Good news for those of us who like smooth, elastic and supple skin-- there is measurable proof that a particular skin treatment is effective, and with so many skin treatment options, it's always nice to know which ones actually work.
Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School have found that applying vitamin A (retinol) to the skin does improve the type of wrinkles associated with natural aging, and also promotes the production of skin-building compounds.
Reza Kafi, M.D., of Stanford Medical School and his colleagues at the University of Michigan Medical School, assessed the effectiveness of vitamin A (retinol) lotion in elderly individuals. In a double-blind study, the researchers applied a lotion containing 0.4 percent retinol to participants' right or left upper inner arms, and lotion with no retinol to the other arm, up to three times a week for 24 weeks. Wrinkles, roughness and overall severity of aging were each graded on a scale, and biopsy specimens of skin were taken from both arms at the beginning and end of the 24-week treatment period. Both observation and skin biopsies revealed that the retinol did significantly increase the production of glycosaminoglycan and procollagen, important structural components of human skin.
"Topical retinol improves fine wrinkles associated with natural aging," the authors of the study concluded. "Significant induction of glycosaminoglycan, which is known to retain substantial water, and increased collagen production are most likely responsible for wrinkle effacement [reduction]. With greater skin matrix synthesis [production of compounds that form new skin], retinol-treated aged skin is more likely to withstand skin injury and ulcer formation along with improved appearance."
Sounds good to me!