What is retinol?
Retinol is a synthetic form of Vitamin A touted by dermatologists for its anti-ageing power.
It’s used to reduce wrinkles, zits and hyperpigmentation by rapidly increases cell turnover.
This leads to thinning of the upper layers of skin, leading to dryness, redness, flaking, peeling as well as increased light sensitivity.
This is why dermatologists recommend niacinamide for its calming and skin strengthening properties. For some people, niacinamide lessens the drying side effects of the retinol.
However, your skin will still be sensitive from retinol use and other products that previously worked for your skin, may start to sting.
This is a sure sign you have overdone the retinol and need to take a break from it.
Natural retinol alternatives
Because traditional retinol has unpleasant side effects, formulators have been busy finding other ways to get consumers their retinol fix, sans the downside.
Fortunately there are gentle natural alternatives with retinol-like results, but without the nasty side effects:
Retinol alternatives for sensitive skin
They are all plant based, so suitable for vegans and those on the paleo lifestyle.
and Hibiscus extract (used in Proposal in Paris night cream)
I’ve written separate articles on each of these, so you can make an informed choice.