Rya’s Phyto-Retinol Serum + Oil

When it comes to our skin, we all aspire to have a firm, glowy, even, smooth, plump and clear complexion but sadly, the way to accomplish that often requires the use of harsh, conventional retinol treatments! When it comes to skincare, retinol is basically the ultimate anti-aging ingredient we all want to get our hands on. Nearly every major cosmetic brand has one and almost every dermatologist and skin-care expert recommends it so, what is it exactly?

What is Retinol + The Risks?

Retinol (and related products called retinoid or retin-A) is essentially vitamin A in topical form, best known for it’s ability to promote cell turnover, aid in the healing of scars, reduce pore size and more, so, what’s not to love?

Well… sadly, there are a few downsides to using a conventional retinol as it can be pretty harsh on our skin and, if you have sensitive skin, using a retinol can make your face feel raw, and irritated which is why I personally could never use retinol for long. My skin would become very red and flake terribly and it just became too much.

Another thing to consider is that anyone out and about in the sun using retinol must be very cautious. You will also want to avoid waxing after any retinol use as it can take that post-wax redness to a new, and very much unwanted, level. Here’s why!

Virtually every product and prescription will advise you to start with a low infrequent dose that will allow your skin to slowly build up its tolerance. The day you start to use a retinol is the day your skin starts to undergo some major changes. Your skin will now start to produce new cells and turn over to clear out dead ones. I think we hear “cell turnover” so much that we kind of take this process for granted. Your skin will be asked to move at a pace that it would not otherwise be moving.

Cell turnover is a physiologic process just like digesting, breathing, or growing muscle. Imagine speeding up any of these processes- you would for sure notice some uncomfortable moments along the way. And since retinols are in a topical form, it’s so easy to pump out the wrong amount and make this process an even bigger shift for your skin to adapt to. It’s in this tolerance building phase that the burning, flaking dry red skin can happen- all of which are symptoms of sun over-exposure. So adding in sun to this tolerance building phase is just doubling up on all of those conditions that makes your skin irritated. For this same reasoning, you’ll want to reschedule your waxing appointments outside of this phase. Even seasoned waxers know that you’ll be red and sensitive post-visit no matter how good your after care products are.

Lastly, for anyone pregnant or breastfeeding, we now know that vitamin A can cause serious birth defects, so it is a product I would certainly skip during those times. While that warning is primarily in place for oral consumption, it’s just not worth experimenting with in my opinion, however, have no fear, I have a safer option for us all below!

Retinol Alternatives I Love Instead! 

Considering I am almost 39 years old, I do still want skin care that works, however, without the harshness of a conventional retinol, so what do I reach for instead?

Bakuchiol is a plant-based, retinol alternative that works just like a retinol without all of the crazy reactions or side-effects and get this, it is even considered great for those of us with sensitive skin all while working hard to combat dullness, uneven texture, fine lines, wrinkles and dryness!

A comprehensive study of Bakuchiol explains that it comes from a plant known scientifically as psoralen corylifolia and commonly as babchi. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayruvedic traditions encourage the use of this herb to treat lots of skin conditions, including some pretty serious ones. It helps to fight vitiligo, dermatitis, eczema and a LOT of other inflammatory and chronic conditions. It has also been shown to improve the color of skin, hair and nails.

One clinical trial tested this oil and its effect on vitiligo. The group that used it topically (along with another oral herbal supplement) showed dramatic improvement in achieving a more uniform tone to the skin. It appears to have a similar effect on leukoderma as well.

One study found that bakuchiol does in fact act as a functional analogue to traditional retinol, which means it shares a number of similar chemical properties as a retinol. It further showed that bakuchiol functioned just how a retinol would by stimulating types I and IV collagen, as well as type III in some of their tests. Collagen is a super important building block for our cells, especially our cells that make up our connective tissue. The more collagen activity going on, the brighter your glow will be. Overall, the study proposes that bakuchiol can assist in gene expression in a way that favors a youthful complexion.

And if that’s not enough, my favorite form of Bakuchiol is in the Rya Phyto-Retinol that also contains squalene which is known to rejuvenate hair, skin and nails while supporting a healthy complexion. And while traditional retinol can make you more susceptible to sun-sensitivity, this serum contains carrot seed oil which offers protection from the sun all while working to repair dry, damaged skin.

Blue tansy and lavender promote groundednes and relaxation, plus they have an amazing scent. Blue Tansy is an herb from the chamomile family, often harvested from Mediterranean regions. It contains the compound chamazulene, an antioxidant with potent calming effects and a strong ability to combat the free radicals that contribute to signs of aging. Other active elements include camphor, myrcene and pinene which form a team that tackles dry skin (and potentially even skin burns), acne and bacterial build up. It’s scent is sweet and calming and this oil can even be used in an aromatherapy application to facilitate clear breathing, much like a vapor rub or diffuser remedy.

Additional nutrients and hydration come from CBD, jojoba, plum, marula, Vitamin E, baobab and more making this one of the best products on the market today for those of us who want clean yet potent skin care options! Want to try it out? View the Phyto-Retinol Serum + Oil here!

Is Bakuchiol Pregnancy + Breast Feeding Safe?

No matter the product, I cannot say anything is “safe”, I have to remind you to check in with your doctor! However, what I can say is that after researching it, I would feel comfortable using these products personally, if I was pregnant. Bakuchiol is reportedly “pregnancy safe” but there is not a ton of data behind it quite yet so it’s something to discuss with your doctor for sure.

Retinol Alternatives Without CBD

Want to use a Bakuchiol product but without CBD? I got an option for that too thanks to Luna Nectar, you can try out their Futurist Retinol Alternative Boosting Serum. Infused with star ingredients bakuchiol and rosehip, this serum contains naturally derived vitamin A which accelerates skin renewal, enhances collagen production, and reduces the appearance of uneven texture and age spots, while adding a brighter, glowy appearance to your skin. The best part is? This also is great for sensitive, dry, oily, acne-prone, and mature skin.

So, there you have it! Not one but two amazing alternatives to swap out your retinol with! Not only are both options SO much cleaner, but results-oriented and effective which means you’re that much closer to happier, healthier skin as soon as you get your hands on them! Any questions!? Just ask!

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