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  /  Skin Care Tips   /  What is Retinol? [Skin Care Benefits and Natural Alternatives]
Retinol product


When it comes to anti-aging, retinol is the sure shot answer for most of us. Why? Because it is tried and tested, it is effective, it is easily accessible and well, we simply LOVE the results it gives. You see natural retinol being used in a lot of serums and skincare products

But what exactly is it and why is it so effective? Well, in this article we are going to cover all this and much more! So, keep reading ahead to know it all. 

1. Benefits of natural retinol for skin

  • Boosts collagen production.
  • Plumps up your skin from within.
  • Helps combat fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improves skin texture by making it flawlessly smooth.
  • Gives you a healthy glow by lightening up your complexion.
  • Fights pigmentation and suntan.
  • Promotes skin elasticity.
  • Heals and treats acne

2. What Is Retinol Cream?

Also referred to as – Retinoids, these creams were used since the 1970s to fight anti-aging signs as well as various skin issues such as warts and psoriasis. Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A that commonly serve well to improve eyesight and skin health. Such creams are formulated with retinoids sourced from animals and include retinol. Carotenoids (such as zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene) and beta-carotene are also natural sources of the same. They are loaded with photoprotective properties and antioxidants. 

Natural retinol cream when applied regularly, helps you fight signs of ageing and also helps tighten your skin. How? -As it is a natural collagen booster. Retinoids accelerate your skin’s cell turnover by working at the cellular level.

Therefore, this miraculous ingredient is a part of various products such as underarm lightening serum and face brightening masks. A lot of skincare brands that produce organic skincare solutions, use natural retinol in their formulation.

3. Side effects of Retinol

Some people (especially those who have sensitive skin) might have problems with retinol. They may experience dry, flaky skin post-use, but don’t be scared. A lot of us are intolerant or sensitive to certain ingredients. It is best to consult your dermatologist or a skin care professional before using products containing high potency or proportion of retinol in them. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not advised to use retinol. 

Common side effects of retinol include the following –

  • Dry and flaky skin that peels off 
  • A warm sensation lingering on your skin
  • Tingling effect
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Itchiness

But, don’t get disheartened. If you still want to reap the benefits of retinol for healthy skin, you can! Yes. There is a natural alternative to retinol, actually, there are three. These natural sources of retinol are the best call for help and here they are – 

4. Natural alternatives of Retinol


A. Bakuchiol

It is a botanical extract that is derived from bakuchi plant seeds. Bakuchiol has the same collagen growth and cell regeneration properties as regular retinol without irritating the skin. Yes, it is easily tolerable by most skin types and you can definitely say it is a skin-friendly alternative. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. You can even mix it with Vitamin C and some of your other favourite face serums. And guess what? You can even wear it during the daytime, with your sunscreen, obviously!

B. Rambutan



It is actually a red-colored fruit that comes from the lychee family. Unlike lychee, Rambutan is covered with spikes all over its exterior. But it’s extract is not actually derived from the fruit. The leaves of this tree are the main source of natural retinol. It performs just like your regular retinol and is a great alternative to try out!

C. Rosehip Oil

Rosehip is yet another great ingredient that fits the box ‘oh-so-perfectly!’. It is sourced from rosa canina rose bush which is known for its regenerative and healing properties. It inhibits trans-retinoic acid, which is a naturally-forming Vitamin A. It increases collagen production and helps fight fine lines, age spots, and wrinkles. 

All that being said, you must also take a look at the precautions list we have prepared for you before trying retinol for the first time, especially singly. 

5. Precautions

  • Start with less concentrated formulations of retinol. Do not feed your skin with a high potent retinol-based serum during your first try.


  • Apply retinol every third day in the beginning.


  • The initial phase of retinol usage may cause certain reactions, which are normal. You can stay in contact with your dermatologist for any skin-related concerns that might seem too off or bother you.


  • Start using it during the night to avoid harsh sun exposure in the daytime. 



  • Please check with your doctor before using it if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any major skin sensitivity.


  • Make sure you apply the product to cleansed skin.


  • Observe and watch out for other products you use along with retinol. Some ingredients may chemically react or get activated when they get incorporated together.

Well, that’s all for this time. Let us know if this article was helpful and what topic you want us to tap on next!


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