Updated: Apr 6, 2021
How depressing is this? Retinol - a very effective anti-aging ingredient, actually may not be completely safe to use.
We already know that concentrations and formulations must be careful to not cause skin irritation - although some with sensitive skin may not be able to use any retinol product at all, as the irritation is unavoidable. (red flag #1)
I was honestly really excited to formulate a product with retinol - I was looking forward to demolishing my growing wisdom lines AKA wrinkles around my under-eye area. But, working with retinol is challenging; it's not stable, it needs to be encapsulated to be "happy" in solution. Encapsulation makes it complicated and also requires stabilizers and preservatives (aka more chemicals). (red flag #2) I was perturbed by this, but ready for the challenge... Until, I found unsettling clinical research data. (RED FLAGS abound!)
So, what's the TL;DR of this?
Retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate increases prevalence of skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) Ugh.
Bakuchiol is just as effective as retinol, is stable, is plant-derived, and safe. WOO! Nature for the win!
The findings around retinol, may be "low risk", but with the FDA pulling active ingredients from some chemical sunscreens after over two decades of being on shelves, and on people - I think I'll do my own research and make my own informed decisions. So, I decided to sack retinol from my lineup. Retinol is also banned from CertClean, The Detox Market, Credo, and other Green/Clean Beauty suppliers.
So, what are we to do with these smile lines on our faces because we're so happy - we don't want to jump to Botox, yet.
Enter: Bakuchiol. And guess what? Bakuchiol's been shown to be as effective as retinol, without the side effects! Bakuchiol is a vegan skin care ingredient found in the leaves and seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia plant, native to India, where this herb has long been used in Ayurvedic practices, and also has roots in natural Chinese medicine.
Speeds up cell regeneration
Safe to use 2X per day
Hydrates and soothes
Increases skin firmness
Reduces appearance of pores
Safe for sensitive skin (non-irritating)
Now you too, are an informed consumer, when it comes to the safety of a very common ingredient in skincare products. Choose wisely. Choose eNVy!