The Dangers of Retinol Cream

The Dangers of Retinol Cream


Retinol cream is a popular skincare product that is often used to improve the appearance of skin-aging. However, there are some dangers of retinol cream that lie in its side effects—especially for those who have sensitive skin. In this blog post, we take look at some of these effects as well as provide a natural alternative to pursue instead.

The Dangers of Retinol Cream

 Woman applying retinol cream to her cheek

Photo by Juriel Majeed on Unsplash

The Nitty Gritty on Retinol

Retinol or retinoic acid is derived from Vitamin A, and it works by speeding up cell turnover to improve the appearance of skin. It started to become popular in skincare in the 1970s when it was found to effectively treat acne & severe acne breakouts. However, over time topical retinoids have become increasingly popular as an anti-aging tool.

So what retinoid treatments or "over the counter retinol creams" exist? You can find retinol by the name retinyl palmitate, retinol propionate, retinaldehyde, and tocopherol in over-the-counter products. There are also prescription strength retinoids that can be prescribed by a dermatologist and applied topically. These include adapalene (Differin), tazarotene (Tazorac), and tretinoin (Retin-A).

Because it is a powerful ingredient, there can be some negative side effects associated with retinol use—particularly for those with sensitive skin/delicate skin types.

Of course, the stronger the concentration of retinol, particularly with prescription retinol, the greater the chance for skin irritation.

 Hand holding a jar of retinol cream

Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

So, what's the deal for those of us with sensitive skin?

With retinol products, some may experience:

-Dryness and redness

-Irritation and inflammation

-Increased sun sensitivity

 Up close shot of woman's neck

These side effects of retinol are often the result of retinol’s ability to thin out the surface layer of skin. This may sound like a good thing (and in some ways, it is), but it also means that your skin becomes more susceptible to environmental aggressors like pollution and sun damage from UV rays.

Increased skin sensitivity can leave you vulnerable to a lot more harm than the good the product is intended for.

On "Retinol Burn"

One of the side effects of retinol that has been getting more attention lately is something called "retinol burn." This occurs when retinol breaks down in sunlight, causing burning and redness. It can even lead to permanent sun damage and pigmentation changes like dark spots. No thank you.

As you start to use retinol cream in your routine, you may notice more redness, irritation, dry skin, and itchiness in your skin texture. While this is supposed to ease as your skin adjusts to the increased cellular turnover in your skin care regimen, for some these effects can remain.

So what’s a girl (or guy) to do if they want to enjoy the anti-aging benefits of retinol in their skin care routine without putting their skin at risk?

The answer is Bakuchiol—the natural alternative to retinol that is just as effective, but much gentler on skin cells.

Bakuciol facial moisturizer from beauty by earth

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a potent plant-based ingredient derived from the psoralea corylifolia plant or "babchi plant." It has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat a variety of skin ailments. 

Bakuchiol provides all of the same anti-aging benefits of retinol, but without any of the negative side effects. Studies have shown that bakuchiol treats aging by preventing fine lines, reducing wrinkles, and helping with pigmentation, elasticity, and firmness of the skin cells.

Woman holding beauty by earth's bakuchiol cream over her eye

No matter your skin type, you can improve skin texture, boost collagen production, plump skin, and sort out uneven skin tone with the help of this mighty ingredient.

We love it so much that we've created an entire line around it: our YouthRestoration Bakuchiol line! This line includes a serum, night cream, and toner all designed to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles—without any irritation. You needn't test the waters with the dangers of retinol cream when you've got this line up at hand.

The Bakuchiol line is also a great option because of the other ingredients included like niacinamide and aloe vera and their individual benefits they bring to the table.

 Woman dispensing beauty by earth's bakuchiol cream into her hand

Still not convinced? Check out this blog post where we go more in-depth on the benefits of bakuchiol. And, take a closer look at what makes up our incredible bakuchiol serum.

Have you made the switch from topical retinol to bakuchiol in your skincare routine yet? Any stories about retinol irritation you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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