There is so much buzz about acids and retinoids at the minute. I find myself asking… Can Mother Nature offer an effective alternative to the new cool kids on the block?


What are Retinoids?
Firstly, incase you haven’t heard I will explain what retinoids are. Retinoids are a form of antioxidant vitamin A with similar therapeutic properties to vitamin C. They behave similarly to vitamin C in that your Retinoids will degrade upon regular exposure to light, heat, and air so they need protected while in your care in order to maximise the quality of the product.

Retinoids can be found in so many beauty products and tend to increase the price of the product so you will find them in small quantities in products and generally within brands that have a foundation in science. There is a theory that they are best used at night while using acids during the day is recommended for a more effective skincare routine. Also, it is advised not to use acids and retinoids in the one application. As renowned dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D., says “You have to also be careful not to use a product that has ingredients that can render retinol useless. Glycolic (AHA), salicylic acid, and kojic acid can break down retinoland retinoids.”

So what about acids?
Hyaluronic acid is one of the most popular acids utilized by the skincare market and I see why… hyaluronic acid molecules’ have the unique ability to attract and retain more than 1,000 times their weight in water. That’s more than any other biological substance. Hyaluronic acid is used in countless skincare products and is used as a filler delivered by injection of which the effects can last for months and months but will eventually fade over time.


What does Mother Nature offer?
I respect the medical approach to skin care and appreciate that it can be favored by so many youth seeking beauty queens but as always I turn to the more natural solution for my antioxidants and hydration.

Fortunately, when it comes to seeking our natural vitamin A there are many options.
Rosehip seed oil is an excellent source of trans-retinoic acid without the potential irritation that prescription retinoic acid might cause. Antioxidant packed Rosemary Extract is another rich source of vitamin A and C.

Bakuchiol is a botanical ingredient hailing from India. Bakuchiol comes from herbs commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, which has very similar effects to retinol with less irritation. A study published last year in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science compared the topical application of Bakuchiol and retinol for 12 weeks and showed that Bakuchiol mimics retinol when applied to skin twice daily. In 2010 a Japanese study found that Bakuchiol can suppress melanin-producing cells to help lighten pigmentation and sun damage.

Sytenol A has been named the best retinol alternative on the market. Though it sounds chemical, Sytenol A is a blend of the purified form of Bakuchiol (from natural Indian Babchi seeds) in a stable base with other ingredients like phenol to help remove dead skin cells from the surface of skin.

If fine lines and wrinkles are a concern for you, it could be worth trying peptides as an effective retinol alternative to consider. Retinopeptide 189 is an amino acid chain, which will stimulate collagen and elastic tissue production. That means skin bounces back when you frown, squint and smile.

Moth Bean Extract is grown in Pakistan and India; Moth bean Extract is derived from a climbing bean plant renowned for its resistance to drought and arid conditions. The compound is extracted from protein-rich seedpods of the plant. Moth is a natural source of retinol which when it is formulated in skincare, this form of retinol helps support collagen production and healthier cell renewal rates with a lower risk of irritation than its prescription alternative.

X-pressin is derived from papaya and is known for its ability to exfoliate however it doesn’t speed up cell turnover like retinol.

Plant stem cells, amino acids and copper come together in E24 Complex to improve cell-to-cell communication, enhance natural skin renewal rates and strengthen the skin’s protein network for firmer skin. Cell bio-energy determines how quickly the body renews skin, and better cell communication helps facilitate that. It is like smart skin technology.


So, can Mother Nature offer an effective alternative to the new cool kids on the block? Yes! If we empower our selves with knowledge we can seek the natural alternatives for our skin care routine, in doing so we create less irritation and damage to our skin along the way!

Love Lucy A x