Is Retinaldehyde Vegan? What Is Retinaldehyde Made Of?

By Anett Rannamets. Updated: September 2022.
We may receive a commission for purchases made through the links in this post. Learn more.

Retinaldehyde is an exfoliating skincare ingredient used for treating acne and aging signs. It is naturally found in fatty foods but is produced synthetically for industrial use. Therefore, retinaldehyde in skincare is vegan.

The active ingredient is said to be like retinol’s more potent sibling. What does that mean? Let’s find out.

What Is Retinaldehyde? What Is Retinaldehyde Made Of?

Retinaldehyde is one of the apocarotenoids. With other related compounds like retinol and retinyl palmitate, it represents vitamin A. It is a fat-soluble active skincare ingredient produced synthetically.

In skin care, retinoids are quite popular, the most well-known being retinol. However, due to its proximity to retinoic acid, retinaldehyde is up to 20 times more potent than retinol.

Before retinaldehyde can be useful to the skin, it undergoes a transformation process. In human skin, retinaldehyde is a precursor to retinoic acid. It is generated as an intermediate metabolite during the transition from retinol to retinoic acid.

Retinaldehyde is the last stop before retinoic acid. Therefore, it is the strongest retinoid that can be bought over the counter without a prescription.

In addition to retinaldehyde, the active ingredient is known as retinal. Plus, it is the aldehyde of retinol and is therefore called vitamin A aldehyde as well.

Why Is Retinaldehyde Used In Skincare?

Retinaldehyde is used in skincare because it helps treat dark spots and pigmentation. As well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles, smooth the skin’s texture, and help reduce inflammation.

The skin converts retinaldehyde to retinoic acid naturally. Like retinol, it rejuvenates the skin and improves its cell turnover. But it takes less time to turn into retinoic acid. The conversion within the skin allows retinaldehyde to function at the cellular level. 

It is an anti-aging agent that strengthens connective tissue in the skin and stimulates collagen formation. So, it reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

Retinaldehyde also controls sebaceous production, prevents inflammation and redness. It keeps pores clear by accelerating cell turnover and acting as an exfoliator. Therefore, retinaldehyde is a suitable active compound when fighting acne.

Further, retinaldehyde is a powerful antibacterial agent that kills bacteria and limits the formation of spots on the skin. Moreover, retinaldehyde is an effective antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals. It prevents the skin from environmental damage and premature aging. 

Retinaldehyde also brightens the skin tone. Due to the acceleration of cell turnover, the skin becomes fresher, brighter, and younger-looking.

FAQ About Retinaldehyde

What is retinaldehyde?

Retinaldehyde is one of the apocarotenoids. With other related compounds like retinol and retinyl palmitate, it represents vitamin A. It is a fat-soluble active skincare ingredient produced synthetically.

Why is retinaldehyde used in skincare?

Retinaldehyde is used in skincare because it helps treat dark spots and pigmentation. As well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles, smooth the skin’s texture, and help reduce inflammation.

Is retinaldehyde vegan?

Yes. Retinaldehyde is vegan.

Summary

Retinaldehyde is a vegan active skincare ingredient that treats a variety of skin issues. It improves skin texture and tone. Reduces fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation spots, and inflammation.

The anti-aging and acne-treating vitamin A derivative is found in over-the-counter products. However, you might find it also in non-vegan products. Therefore we recommend shopping anti-aging, acne-reducing, or any type of skincare from 100% vegan brands.

See also: Best Vegan Exfoliators

Anett is a passionate journalist, writer, and magazine editor with almost 7 years of experience. Through engaging articles, she brings kinder and more environmentally-friendly choices closer to everybody.