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The Power of Retinol + Retinol Alternatives

The Power of Retinol + Retinol Alternatives

Retinoids, Retinol, Bio-Retinol, Retinalhyde, Retinoic Acid, and Retinol Alternatives—we've all heard of these miracle ingredients and most definitely want the pro-aging, skin-beautifying benefits such as plumping, firming, brightening, and clearing they provide. But what are the differences, and how do we find the one that is right for our skin? Let's break down the powerhouse products that have made their way into our skincare routines and are here to stay. 

Simply put, retinoids are the umbrella all the other forms come from. Each is a derivative of vitamin A and works similarly in the skin to boost cell turnover and improve tone and texture while also stimulating collagen production to ward off fine lines and wrinkles. The difference lies in the speed at which each works (and, in turn, how it affects the skin).

Woman using Wren and Wild Skincare

According to The Derm Review, “Retinol is Vitamin A. Once absorbed into the skin, it is converted into the active form, retinoic acid. Our skin cells contain receptors for retinoic acid, which allow for benefits such as faster skin cell turnover, reduction in the appearance of hyperpigmentation, and support of collagen production to be achieved.” Retinoids are “pure retinoic acid, so [they don’t] have to undergo processing in the body. Tretinoin is considered the strongest, is probably the most well studied of the retinoids, and is associated with harsh side effects such as irritation, burning, peeling or stinging.”

In short, retinoids (pure retinoic acid) don't have to be converted by the skin, so they are instantly effective. They are prescription only and, because of the speed of cellular turnover, can be irritating to the skin, potentially causing redness or discoloration. The benefits are undeniable, but if the product is causing skin irritation, it doesn't matter much.


Multi Generational Women Using Wren and Wild Skincare

Retinol, on the other hand, can be sold over the counter. Because of the process of turning them into retinoic acid, they are more tolerable for most skin types. Although the effects may take slightly longer to manifest, they are still highly effective. The retinol products we carry at Wren and Wild are also filled with hydrating, calming, and soothing secondary ingredients to reduce the skin's risk of irritation. 

Odacité Retinol + Hyaluronic Acid Renewing Serum Powered by gold standard Retinol, hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and an intensely nourishing Vitamin Complex, this skin-compatible formula helps stimulate cell turnover and targets fine lines, deep wrinkles, skin texture and blemishes. With an extraordinary soft gel texture and the aphrodisiac allure of Rose, the senses will be enchanted and the skin visibly plumped

Augustinus Bader The Retinol Serum

Augustinus Bader The Retinol Serum Pure Therapeutic Retinol complements TFC8® for healthier, rejuvenated skin,reducing the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles and blemishes for clear, smooth, even skin. Helps optimize the skin microbiome and helps prevent the overgrowth of unwanted bacteria, reduce the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation and locks in moisture to keep skin hydrated, radiant, and plump.

Youth To The People Retinol + Niacinamide Youth Serum Uses Retinaldehyde (the most potent Retinoid next to an Rx) and formulated with niacinamide, essential ceramides, and adaptogens that help retinal work smarter, not harder to deliver transformative, clinical results faster—without the typical irritation or acclimation stage.

Marie Veronique is our latest brand addition to the store. Marie believes wholeheartedly in the power of retinol while also understanding the importance of providing a powerful yet gentle formulation. "At Marie Veronique, We recommend retinol for all skin types because it remains THE gold standard for optimal function, addressing acne, and delivering age-delay benefits that can't be found in any other compound. Our advanced technology protects retinol in its truest form through encapsulation, resulting in the most potent and effective version available." Depending on your skin type and condition, your skin will glow with her Gentle Retinol Night Serum or Multi-Retinol Night Emulsion

Retinol Alternatives

While retinol is the star of the skin care show and definitely easier than retinoids on our sensitive skin, brands are taking the healing manta, ‘do no harm,’ a step further by utilizing plant-based alternatives. After all, stronger does not always equate to ‘better,’ especially for those in dry climates or dealing with sensitive or sensitized skin, who could greatly benefit from these plant-based beauties. 

Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil Uses Retinoic Acid from Rosehip providing a dose of anti-aging nutrition with plant-based vitamin A along with their nutrient-rich Farm Beauty Complex to smooth the look of wrinkles and support a healthy skin barrier.

One Love Organics Botanical A Bio-Retinol Night Serum This night serum features a bio-retinol derived from the Maclura Cochinchinensis leaf (also known as the cockspur plant), which is naturally rich in isoflavones and bioflavoinoids. Suitable for all skin tones and types, particularly those seeking a retinol alternative to clarify the complexion and fill in the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Fitglow Beauty Phyto-Retinol Night Eye Balm  Is a blend of Phyto-Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E. Phyto-Retinol is a plant retinol alternative that works smarter not harsher to naturally deliver advanced age-defying results without irritation.

Ilia Bright Start Eye Cream

Ilia Bright Start Retinol Alternative Eye Cream Sea Fennel Extract or ‘nature’s retinol’ is a sustainably sourced retinol alternative that visibly brightens, smooths and firms without the drawback of a traditional retinol.

Indie Lee Retinol Alternative Cream Formulated with Natural Retinol Alternative Rambutan - an antioxidant-rich fruit that has been shown to promote healthy collagen levels, improved appearance of elasticity, firmness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Ready to add a retinol to your routine? With all these choices and our educated skincare concierges at Wren and Wild, there’s undoubtedly a safe and effective product that will suit your needs and have your sweet skin perfectly plumped in no time.