What's the deal with Retinol?

What's the deal with Retinol?


Retinol has been a powerhouse product that many have turned to for anti-aging and acne control for years. It promotes collagen, cell turnover and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re like me, then the word was always mysterious and I always heard different things regarding safety. I knew it wasn’t the safest so I just stayed away from it. Here are some facts about retinol:

  • Retinoid is the umbrella term for retinol ingredients.

  • Retinoids come from the Vitamin A family.

  • Retinol comes in many forms in skincare: retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, retinol propionate, hydroxypinacolone retinoate etc.

  • Prescription retinol comes in the form of retinoic acid and is extremely strong on the skin. Think the common scare of extreme dryness on the skin, but it delivers results the quickest.

  • When retinol is used in over the counter skincare lines it has to be converted to retinoic acid on the skin in order to work. It usually takes longer.

You’re probably wondering “if it works what’s the harm?”

  • First of all Retinol’s toxicity rating on EWG is a 9 with high risk for developmental and reproductive toxicity. If I knew nothing else this would be a good enough reason for me to stay away.

  • Retinoic acid (remember all retinoids need to convert to this on the skin to work) can make the skin more sensitive to the sun’s damaging rays, drys out the skin and has other harmful side effects especially for those with sensitive skin.

  • Did you know that both the EU and Canada have restricted the use of Retinol? This makes it not worth it for your health.



  • Bakuchiol is on fire right now for offering the same benefits to the skin while being safe and irritation free.

  • It comes from the babchi plant and has been used for a long time in Ayurvedic Chinese medicine.

  • Bakuchiol, like retinol, has been known to promote cell turnover, reverse signs of aging, stimulate collagen production and reduce pigemenation. It is also safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding!

  • Other articles on Bakuchiol HERE and HERE.

    Chart taken from Beautycounter


Beautycounter’s Retinatural Complex:

  • After almost three years in r&d, Beautycounter has launched a natural retinol collection called Countertime featuring their Retinatural Complex.

  • Retinatural Complex includes the powerhouse Bakuchiol with Swill Alpine Rose to lock in moisture.

  • Swiss Alpine Rose grows at the highest altitude in the Alps and can protect itself against environmental stressors, lock in moisture and promote antioxidant defense.

  • Together these two ingredients deliver plump, glowing skin without the irritation, dryness, or sensitivity to the sun.

  • Of course the line is free of all of the other nasties: PEGs, Parabens, synthetic fragrance and more.

  • Shop Countertime HERE.

  • If you are on your switch to safer journey and tend to err on the side of caution, the launch of Countertime is a big win in the name of performance and safety!!! Watch out world, Beautycounter is here to stay.

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