Retinyl Propionate is an ester of retinol and propionic acid, one of the stable forms of vitamin A. Although it is structurally similar to retinyl palmitate (another vitamin A derivative - ester of retinol and palmitic acid), the penetration levels of this ingredient are better, which means higher concentrations in deeper layers of the skin.
Under the influence of enzymes in the skin, retinyl рropionate breaks down into retinol, then active retinoic acid, which is responsible for beneficial effects common to retinoids (fibroblasts activation, increased production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, inhibition of MMPs, skin thickening, etc.). Excess retinol may be deposited (esterified) in the form of retinyl palmitate. Compared to other retinoids used in skincare, retinyl рropionate is a better booster of hyaluronic acid production and inhibitor of enzymes (MMP) responsible for its destruction.
Like other retinoids, retinyl рropionate lessens wrinkles, improves skin elasticity, and heals sun damage (including actinic keratosis - chronic UV-induced damage), reversing photoaging and exposing youthful or younger-looking appearance.