After the age of 30, cell regeneration naturally slows, causing skin to look dry and dull, and fine lines and wrinkles to appear. Fortunately, vitamin A (in the form of retinol and retinal) and bakuchiol (a natural alternative to vitamin A) can help skin cells behave as they did in their youth, speeding up cell regeneration for younger, plumper and healthier-looking skin. Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of retinol, retinal and bakuchiol, and how to choose the right ingredient for your skin type.
What Is Retinol?
Retinol is an anti-ageing skincare ingredient and a precursor of vitamin A, a nutrient that increases skin cell turnover. When applied topically, retinol converts into retinoic acid, a metabolite that uses vitamin A to help cells grow and develop.
The Benefits Of Retinol
Retinol works to alter the behaviour of aged cells and encourages them to act as they did in their youth.
- When the skin cell regeneration process naturally slows, taking up to 70 days to renew, retinol helps to promote cell turnover, working to restore a healthy 28-day rhythm.
- Retinol works to increase collagen levels, helping to plump the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Retinol helps the skin’s natural exfoliation process, reducing the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation.
- Retinol lends skin a soft, smooth and radiant appearance.
What Is Retinal? How Does It Differ From Retinol?
Retinal is a non-irritating and more effective form of vitamin A. It’s very similar to retinol (and offers the same benefits), but the key difference lies in the way they convert into retinoic acid (the form of vitamin A that skin cells can process).
- Retinal converts into retinoic acid in one step, while retinol takes two steps.
- As retinal requires fewer conversion steps, it better maintains its potency and is eleven times more effective than retinol.
- As it’s more potent, a much lower percentage needs to be added to a formula to achieve the same results.
- Fewer conversion steps and a lower concentration means less skin irritation.
- Non-irritating, retinal is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
What Is Bakuchiol?
Extracted from the bakuchi plant seeds, bakuchiol is an organic compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s often described as the natural alternative to retinol, offering very similar benefits (though slightly less effective) without irritation.
Expert Tip: If retinol irritates your skin, opt for a retinal or bakuchiol–based product instead.
The Best Vitamin A Skincare
To enjoy the anti-ageing benefits of retinol and vitamin A, incorporate a retinol serum and eye cream into your daily skincare routine from the age of 30.
Bakuchiol Face Oil For A Morning Routine
Blending bakuchiol with precious oil, the Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil boasts a lightweight formula that helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.