A couple of weeks ago on my Instastories I shared some information regarding Retinol that created a little bit of buzz. I received so many questions and requests for me to share safer alternatives to retinol based skincare products that I thought it might be helpful to put all of this information into a blog post.
The reason I even mentioned retinol to begin with is because it’s one ingredient that is in a lot of “anti-aging” (A term I really dislike. I prefer age-defense, but I guess it’s just a preference thing.) skincare products. And hello, I’ll be 40 this fall, so the “age-defense products” are now my main category. #thisis40
Truth be told retinol is added to age-defense products for good reason. Retinol, retinyl palmitate, is a synthetic vitamin A derivative that is known for increasing cell turnover, which tends to slow down as we age. That sounds like a good thing right? Well it is, and it isn’t. Research also shows that retinol may damage DNA and speed the growth of skin tumors when used topically. Uh, that’s no bueno. So age defense……but at what cost?
My husband had two pre-cancerous places removed last year…..so tumors have been on my mind as of late.
I’m all for battling the signs of aging and putting my best face forward, so to speak, but I’m not willing to compromise my health to do so. And honestly, I don’t think anyone should have to sacrifice their health for beauty! That’s exactly why I started my Safer Beauty Tribe.
Retinol is on Beautycounter’s NEVER LIST, which is just one of the many reasons I love that company so much! Non-toxic, Safe, High-Perfoming skincare products – yes please!
Safe Alternatives to Retinol
1. Rosehip Oil
Rosehip Oil is full of essential fatty acids and antioxidants. It promotes healthy skin cell rejuvenation, reduces wrinkles, fades fine lines and lightens age spots. It also provides an excellent source of vitamins C and E to the skin, which I’ll get more in depth about below.
2. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed Oil is another powerhouse natural ingredient that is full of antioxidants that protect the skin from environmental stressors. It helps to tighten and firm the skin, and it’s also full of Vitamins C & E.
3. Vitamins C & E
Vitamins C and E provide a one-two punch in the age-defense department! Vitamin C, much like retinol, encourages faster cell turnover! It also brightens the skin and helps to diminish fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E provides protection against premature aging that is caused by sun damage and other environmental pollutants. It works in conjunction with vitamin C to help reconstruct collagen and keep your skin looking great!
You can mix up your own homemade masks and scrubs with vitamin C powder. I like to use this pure 100% Vitamin E oil as an overnight mask every now and again. It’s a little tacky, but it leaves my skin feeling so soft and moisturized in the morning. Vitamin E is also wonderful for fading acne scars!
My Daytime Routine
The real beauty of Beautycounter is that all of the ingredients I just highlighted up above are found in their age prevention and defense skincare lines!
My morning skincare routine is a quick 5 step process that starts with:
1. Charcoal Cleansing Bar (I swear by this soap and even have my teenage son using it!). It detoxes and absorbs impurities without drying out the skin, revealing a smoother, brighter complexion.
2. No. 3 Balancing Facial Mist an alcohol-free toner that refines skin texture. (You can also use it to set your makeup.)
3. No. 3 Balancing Facial Oil has a powerhouse blend of 7 natural oils, including rosehip, grapeseed and argan (which is known for it’s amazing moisturizing properties), that protect and soothe the skin while also firming and tightening.
4. Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion has squalene (from green olives that restores the skin’s elasticity), arginine (from beet roots that provides vibrant, healthy looking skin) and phytic acid (from green rice that boosts oxygenation to the skin). All of this basically means that this amazing moisturizer is an age prevention show-off that gives your skin a radiant glow.
5. Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream reduces the appearance of shadows for brighter-looking eyes, draws moisture to the delicate eye area and visibly restores elasticity.
My Nighttime Routine
My bedtime routine is just slightly different. It starts with me removing my makeup. I use all natural coconut oil (which is packed full of vitamin E) and super budget-friendly.
Then I follow with the Charcoal Cleansing Bar, the No. 3 Mist and the No. 3 Oil………..
1. Countermatch Recovery Night Cream has a blend of hyaluronic acid (which delivers the ultimate in hydration), plum oil (rich in omegas 6 & 9 and vitamin E, it reinforces the moisture barrier for vibrant skin), and tara gum (a Peruvian plant nutrient that revitalizes skin while you sleep) that creates a protective layer to help shield skin from moisture loss, replenishing hydration.
and then! The real MVP!
2. Rejuvenating Eye Cream boasts a combination of vitamin C, mixed fruit acid complex, algae & marine extracts and spilanthes acmella that targets fine lines, puffiness and dark circles like a boss! I use this eye cream around my eyes, between my eyebrows and on my forehead. Basically all of the areas where I’m in “troubleshooting” mode. 😉
Fighting Wrinkles with Nature’s Botox
Beautycounter’s Rejuvanting Skincare Line is an amazing age defense line! The proof is not only in the results, but in the high quality safe ingredients. It’s secret weapon? Spilanthes Acmella, which is known as nature’s botox. It’s a natural muscle relaxant that reduces muscle tension thereby reducing facial wrinkles caused by tense or contracted facial muscles. Insert fist bump emoji.
Fighting Dullness with Safe Exfoliation
The other piece to the puzzle of stimulating cell turnover for brighter, more vibrant looking skin is in manual exfoliation. Masking and scrubbing are two ways to slough off dry skin to bring fresh nourished skin forward.
All of Beautycounter’s masks are wonderful, but I’m partial to both the #2 Plumping (which is made with kaolin clay and peony root that helps to restore skin’s elasticity, and also konjac root which smooths the appearance of fine lines) and the #3 Balancing (which has activated charcoal to minimize the appearance of pores and salicylic acid that stimulates exfoliation!). The #3 mask is really great for teens or anyone who struggles with acne-prone skin. My teenage son uses it as a spot treatment.
And without a doubt, the very best scrub I’ve ever used is the Nourishing Cream Exfoliator! Non-abrasive jojoba beads help slough off dry skin, while organic coconut oil and aloe soothe and hydrate.
Age Defending Essential Oils
- Frankincense is a heavy hitter in the essential oil world and for good reason. In the skincare arena is strengthens skin, improves tone, boosts elasticity, prevents the signs of aging and reduces the appearance of scars and acne. I add a couple of drops to my night time moisturizer. This essential oil has a multitude of other benefits, but it’s especially amazing for keeping the skin feeling and looking youthful.
- Lavender provides amazing antioxidant protection for the skin fighting free radicals. It reduces inflammation and the the signs of aging. I use this essential oil both day and night all over my face.
Lavendar and Frankincense work really well together! But if you’re just getting started with essential oils I’d recommend starting with Lavendar. It’s a pretty affordable essential oil that can be used for lots of different things from skincare to household cleaning (I add a few drops when I’m washing our sheets and towels). You can read more about how I use essential oils in my daily life here. I’m a huge fan of Young Living and have been for many years. I started using them about four years ago, and now I can’t imagine how I ever lived without them.
The More You Know
I think it’s important to know what the ingredients are that makeup the products we use as well as how those ingredients work to benefit (or in the case of toxic ingredients, hurt) our skin. And it’s for that reason that I share ingredient info right alongside of product info. It’s why I love Beautycounter so much. Because they’re so transparent with their ingredients and their processes. There’s no guessing games and no smoke in mirrors. They don’t employ creative advertising to make their products “appear safe”; they actually make safe, high-performing products.
If you’re interested in learning even more about how to avoid toxic-filled beauty products, which specific ingredients to avoid like the plague and which safe ingredients actually work you should totally join my Safer Beauty Tribe!
It’s totally FREE and will get you an informative monthly newsletter as well as access to special deals and giveaways that are offered exclusively to my Safer Beauty Tribers. This month I’m offering Tribe Members a free gift with purchase (details coming in your February newsletter) as well as a pretty awesome giveaway!
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