Retinol is a very powerful and super potent ingredient used for acne treatment as well as in anti-ageing skincare. It can be a great cosmetic ingredient but if not used correctly or with proper guidance it can cause serious unwanted harm.
Unfortunately, most efficient forms of retinol such as retinol itself, retinaldehyde and retinoic acid can sensitise and photosensitise skin, easily irritate it and make skin prone to pigmentation disturbances.
Not to mention it’s not recommended at certain times, such as pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the potential health risk for the embryo/baby.
And did you know that it can be more sensitising for darker skin?
As the skin is more fragile, drier, and less protected. Intense retinol-based treatment can also often lead to retinoic dermatitis, discomfort, redness and skin dryness especially in darker and more sensitive skin types.
MAKE WAY FOR NEW
We now know more about the mechanisms of retinol. In recent years new natural plant-based molecules have been found to use the same mechanisms. All without the traditional side effects.
RETINOL ALTERNATIVES WE USE FOR ACNE TREATMENT
MACLURA PLANT BIOFLAVONOIDS
A new ingredient we’ve been using from 2022. These bioflavonoids are able to bind retinoic acid cell receptors, mimicking the effect of its most potent form. Not only does it help to reduce skin oiliness, but it also stimulates the synthesis of collagen in the deep layer of skin and restores skin elasticity, preventing post-acne scarification.
We’ve been using this molecule since 2013 to treat oily and problem skin. Extracted from virgin avocado oil, Avocutine works similarly to retinol. It inhibits a particular enzyme (5-alpha reductase), which transforms testosterone into DHT, a potent androgen playing a key part in the development of acne, seborrhoea (excessive sebum) and even alopecia.
Avocutine slows down the transformation of testosterone reducing sebum production by 30% in the first 2 weeks of application.
A RETINOL ALTERNATIVE FOR SKIN AGEING
Similar in structure to retinol, bakuchiol acts as its functional analogue, at least in part. Bakuchiol can upregulate the expression of types IV and I collagen and stimulate the synthesis of collagen type III in mature skin. Study of skincare products showed a lot of promise – significant improvement concerning lines, wrinkles, skin elasticity and other age-related skin changes.
So, you see, there is more than one alternative to retinol, and the future will surely bring more.