Retinol is a type of Vitamin A that the human body absorbs from animal-sourced food, such as beef or lamb liver, cod liver oil, and salmon. Scientists can also make retinol in a laboratory that manufacturers can use to create products.
About RetinolAmong many other functions in the body, retinol helps cells reproduce normally, which helps skin stay young and fresh looking. The molecules that make up retinol are very small, and their small size allows retinol molecules to go deep beneath the outer layers of your skin to the middle layer of skin, known as the dermis. Once there, the retinol molecules go to work boosting the production of collagen and elastin, which are protein fibers that provide structure and support of your skin. Increasing collagen and elastin “plumps” your skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and enlarged pores.
Retinol also provides an exfoliating action that gets rid of dead skin cells, revealing fresh, youthful looking skin below. Removing dead skin cells can improve skin texture and fade dark spots.
Retinol can treat acne and the scarring that acne can cause. The vitamin cleans out oil and skin cells from your pores to prevent the formation of blemishes. Retinol can also help balance hydration levels in skin by removing dead skin cells that cause moisture loss; this action can also control the production of sebum, which is a waxy substance that can clog pores to cause breakouts.
While retinol offers many benefits, it can be harsh for your skin, particularly if you already have sensitive skin. People who use retinol commonly experience dry, irritated skin, especially after they try a new product. Retinol can also cause red, itchy, and peeling skin.
Types of Natural Retinol Alternatives
A retinol alternative provides many of the same benefits as retinol, but without the drawbacks. Products with beta-carotene-rich ingredients, such as mango butter and rosehip oil, provide many of the same benefits of retinol without the red, burning, flaky side effects. Bakuchiol, derived from the seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia plant, boosts collagen and elastic production like retinol but without the harsh aftereffects.
At Revinia®, we use ac-11® instead of retinol in our products. ac-11 is an extract of the Uncaria tomentosa plant, indigenous to the Amazon rainforest. This natural extract can enhance cell health by limiting inflammation, clearing out damaged cells, and enhancing immune function – all of these are good news for your skin. ac-11® is an effective retinol alternative because it provides similar anti-aging results when it comes to reducing wrinkles and improving common types of skin damage. In fact, ac-11® is better than retinol because it causes less irritation. This is particularly important to those with sensitive skin. ac-11® is also superior to retinol in that it is all natural.
For more information, check out Revinia’s® blog about ac-11®.
Guide to Choosing the Best Products with Alternative Retinols for You
Alternative retinols are now available in a number of products; each of these products offers a unique blend of ingredients, which means there is probably a formulation that meets your individual needs. It also means that some products offer higher quality than others. Choosing the best alternative retinol may be easier than you think if you know what to look for.
Choose alternative retinols according to your skin’s needsOpt for products containing antioxidants, such as bakuchiol and lycopene, which tame the free radicals that break down collagen and damage skin. Look for products with beta-carotene, such as mango butter and chicory root, which the body converts to retinoids.
Alternative retinol ingredient percentagesCheck the packages to determine the strength of the active ingredient similar to retinol. Research shows that using a product containing .05% bakuchiol twice a day produced comparable results as using .05% retinol once a day, for example. If the packaging or label does not list the strengths, check the ingredients list – the closer to the top an ingredient is, the more the product contains.
For best results, start with a lower concentration of active ingredients then move to a stronger formula as your skin becomes accustomed to it. Products containing higher percentages of the active ingredient will likely produce better results, but may irritate skin.
Avoid allergens and irritantsSome products contain allergens and irritants that can leave skin red, dry, and irritated. Avoid harsh or synthetic ingredients, such as hydroquinone, synthetic alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), dimethicone, and fragrances.
Look for moisturizing and skin-tightening agentsEven natural anti-aging products can dry out your skin. Choose products that contain hyaluronic acid, squalene, ceramides or other moisturizing agents. Skin-tightening peptides help lift and smooth skin while reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Revinia® includes moisturizing and skin-tightening peptides that help promote the anti-aging properties of ac-11®. Some of these peptides form a resistant and flexible protective film that mimics the properties and functions of skin. Other peptides provide a lifting effect that smoothes skin and erases wrinkles instantly. Together, the full complement of peptides in Revinia® products creates a more radiant complexion from the first application.
Opt for quality
You cannot always judge the quality of a product by its price, but lower-priced items are not typically backed by scientific research, and they may not contain the best ingredients available. The highest quality skincare products use ac-11® instead of retinol to reduce signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discoloration. Look for quality packaging that protects the product from damaging light and air exposure.
Retinol helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, along with other types of skin damage, but it can cause red, dry, and irritated skin. Natural alternatives can provide the same great effects of retinol without the skin irritation.
Revinia® offers some of the highest quality products containing retinol alternatives available today. Adding Revinia’s® retinol alternative ac-11® to your skincare routine can improve the youthful, healthy appearance of your skin.