There's no denying that in the world of skin care ingredients, retinoids reign supreme. They are the cream of the crop (pun intended), prized by dermatologists for their ability to provide a long list of skin benefits.
This group of vitamin A derivatives, of which retinol is an over-the-counter version, can do almost anything. "They reduce fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen and elastin production, induce cells on the surface to shed, resulting in brighter skin and more even skin tone, and decrease excess pigmentation by inhibiting an enzyme needed for melanin production," the board explains. - Board Certified Dermatologist Robin Gmyrek, MD.
Retinoids are also very popular with dermatologists for the treatment of acneThis is due to their ability to help keep pores clear and their anti-inflammatory effects. And on top of all that, they have a long, solid track record: "Retinoids are also notable because they have been extensively studied," adds Gmyrek.
For some people, however, all of these benefits can come with some serious drawbacks. Retinoids are known for their annoying potential side effects, including redness, dryness and general irritation, not to mention that they can't be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women because of the potential for birth defects, Gmyrek explains.
The good news is that you have other options: natural retinol alternatives. (FYI, since the term "natural" doesn't really have a definition, we're using it in this context to refer primarily to plant-based ingredients).
Among these natural alternatives are plant-based options such as carrot oil, rose hip oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, baobab oil, caffeic acid and salicylic acid.
These ingredients are less likely to irritate the skin and can be beneficial for collagen production and the removal of dead skin cells, as well as fighting acne and pigmentation. They may also help protect against sun damage.
That said, the results may not be as dramatic as retinoids, but these natural alternatives may be a good option for people who can't stand retinoids and want milder skin care results.
Retinol: Instructions for use
1. Use vegetable oils such as argan oil or jojoba oil to moisturize the skin and stimulate collagen production.
2. Apply aloe vera gel to relieve irritation and reduce redness.
3. Use vitamin C products to combat wrinkles and fine lines.
4. Scrub regularly to improve skin texture and stimulate blood circulation.
5. Use snail slime products to promote the production of collagen and elastin.
6. Incorporate natural antioxidants like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E into your skin care routine.
7. Use essential oil-based products to nourish and protect the skin and fight the signs of aging.