, scientists evaluated the test subjects’ skin via the Global Acne Grading System (GAGS) and lesions count. The results were astonishing, with a 41% reduction in GAGS score and a 40.8% mean reduction of total lesions.
HPR works by unclogging blocked pores and inhibiting the formation of the blemishes that form when oil and skin cells are trapped inside the skin pore. When used with topical antibiotics, the retinoids enter the pore and eradicate the bacteria causing the acne.
Reverses The Thinning of Skin Associated With Aging
A clinical study on several test subjects measured the effects of retinoic acid treatments and retinol on the skin. HPR is an ester of retinoic acid, which makes this study particularly pertinent.
Through biopsy samples, the test subjects treated with retinoic acid-based treatment showed a thickened epidermis with changes from a flattened dermal junction to a healthier undulating dermal junction.
As the body ages, it produces less collagen and elastin and gradually becomes thinner and prone to fine lines and wrinkles. By increasing the outer dermal layer, HPR plumps sagging skin and reverses some of the signs of aging.
Treating Pigmentary Disorders
Retinoids such as HPR function in the treatment of skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation and melasma. Melasma occurs when cells overproduce melanin and cause brown or blue-gray patches or freckle-like discolorations on the skin.
Retinol is also implicated in the reduction of sunspots by inhibiting tyrosinase. Tyrosinase stimulates melanin production in the skin and, when overproduced, results in discoloration of the facial tissue.
Topical retinoids such as HPR improve the evenness of skin tone and reduce pigmentation and dark spots for a brighter and clearer complexion.
Improves Skin Texture and Hydration
Retinoic acids (of which HPR is a chemical compound) are responsible for maintaining and encouraging the growth of the living layer of the epidermis. Not only that, retinoic acids strengthen the protective function of the skin and reduce transepidermal water loss.
The inhibition of water loss from the skin results in greater moisture retention, lessening the age-enhancing effects of dry skin. Photoaging causes collagen and elastin fibers to degenerate over time, while HPR stimulates cell production to counteract these signs of aging.
The results are improved skin tone and skin texture with increased luminosity caused by the enhanced hydration of the HPR activity.
Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate Products To Try
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion contains a next-generation retinoid active complex called Granactive Retinoid, a lightweight emulsion with a hydroxypinacolone retinoate (HPR) base.
Granactive Retinoid contains a complex of 10% HPR and 90% solvent (dimethyl isosorbide), so keep in mind that the serum doesn’t contain 2% HPR, but instead 0.2% HPR and 1.8% solvent.
The emulsion/serum also contains an undisclosed amount of a sustained-delivery form of pure encapsulated retinol to improve delivery and results. It is supposed to provide similar or better results than retinol but without the irritation that comes along with retinol, retinyl palmitate, and other over-the-counter retinoids.
This creamy emulsion was my first exposure to HPR, and I was amazed at the results with minimal side effects like dryness, peeling, or flaking.
Of course, everyone will respond differently, but this is one of my holy grail anti-aging products in my skincare routine. I won’t ever be without this very affordable retinoid!
If you have dry skin, consider The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoids in a squalane base. The retinoids come in 2% and 5% concentrations.
Squalane is a saturated hydrocarbon that has the consistency of a super lightweight oil. It is a fantastic moisturizer and helps prevent transepidermal water loss. It should also appeal to those with acne-prone or oily skin, as it is non-greasy and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores.
The serum also contains squalane to moisturize and support balanced skin hydration.
This is the perfect starter retinol product, as it contains a low amount of retinol and HPR for minimal irritation. Its formulated for normal, dry, combination, and oily skin types.
Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum
Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum targets wrinkles, sun damage, and discoloration with HPR. It also contains a vegan-sourced phytoceramide to moisturize and plump the skin.
Sodium hyaluronate, the salt of hyaluronic acid, works to hydrate and replenish the skin’s moisture and minimize the look of wrinkles.
Oat beta glucan hydrates, protects, and repairs the skin, making this ingredient ideal for irritated, damaged, or sensitive skin.
Aloe vera provides anti-inflammatory benefits and soothes and calms redness. Please note that this serum contains citrus essential oil.
Final Thoughts on Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate
The real wonder of HPR is that it’s not merely a topical cream or serum that protects your skin but acts at a cellular level to stimulate new cell growth. Very few over-the-counter skincare actives do this for your skin.
With increased collagen and elastin production, HPR actually does what most other cosmetic ingredients only promise to do: effectively reverse the signs of aging. That’s why this anti-aging ingredient will stay in my skincare routine.
Thanks for reading, and until next time, here’s to your good skin health!