Retinol-Free: 5 Natural Alternatives to Achieve Glowing Skin

Retinol-Free: 5 Natural Alternatives to Achieve Glowing Skin

Looking for natural alternatives to retinol? Check out these 5 options that can help you achieve glowing skin without harsh chemicals.

What is retinol and is it natural?

We'll let our friends at UpCircle Beauty answer this one as they've summed it up perfectly:

"Retinol is a natural form of vitamin A that can be both found in nature or created synthetically in a laboratory. Retinol can also be found in animal products such as liver or dairy products. Retinol found in skincare products can be derived from nature or produced synthetically, but is rarely derived from animal products. 

As retinol is a natural form of the vitamin A, strictly speaking, all forms of retinol are natural. However, some retinol products will then have non-natural components added to the formula. The term natural retinol often refers to retinol that is not produced synthetically or derived from animal products, rather being derived from plant sources."

Retinol is a popular ingredient in many skincare products, but it can cause irritation and sensitivity for some people. If you're looking for a natural alternative to retinol, there are several options that can help you achieve healthy, glowing skin without harsh chemicals. Here are five natural alternatives to retinol to consider.


Bakuchiol is a natural, plant-based alternative to retinol that has been gaining popularity in the skincare world. It is derived from the seeds of the babchi plant and has been shown to have similar anti-aging benefits to retinol, such as reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and redness and improving skin texture and tone. However, unlike retinol, bakuchiol is gentle on the skin and does not cause irritation or sensitivity to sunlight. Look for products containing bakuchiol, such as serums and moisturizers, to incorporate into your skincare routine like our bestselling natural retinol alternative, Whitfords Papaya and Bakuchiol Serum which can be used daily as a serum or weekly as a mask or Bowe Organics Night Time Face Oil with Bakuchiol which is a non greasy formulation that works overnight to give you smoother skin without the sensitivity. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help brighten and even out skin tone, while also promoting collagen production for firmer, smoother skin. It can be found in many fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, kiwis, strawberries, and bell peppers. You can also find ingredients that are naturally high in vitamin C in our serums and creams which can be applied topically for added benefits, like Casa Mencarelli's Sea Buckthorn Serum. Vitamin A and E is naturally present in sea buckthorn to smooth and hydrate the skin and there's also 15 times more vitamin C C than in oranges making it a great all round natural skincare ingredient. You can learn more about Vitamin C natural skincare here

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is another natural alternative to retinol that can help achieve glowing skin. It is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which can help improve skin texture and tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even out skin tone and scars. Rosehip oil is also non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores, making it a great option for those with acne-prone skin. To use, apply a few drops of rosehip oil to your face and neck after cleansing and toning, and before moisturising. We love adding a few drops of AD Skin Synergy's pure organic rosehip oil to our face cream to supercharge it. 

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is a natural alternative to retinol that is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce inflammation and redness, improve skin texture and tone, and even out skin discoloration. Green tea extract also contains caffeine, which can help reduce puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. InLight Beauty's Under Eye Revive contains both green tea and green coffee extract to really target lines, pigmentation and dullness around the eyes.

Aloe Vera

Most people know aloe vera for its cooling and soothing properties but aloe vera is a popular natural alternative to retinol that has been used for centuries to regenerate and heal the skin. It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation, hydrate the skin, and promote healing. Aloe vera can be used in a variety of ways, including as a moisturiser, face mask, or spot treatment for acne. Look for skincare products that contain a high percentage of aloe vera like Odylique's Aloe Vera Moisturiser.

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