Is Retinol Safe For My Skin?

Today we chat about Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate and Retinaldehyde. People LOVE retinol for it’s anti-wrinkle benefits right? But what risks are associated with this chemical?

Retinol is vitamin A derivative. Retinol is promoting cell turnover and prevents clogging of pores. It is revealing the healthy looking skin underneath. Cell turnover also helps reduce and prevent hyperpigmentation of the skin. It’s no wonder we all want to use it!

However what is it really doing to our skin? Once we understand how our skin works, we realize this isn’t what we want… The more you put on, the poorer the barrier function becomes. Our cells divide to grow and repair the tissue in our body about 50 times, which is why we age. By using retinol too much in your earlier years (before age of 40), you’re depleting those healthy cell divisions that you should be saving for later in life.

Many people experience their skin being more sensitive, peeling, red, flaking, irritiating because of this. It also makes you much more sensitive to UV rays so it’s meant to be a nighttime treatment. Either way, it’s extremely important to be wearing SPF on your skin everyday while using products with retinol.

At this point, we don’t know the long term effects of using excessive retinol on our skin which is found in so many anti-aging marketed products now. Once again, cosmetics companies are using ingredients that aren’t properly tested for safety and side effects.

What we really need to be doing is repairing the barrier and reducing any inflammation which can be done with cleansers and moisturizers without retinol. There are so many healing ingredients on the market that can do this and are actually safe.

Retinol is the strongest out of the retinoids. It is known to deliver results in as little as four weeks, but on average it takes about twelve weeks to notice visible changes in skin texture and tone. The skin needs to be eased into the use of retinol. Going full force everyday may cause irritation, flaking, redness, peeling as mentioned above.

So let’s recap quickly.

Potential Negative Side effects:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Dry,flaking skin
  • Irritation and redness
  • Peeling
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight
  • Increased risk of Skin cancer

If you want to use a retinol product, start with 2-3 times a week. It’s rated 9/10 on EWG scale as they deem it as a high health hazard, while Credo seems to sell products with retinol.

BHT and Paraben Exposure: Conventional retinoids are often stabilized with BHT or parabens, ingredients linked to serious harm like cancer and reproductive issues. These can make it into the final product, but you wouldn’t know it from the ingredient label.


There is lots of controversy on this ingredient, so now that you have the facts you can decide if it’s right for you or not. Personally, I’d opt for something safer with less side effects. Bakuchiol is becoming a popular ingredient in natural and safer skincare options and is proven to be just as effective and safer!

If you’d like to explore a safer option with no negative side effects, please reach out to me!!! and I’d be happy to help you switch to safer beauty products.

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