Five Best Vegan Retinol Alternatives That Work - The Nue Trend

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Woman applying vegan retinol to her face while looking in the mirror.
July 12, 2022

Retinol is one of the hottest ingredients on the skincare market! It is popular because of  its powerful anti-aging benefits that seem to reverse the clock while preventing future aging. However, traditional retinol has some adverse side effects that can minimize your results. Like all skincare, it is essential to remember that 60% of what you put on your skin will enter your body. Once absorbed in the bloodstream, it can cause damage to your kidneys, live, or even lymph nodes. This fact alone makes it vital to choose skincare with vegan ingredients. Let’s look at vegan retinol and five of the best options on the market. 

five hands holding different types or skincare

What is retinol?

Retinol in skincare has many positive benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Speeding up cell turnover.
  • Exfoliate to remove old cells quicker.
  • Stimulate elastin and collagen production.
  • Plump up skin.
  • Smooth current wrinkles while minimizing the appearance of new lines or wrinkles.
  • Fade and shrink the appearance of age spots or scarring.
  • Reduce any acne by preventing pores from clogging.

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that can occur naturally or be created artificially. Dr. Joshua Zeicher, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York says, “Retinoids are a class of molecules all related to Vitamin A. There are many different forms including pure retinol, retinaldehyde, retinyl esters, and prescription versions. Most retinoids are produced synthetically in the lab, and they are perhaps the best-studied ingredient we have available in skin care to fight aging skin. They work by binding retinoid receptors in the skin to tell cells to rev up collagen production.”

Traditional vs Vegan Retinol.

Traditional retinol can come in many unsavory forms. It can come from animals like eggs, fish liver, beef, and chicken. Retinol can be produced artificially in a lab with various chemicals. Lab-made retinol can be very harsh on the skin. It can cause many side effects such as acne, extreme dryness, and/or inflammation. 

On the other hand, vegan retinol comes from plants, fruits, or vegetables. While it is equally effective as traditional retinol, it has fewer potential side effects. Retinol naturally occurs in sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squashes, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, lettuce, bell peppers, pink grapefruit, and broccoli. However, the most popular vegan retinol replacement is called Bakuchoil! Bakuchiol comes from the seeds and leaves of the Babchi plant. It is also known as Psoralea Corylifolia. This makes it an all-natural plant oil ingredient. 

Here are five products using Bakucoil or other vegan retinol alternatives to make the best skincare for you!

1: Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum

An unscented jelly-like water-based serum, Herbivore’s product packs a punch! It is proven to target skincare concerns like dullness/uneven skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles, and dryness. This serum is a fun light purple natural hue from a blend of natural botanicals, including bakuchiol, turmeric, holy basil, basil, and eggplant extracts. Herbivore recommends this product for all skin types, including sensitive skin. 

2: Paula’s Choice CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment

The next vegan retinol treatment we recommend is from the brand Paula’s Choice. This serum contains licorice, oat extract, and other soothing ingredients. This means you will not have any side effects like redness or sensitivity! Its hydrating lotion absorbs quickly to target lines and wrinkles. The high 1% vegan retinol formulation ensures that it produces results quickly and effectively. 

3: Peace Our Retinol Eye Stick

Next, this eye balm stick from Peace Out is for to refining, hydrating and guarding against environmental nasties in one step. A do-it-all balm which helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles and overall skin texture. This formula contain peptides, and Astaxanthin (an antioxidant that studies found to be 6000x stronger than Vitamin C). These work together to heal and strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier. The goal of Peace Out skincare is to help you make peace with your skin. They provide clean, targeted skincare solutions to champion your best skin.

4: REN Clean Skincare Bio Retinoid™ Youth Serum

Ren’s Bio Retinoid serum contains retinol from Bidens pilosa. It is also chock full of ingredients like natural ceramides and niacinamide! They all work together to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, this product strengthens the skin barrier, improves skin hydration, and visibly reduces irritation! Not only does this product contain vegan retinoal but it also is vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and comes in recyclable packaging.

5: Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum

Versed is an entirely vegan skincare line! Which means every product contains all natural ingredients that are healthy for your skin and body. If you have concerns about fine Lines and wrinkles, dullness, and uneven texture this is the product for you. This retinol serum is proven to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve radiance, and even tone to give you a youthful-looking complexion. Ren recommends it for any skin type.

When using any retinol, it is CRITICAL to use sunscreen. Whether you use vegan or traditional retinol, it is a notorious ingredient for increasing sensitivity to the sun. The first thing a dermatoligist will tell you when adding retinol to your skincare routine is to use a sunscreen. The use of Vitamin A, no matter how natural and gentle the formula is, increases sun sensitive immensely. To find the best vegan sunscreen for you skin type be sure to read our article, The Top 10 Vegan Sunscreens to Try Today! We are confident you will find the perfect formulation for your skin and wallet on this list.

With products like retinol and sunscreen you will be able to improve signs of sun damage and aging quickly and effectively. It is important to remember that adding any skincare product to your routine will take some time to show results. Follow all directions for the product you choose for the best results that are safe for your skin. Are you currently using a vegan retinol product or are you going to try one of the five we have shared today? We would love to know what you are using in the comment section below. If you are looking for a specific product please let us know and we will do our best to source it for you.

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