Gentler ways to get the benefits of retinol

Proven efficacy with fewer side effects is the way forward in cosmeceuticals. To see what this means, simply look at the way retinoids are used. 

Retinol (which is simply Vitamin A in its whole molecule form) is a popular retinoid used in many cosmeceutical formulations. The great benefit it brings is its ability to act as a deep defoliator, speed up skin cell turnover and encourage the formation of new collagen. 

Unfortunately, retinol can have side effects such as sun sensitivity, extreme dryness, redness and even thinning of the skin with prolonged use. That’s why we’ve sought gentler ways to get the upside of retinoids without their downside. 

One idea is to use the closely related substance retinaldehyde (retinal). A Swiss study concluded that: 

"…retinaldehyde, which is fairly well tolerated, seems to be the most efficient cosmeceutical retinoid; it has significant efficiency toward oxidative stress, cutaneous bacterial flora, epidermis renewing, and photoaging." 

It’s this retinoid you’ll find in Ao Skincare Rewind Retinal. 

Ao Skincare Repair Night Cream uses a different substance – Bakuchiol. This natural antioxidant is derived from the leaves of the plant psoralea coryfolia. 

Bakuchiol has a biological profile almost identical to the retinoid family especially with respect to its anti-aging effects. It functions in a similar way to retinol, improving lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, and elasticity while reducing photo-damage. 

However Bakuchiol lacks the side effects of the retinoids. Interestingly, when combined with retinoids, there is a synergistic response greater than if one or the other was used alone.

Mark Gray
Mark Gray


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