signs of aging skin (let’s say fine lines, wrinkles, or saggy spots for
examples) doesn’t always necessarily require cosmetic procedures. If the
problems are mild, sometimes OTC anti-aging cream would help a lot. Still, the
ingredients play a key role! But can anti-aging cream work without retinol?
Pros and cons of
all know retinol, a holy-grail thing in the beauty world for smoothing out the
skin texture, fine lines, and other signs of aging skin.
free-needle potent ingredient isn’t just a celebrity secret. It does promise a
fresh and glowing skin appearance by boosting skin cell turnover. And the effectiveness
has been clinically and scientifically proven 
— a hero cosmetic ingredient that has no gimmicks. It has become a gold
standard in anti-aging industry to give youthful looking in a lot of ways.
is a kind of vitamin A that you can also find in foods (e.g. carrots, eggs, dark
leafy greens, and fruits). When topically applied and absorbed into the skin,
your enzymes convert it to become retinoic acid.
is available in OTC products (without prescription) and the strength is lower
than retinoids (stronger vitamin A derivative, typically used with
prescription). Since it has lower concentration of the active retinoic acid,
it’s likely to work more gradually than prescription retinoids.
though retinol is likely safe for many people, particularly true if compared to
stronger retinoids, unfortunately it’s not suitable for anyone.
have seen the pros mentioned above, now here are a few drawbacks and when you
need to avoid it:
- Many times it’s still too
powerful (harsh) for sensitive skin, making counterproductive effects
(irritation, redness, peeling, and drying out skin) more likely. Start with a
patch test, for example apply the cream every 3-4 night! If there is no
negative reaction after 2 weeks, it’s probably safe to increase the intensity
- When you first begin applying it,
you may have redness, flaking, or dryness skin. But with proper skin care
routine (especially adequate hydration, both applying moisturizer and drinking
adequate water), you would find these effects subside within 2 weeks.
- The risk of skin pigmentation.
Retinol will make your skin more sensitive to UV rays. So slathering on a
high-grade SPF is a must during the day. Use also a hat, if necessary!
- Retinol is absorbed into the
skin, affecting the activity of your cells. So don’t use it when you’re
pregnant! While vitamin A is an essential micronutrient for pregnancy, an
extreme dose of vitamin A would be counterproductive during pregnancy .
without retinol, do they work?
there are more innovative forms of retinol in order to provide one that works
more effectively with the least side effects. But still, some people can’t
with eczema, for example, can’t tolerate it at all. The same goes for people
with very sensitive skin or other skin conditions. That’s why we’re looking for
alternatives that yield something similar.
do anti-aging creams ‘without retinol’ really yield the same magical things
like what retinols do?
the record, there is still no true ‘retinol alternative’ with the same magical
effects on the skin.
a few alternatives exist. Although they don’t promise dramatic results as well
as what retinol products do, they are worth a try – and some are also already
backed by science, these include:
you’re looking for a thing with retinol-like activity from plant-based
ingredient, bakuchiol is probably your best bet. It is derived from an herb
plant long used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine called the Babchi plant.
has pseudo-retinol effects, including for anti-aging. It is one of the few
alternates for which several studies back up .
suggest it may work to:
- Ease and reduce find lines and
- Improve skin elasticity.
- Improve signs of sun damage.
- Lighten skin pigmentation.
activates particular genes that have to do with the production of elastin and
collagen, the same ones what retinols activate!
it’s likely safe for most skin types, including sensitive skin. It’s less
likely to redden or irritate the skin. Even it’s probably OK to use during
pregnancy, but ask your doctor first because anything related to pregnancy
would be double checked.
the results are likely to be less dramatic, you should give it a shot if you
experience negative and comfortable reactions with retinols.
following are a few bakuchiol products I recommend: