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5 Skincare Ingredients That Act as Nature’s Retinol

5 Skincare Ingredients That Act as Nature’s Retinol

Retinol is a popular skincare ingredient for several reasons: It can enhance skin’s appearance by lessening the look of fine lines and wrinkles, lightening dark spots, helping pores appear smaller, and improving acne and skin texture.

However, conventional retinol can also have its drawbacks, especially for those with sensitive skin. Here at MASK Skincare, we’ve come to rely on natural ingredients that deliver many of the benefits of retinol without the harsh side effects.

Here are 5 ingredients that act as nature’s retinol–and you can find them in our favorite MASK Skincare products. 

What is conventional retinol? 

According to The New York Times, “Retinols fall under the umbrella of compounds called retinoids, which are all derivatives of vitamin A. Prescription-strength retinoids have been available since the 1970s and are found in acne medications including Retin-A and Accutane. Retinol is a milder retinoid, which is why it’s available over the counter.” 

What are the challenges of using conventional retinol? 

Retinol is available nearly everywhere these days, from drugstores and beauty stores to the dermatologist’s office. Because products and their concentrations of retinol vary, and because conventional retinol can have harsh side effects, it’s important that users go slow as they introduce these products into their routines.

These side effects may include redness, dryness, peeling, and irritation or inflammation. Retinol can also make skin more sensitive to the sun, and those who are pregnant should consult with their doctors about retinoid use, as it is generally advised against during pregnancy. 

What can I use in place of conventional retinol? 

To receive the benefits of retinol without the harsh side effects, we turned to natural and botanical ingredients to create MASK Skincare products. 

“We like to think of these ingredients as ‘nature’s retinol’ –gentle enough to use daily, yet highly effective in improving skin’s radiance, the look of fine lines and wrinkles, acne, and overall skin tone,” says Sarah Mirsini, founder of MASK Skincare.

And, unlike harsh conventional retinol, these natural ingredients also help to hydrate the skin, not strip it of critical moisture. 

Kakadu Plum 

Kakadu plum is an anti-aging wonder that contains the highest concentration of Vitamin C anywhere in the world–100 times more than that of an orange! It’s also rich in Vitamin E, carotenoids, and folic acid.

Kakadu plum works like retinol in that it helps to reverse the signs of aging; because of its high antioxidant levels, it also helps reduce inflammation and redness. Because it is an anti-inflammatory, Kakadu plum can be used on sensitive skin–welcome news for those unable to use a harsher conventional retinol. 

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)

Niacinamide is Vitamin B3, and it is naturally occurring in many food sources including some green vegetables, mushrooms, meat, fish, and nuts.

When used topically in a clean skincare product like MASK Skincare serums or sheet masks, Niacinamide helps to decrease hyperpigmentation–and that means lightening dark spots. However, unlike conventional retinol, it doesn’t cause dryness or peeling. 

Pumpkin Seed

Pumpkin seed is high in vitamins, omegas, and minerals that help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Particularly effective for dry, mature, and sun-damaged skin, pumpkin seed takes the place of conventional retinol by addressing signs of aging and delivering unsaturated fatty acids that help to soothe inflammation and balance acne-prone skin without stripping skin of much-needed moisture. 

Myrrh Essential Oil 

When used topically in clean skincare, myrrh essential oil acts almost as a balm to irritated skin: It helps soothe itchiness, redness, and acne, and helps fade blemishes and dark spots, as well.

Like conventional retinol, it helps tighten and reduce skin sagging, but because it is so gentle it can even be well tolerated by those with eczema–not the case with conventional retinol. And, myrrh essential oil prevents chapping and cracking, making it ideal to use even in the cold winter months.

Cacay Nut

Like conventional retinol, cacay nut works to quickly reduce blemishes and fine lines–but unlike conventional retinol, it’s packed with vitamins and fatty acids that gently regenerate skin cells. Cacay nut also helps to firm the look of skin, and is gentle enough to leave dry, menopausal, acne-prone or combination skin radiant and glowing. 

“Using natural, botanical ingredients in our skincare products has taught us just how effective they are,” notes Mirsini.

“We all want skin that looks healthy and calm, and we know now that we don’t need to turn to harsh conventional solutions to obtain results. While conventional retinol works for some people, many with sensitive skin can’t use it regularly, if at all.

For those seeking alternatives that are gentle yet still rewarding, trying clean beauty products like those from MASK Skincare can deliver the retinol-type results they’re seeking, and so much more.”