Botox may be new enough to feel novel and also to feel entirely safe (although it has been around since 2002!). However, just because we have found ways to inject youth into our face doesn’t mean that this is the first time in history that we have been interested in anti-aging. Far from it. Cleopatra famously soaked in milk to preserve her beauty and youth. In the year 150, physician Galen developed the very first cold cream, which was a combination of water, olive oil and beeswax. (1)
Galen sounds like he could have a piece of the clean beauty industry.
When it comes to anti-aging, women have turned to their own personal tried-and-true remedies. In many cases, tried and true was some form of retinoid, which can combat everything from sun spots to lingering blemishes. This Vitamin A derivative is so loved that it is in almost every product that deems itself to be an anti-ager (while being sold by a bright faced early twenty something).
Yet retinoids do have their flaws. They can cause overall irritation, dryness and even sun sensitivity. (2) When you first start using them, your skin will often burn or tingle.
I don’t know about you, but when my skin burns, I have been conditioned to believe this is not a good thing. In addition, pregnant women are not advised to take retinoids, which makes me wonder how safe these products really can be for non-pregnant women.
It was only a matter of time before the retin-alts made their rounds. We are in a plant-based, more socially conscious time. We also like to feel that we have choices.
A popular new anti-ager is the ingredient bakuchiol, which is derived from the babchi plant and has roots in Ayurveda. Bakuchiol works as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, is rich in Vitamin E and has been proven to reduce photodamage and fine lines. In other words, it has all of the benefits of a retinoid, without actually being a retinol. It is entirely plant-based, and it will not cause any of the burning and tingling.
Cacay oil is another product that has been used in more plant-based beauty products. It is also possible to use the oil on its own as a part of a nightcare skin routine. The fatty acids can help the skin to feel plump, while the Vitamin E and antioxidants can provide a more youthful glow. (3)
Marula oil is another Vitamin E derivative that can be used by pregnant women, even to alleviate stretch marks. It can help to hydrate the skin and even out pigmentation. You can even add a few drops of the oil to your tinted moisturizer.
These plant-based solutions are popping up as ingredients more and more often, as people consider more what they put on their skin as well as what they put into their bodies. Clean Beauty shop Credo stocks many of these options and founder Annie Jackson says, “I think just about anyone would say yes please to an ingredient that can give you the same results as retinol without the irritation.”
Expect retin-alts to become big business in the beauty care industry. The clean beauty industry is forecasted to top $25 billion by 2025.
Yes, that is billion with a b. It’s official: plants are the new chemicals.
1. Morill, Hannah. Charting: A Brief History of Anti-Aging. Harpers Bazaar. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/skin-care/a14980/history-of-anti-aging/ Retrieved 19 July 2019.
2. Meet The Retin-Alts: A New Brand Of Plant-Based Skincare That Is Irritation Free. https://www.wellandgood.com/good-looks/retinol-alternative/ Well and Good. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
3. Retin-alts: How Plant-Based Skincare Is Gaining Traction. StyleHub. http://stylehub.shoppersstop.com/retin-alts-plant-based-skincare-gaining-traction.html Retriefved 19 July 2019.