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Natural Retinol: Better than Synthetic Retinol?

natural retinol

As you age, your body’s ability to regenerate cells slows to a snail’s pace. A process that would take merely 28 days jumps to a whopping fifty, or even seventy days, as you age. This makes the skin dull and tired. Retinol is touted as a miracle treatment, which speeds up the skin regeneration process and brings back the youthful glow.

When used as part of a daily skin regimen, it boosts the presence of collagen in the skin and skin elasticity. The end result is smoother, plumper looking skin, free of redness and bumps. In fact, over time, it brightens the complexion and reduces the visibility of dark spots. It also improves wrinkles and fights acne as well.

Most over-the-counter treatments contain synthetic retinol, a potent chemical created in the lab. However, there is a natural alternative available, i.e., natural retinol.

What Is Natural Retinol?

Natural retinol is essentially the vitamin A found abundantly in plants and food. When used topically on the skin, it has far reaching benefits, including anti-aging qualities. Natural Retinol is extracted from organic sources such as fruits, plants, beans and more.

Synthetic Retinol Vs. Natural Retinol

Both types of retinol have a positive effect on the skin. However, since synthetic retinol is artificially prepared, there are bound to be additional chemicals in the end product.  

Synthetic treatments have additional ingredients like perfume, stabilizers and more. Hence, with synthetic retinol, you always run a risk of exposing your skin to chemicals other than retinol.

Secondly, synthetic retinol is very potent. Because of this, it cannot be used if you have sensitive skin. Synthetic varieties are very harsh when used for the first time. They are likely to cause irritation and dryness on sensitive skin.

Additionally, stepping out in the sun after applying synthetic retinol can cause skin burn, redness and inflammation. Besides this, most pregnant women are discouraged from using synthetic retinol treatments to minimize the risk of exposure.

In contrast, natural retinol comes in the form of oils, serums or extracts. It is milder on the skin, but some extracts are equally as effective as the synthetic varieties. It is also free from chemicals found in synthetic treatments and less harsh on the skin. In fact, most varieties are safe to use during pregnancy too.

Types of Natural Retinol Available on the Market                                                

Natural retinol is extracted through organic means; hence, it is available as natural oils, extracts or natural retinol serum. Rose hip oil is one example. It quickly absorbs into the skin, soothes it and is effective in treating skin inflammation, dryness and pigmentation.

A natural retinol called Vigna Aconitfolia is gaining popularity these days because it is plant-based. Vigna Aconitfolia retinol is extracted from moth beans, a variety of legumes native to Pakistan and India. It seeps deep into the skin and stimulates collagen production at a molecular level. Besides this, it boosts the turnover of cells and plumps up the skin. It is milder than synthetic retinol but works equally as well to exfoliate the skin and battle wrinkles.

Additionally, the extract also contains a set of compounds such as ferulic acid, caffeic acid and kaempferol. These boost the antioxidant quality of the extracts and benefit the skin. Interestingly, this extract is not oil-based; hence, it effectively brightens the skin without causing any clogged pores.

Vigna Aconitfolia is also suitable for use by pregnant women and its superior performance is comparable to synthetic retinol. However,the benefits come without all the risks associated with synthetic treatments. Hence, this makes it highly effective.

Zen Jen’s Verdict

If you are looking for a mild alternative to synthetic retinol, then opt for natural retinol oils and extracts. Free from harsh chemicals and milder on the skin, they are a great starting point to bring your glow back.

Many people come and ask me if I have retinol in my skincare because they are sold on the benefits of retinol.  Not surprisingly,  I hear from the same amount of people concerned about the harsh side effects!  Many say that they can use retinol synthetic products  for a short time only, then they have to give their skin a break. 

I wanted to make a product that addresses those concerns but also give the benefits of retinol.  So along with several Vitamin A ingredients such as Carrot Extract, Sea Buckthorne and Rose Hips, I added Vigna Acontifolia to increase the retinol effect. 

Vigna Acontifolia in ZenJenSkin Products