Is Retinol Vegan? What Is Retinol Made Of?

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

Retinol is a strong antioxidant with an anti-aging effect. It occurs in animal by-products as well as plants. In skin care, however, it is always synthetic. Therefore, retinol in skincare is vegan.

The active ingredient is another powerful and multi-functional substance. It helps to regenerate new skin cells and support collagen production. But there is more. Let’s find out.

What Is Retinol? What Is Retinol Made Of?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A. It belongs to the family of fat-soluble vitamins aka retinoids. Retinol can be animal-based, plant-based, or synthetic. Retinol in skin care, however, is always vegan. It is also known as vitamin A1.

Vitamin A is essential for the organism. It takes part in iron metabolism and is important for the eyes. As well as the overall immune system, and mucous membranes. It also has a beneficial effect on our skin cells.

The vitamin has cell-communicating properties. It tells the skin cells how to behave. Retinol attaches itself to the cell’s special receptors. And then transmits relevant information important for vital skin.

Retinol is the third strongest retinoid. It is stronger than retinoid esters. These are retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and retinyl linoleate. However, unlike pure retinoic acid, retinol is available over the counter.

Retinol can be of plant or animal origin (fish oil, eggs, meat), but it is also produced synthetically. In skin care, however, retinol is always synthetic. That is because naturally-derived retinol is not stable enough.

Why Is Retinol Used In Skincare?

Retinol is used in skincare because it improves the texture of the skin and helps to increase its water content. It also stimulates cell renewal and works deep in the skin to smooth out wrinkles.

Retinol is able to pass through the skin barrier and reach the dermis. It is one of the few active ingredients that work at the cellular level and not on the surface of the skin.

Firstly, retinol helps to neutralize free radicals and increase the production of collagen. As a result, fine lines and wrinkles smooth out, and pores become less noticeable.

Moreover, retinol delays skin aging. It not only smoothes existing lines and wrinkles but also prevents the formation of new ones.

Retinol also stimulates cell renewal which improves the texture and tone of the skin. When new cells are formed, the skin’s moisture level improves as well. So, retinol helps increase skin’s water content to give skin a plumper appearance.

Further, retinol is an effective active ingredient in the treatment of acne. Thanks to retinol, the skin’s oil production reduces. So, in addition to acne, it helps with clogged pores and inflammation.

Retinol works like a gentle exfoliator, however, it is not an exfoliant. It brightens the skin and treats dark spots. It also reduces hyperpigmentation caused by photoaging, excessive sun, or post-inflammation.

Retinol works well with vitamins C and E. These active ingredients work together to protect cells from oxidative stress. As well as to neutralize free radicals that cause premature aging.

However, retinol is not for everyone. For example, those who suffer from rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. It is contraindicated in bacterial, viral, allergic, fungal, or malignant skin conditions. Retinol does not suit pregnant or lactating women.

FAQ About Retinol

What is retinol?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A. It belongs to the family of fat-soluble vitamins aka retinoids. Vitamin A is essential for the organism. It takes part in iron metabolism and is important for the eyes. As well as the overall immune system, and mucous membranes. It also has a beneficial effect on our skin cells.

Is retinol vegan?

Yes. Retinol in skincare is vegan.

Why is retinol used in skincare?

Retinol is used in skincare because it is an anti-aging skincare ingredient. It improves the texture of the skin and helps to increase its water content. It also stimulates cell renewal and works deep in the skin to smooth out wrinkles.

Summary

Retinol is a member of the vitamin A family. It addresses many skin concerns including fine lines, deep wrinkles, and uneven skin texture. It also stimulates collagen synthesis and increases the skin’s water content.

Retinol in skin care is always synthetic because it is more stable and therefore safer. So, you do not have to avoid retinol in skincare as it is vegan.

However, you can still find retinol in non-vegan products. Therefore, we always recommend shopping at 100% vegan brands. And if retinol does not suit your skin type, look for vegan retinol alternatives to get the same effect.

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.