3 Natural Retinol Alternatives for Real Results With Zero Irritation

3 Natural Retinol Alternatives for Real Results With Zero Irritation
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Dermatologists are obsessed with retinol, the gold-standard ingredient derived from vitamin A that’s been shown time and again in clinical studies to help boost collagen, reduce wrinkles, and zap blemishes. The catch? Retinol is not only extremely irritating and painful for most people (think: flaking, red, and raw skin), but according to the Environmental Working Group, it’s also a high hazard for many reasons, including concerns that it’s a “known human reproductive toxicant” and associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Lucky for us, nature has other solutions for us that are comparable to retinol. Now, we’re not saying they’re exactly the same, but they will help you look just as glowing and youthful—without the risks and burning sensations.

1. Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the wild rose, most commonly Rosa rubiginosa. The precious oil is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are amazing moisturizing agents, and it’s a natural source of trans-retinoic acid, the main bioactive component “responsible for [its] regenerative properties,” per this study. Consistent use of rosehip seed oil has been shown to help firm skin, reduce acne scars, and boost elasticity.

Find it in: Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil

3 Natural Retinol Alternatives That Give Real Results With Zero Irritation

2. Bakuchiol

Bakuchiol is a substance (called meroterpene phenol) abundant in the leaves and seeds of the herbaceous plant Psoralea corylifolia, also known as babchi, which has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to help treat skin conditions. In one study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, participants applied bakuchiol twice a day for three months and saw dramatic improvements in fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, firmness, elasticity, and reduction in photodamage. The researchers concluded that bakuchiol “can function as an anti-aging compound through retinol-like regulation of gene expression.”

Find it in: Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum

3 Natural Retinol Alternatives That Give Real Results With Zero Irritation

3. Sytenol® A

Sytenol® A sounds even more toxic than “retinol,” but it’s actually a plant compound found in bakuchiol. Sytenol®A acts with the same receptors in skin as does retinol and activates the same activity that helps with firming, renewal, UV protection and anti-inflammatory actions.

Find it in: Trufora Night Serum

3 Natural Retinol Alternatives That Give Real Results With Zero Irritation

*Disclaimer: Help support Organic Authority!  Our site is dedicated to helping people live a conscious lifestyle. We’ve provided some affiliate links above in case you wish to purchase any of these products.

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Sarah Ban
Sarah Ban

Sarah Ban is a beauty, health and wellness journalist, editor and copywriter who works with the world's best indie brands and publications. Her work has been published in NYLON magazine, The Kitchn and Living Healthy and she has worked with some extraordinary brands such as Odacité Skincare, CO Bigelow Apothecaries, Kopari Beauty and Seaweed Bath Co. When she's not writing or reading, you can find Sarah eating brunch alfresco in her green and gorgeous hometown of LA.