What is Retinol? The exciting benefits and why you want to start using it now

If you’ve been wondering what is Retinol, you aren’t the only one. When we think about what Retinol is, we get image of expensive face creams for wrinkles and fine lines. However, is retinol only beneficial to remove fine line and wrinkles?

So, what is Retinol and should you invest in it for your skincare regime? Retinol is a common skincare ingredient made from vitamin A – an important antioxidant for both skin and eye health

Retinol has numerous essential benefits, primarily for aging skin. However, retinol is not always natural; there are conventional and natural rationales, which we will discuss in this article.

What Is Retinol? Conventional vs. Natural Retinol

Conventional retinol is synthetic, i.e., a chemical derived from vitamin A, that is artificially created. Alternatively, natural retinol can be found in many animal sources such as beef, chicken livers, eggs and fish. Natural retinol can also be found in certain fruits and vegetables like cantaloupes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and carrots.

Since retinol consists largely of Vitamin A it has many benefits for the skin, but artificial retinol may have particular side effects. So it is always recommended to educate yourself before and then choose which retinol to opt for. 

Retinol boosts skin cell turnover by converting enzymes in the body into the active form of vitamin A, thus increasing the skin’s vitality. 

As people age, the process of dead skin removal slows down, whilst in children, skin rebirths every two weeks; it takes more time in the late twenties and thirties and even more in the forties and fifties. As a result, skin becomes drier and more likely to get pigmented; retinol ensures more rapid skin cell turnover and dead skin removal. 

What is Retinol?

What is Retinol? It comes in synthetic and natural versions. To avoid side effects natural retinol is best.

Photo by Shiny Diamond: www.pexels.com

Why Should You Add Retinol to Your Skincare Regime?

Conventional retinol promotes collagen and elastin production – the essential proteins that ensure skin elasticity and smoothness. During aging, the production of these ingredients decreases; therefore, wrinkles start to emerge. Retinol helps keep your skin strong, firm and wrinkle-free.

Retinol also helps to neutralize damaging environmental factors, such as pollution, UV rays and blue light, to which we unwillingly expose our skin and they cause considerable premature damage. 

Unlike conventional retinol, natural retinol comes from chicory root, tara tree extract or the babchi plant, the natural compounds that stipulate the same results as traditional retinol. Natural retinol lifts and tightens the skin and, in essence, imitates the effect of chemical retinol without being synthetic or damaging. Natural retinol can be a useful part of establishing a natural skincare routine.

Benefits and Side Effects

Although they have different derivatives and work in different ways, we have seen above, both conventional and natural retinol provides the same benefits, which are:

  • Boosts skin cell turnover and removes dead skin
  • Smooths uneven skin texture
  • Aids with early wrinkle correction 
  • Prevents acne and large pores
  • Promotes skin firmness and fades dark spots

natural retinol has no side effects, conventional retinol still has some to be aware of, they are normal as your skin needs to adjust to the active ingredient. These effect can include:

  • Mild skin irritation
  • Dryness
  • Redness and itching
  • Peeling skin
  • UV sensitivity

Due to these side effects, it is not recommended to ingest retinol for people with ultra-sensitive skin or who struggle with diseases like rosacea or eczema.


If you’ve been wondering what is Retinol and whether it’s worth investing in, now you know. As we have seen, retinol has many benefits in our skincare routines, but the synthetic version can cause a few side effects. Even though conventional retinol can lead to faster results, it is worth thinking to substitute it with a natural one if your skin cannot tolerate one of those side effects mentioned above. 

You can choose your skincare products according to what type of retinol it contains. Also, please pay attention to the daily dosage, as you should start taking retinol slowly and increase the intake gradually. If you’re unsure whether retinol is a good solution for you, consult your dermatologist for individual advice.

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The Green You


Mariam Khundadze


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