Retinol is one of the most popular and widely used skincare agents in the market. Dermatologists swear by the product and readily prescribe many variations of the substance for those seeking to reverse signs of aging and fight stubborn acne. Yet, what is this mysterious and wonderful product?
The first thing to take note of is that retinol can be derived from different substances — one animal-based and one plant-based. Retinoids are animal-derived retinol’s sourced from “enzymes in milk and eggs.” Carotenoids are plant-based forms of retinol derived from various plant-based substances such as carrot seeds. Carrots are rich in beta carotene, a compound that “converts to vitamin A inside our bodies,” making these veggies a perfect option for vegetarians or vegans. Plant-based retinol products generally use a mixture of “high-fat vegetable and seed oils to activate” the carrot seed retinol. Secondly, it’s important to note that retinol is a “highly-reactive molecule, meaning it can break down – and lose its potency – as soon as it is exposed to sunlight or air.” This is why it’s recommended to use retinol products at night.
Retinol products use this potent source of vitamin A to “accelerate skin renewal and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots for firmer, smoother and more evenly-toned skin.” Many who use retinol products also report that it reverses the effects of sun damage, while also enhancing collagen production, one of the key ingredients to healthy and youthful skin.
While retinol is available in various forms, from creams to supplements, one of the best tried and true forms is via serum. Serums are powerful, potent, and great for repair and nourishment overnight.
Looking for your new retinol serum to add to your skincare regimen? Here are 10 cruelty-free and vegan retinol serums available on Amazon!
This Secret Essentials Natural & Organic Vegan Retinol Serum offers the best of all worlds. It’s 98 percent naturally derived, 72 percent organic, and has a vegan vitamin A potency of 2.5 percent. Along with being vegan and cruelty-free, Secret Essentials promises this product to be paraben-free, fragrance-free, oil-free, dye-free, filler-free, and great for all skin types. This retinol serum focuses on improving pigmentation, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, boosting skin texture and tone, improving hydration, and fighting acne and blemishes. A 1-fluid ounce bottle costs $8.90.
Miami says “The texture of the serum is very good for the skin, very moist without sticky.”
Looking for a serum that packs in all the skin care goods? This Retinol Serum by Poppy Austin uses a powerful blend of vegan and cruelty-free substances including 2.5 percent clinical strength retinol, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, green tea, organic jojoba oil, and natural antioxidants. This serum seeks to provide maximum anti-aging benefits and leave the skin looking smooth, radiant, and rejuvenated. Poppy Austin prides itself on using natural substances for their products with this retinol serum using 72 percent organic ingredients. A 2-liquid ounce bottle costs $17.94.
Faith 46 says “This Retinol Serum by Poppy Austin not only meets but exceeds my expectations. I search for products that are pure and effective and have found Poppy Austin products to be excellent. This Retinol Serum glides on and within a few days, you see a brighter, smoother complexion. I’m very particular about what I put on my face and will buy this product again. AND Poppy Austin products are very reasonably priced.”
This Shomei Organic Skincare Best Organic Retinol Serum promises the maximum strength retinol with 2.5 percent. Shomei Organic Skincare promises organic, cruelty-free, plant-based ingredients including a formula of vegan hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, organic green tea, and high-quality organic retinol serum. This serum works to reduce and reverse the signs of aging by preventing the buildup of dead skin cells and promoting healthy cell growth. The unique mixture of vitamin E and alpha hydroxy acid infuses the skin with antioxidants and boosts the production of collagen and elastin. A 1-fluid ounce bottle costs $18.95.
C. W. says “This is a great product! I use it right after hyaluronic acid and before moisturizing at night. I use it along with their vitamin c serum. I’d say I have more results from this than I ever did from R&F at a fraction of the price. I keep using this for sure.”
Valentia Skin Care prides itself on using cruelty-free and vegan ingredients in their beauty products. This Night Revive Retinol Serum uses a less intense dose of retinol, a concentrated 1.5 percent retinol, in order to avoid drying and irritation for those with sensitive skin types, while still providing the many anti-aging benefits. This serum reduces wrinkles and stops the formation of more wrinkles at the cellular level, revealing youthful and healthy skin. This unique formula includes toning vitamin C and plant-based conditioning squalene. A 1.18-fluid ounce bottle costs $35.00.
Anna De Leon says “I had already tried the Valentia Clay Mask and I absolutely loved it so when I was given the opportunity by Valentia to try the Retinol Serum, I jumped at the chance! As a woman in her late 30’s skin care is essential. The Night Revive Retinol Serum has made my skin smoother and has evened out my skin tone as well. The serum also came at the right time which was during a very stressful time in my life and you know stress takes a toll on the skin as well, so this retinol serum I believe has helped keep my skin balanced and probably kept unnecessary stress wrinkles from forming. Thank you Valentia for letting try this, I absolutely love it and highly recommend it.”
This unassuming serum packs a powerful punch of high-quality, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients! Yeouth Retinol Serum uses a mixture of 2.5 percent retinol, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, pure vitamin E, and vitamin C. This serum will reduce the signs of aging by brightening sking and boosting elasticity, as well as helping to fight acne breakouts. Yeouth also promises an extra layer of moisture to boost skins plump, firm texture and enhance a youthful appearance. A 1-fluid ounce bottle costs $19.95.
Becky in Florida says “Excellent product!!! I am 67 and people regularly ask how I keep my skin so young looking! I use this twice a day after I scrub my face with a wash cloth soaked with hydrogen peroxide. I then splash my face and neck with water, dry my hands and put one tiny drop of this product on my finger and rub it on my face and neck. I put whatever is left on my arms and hands. I let that dry, put on a moisturizer, then apply make-up. What a difference this makes!”
This ToLB Retinol Serum by Flawless.Wonderful.Perfect is 72 percent organic, 98 percent natural, and 100 percent vegetarian. This unique blend uses clinical strength 2 percent retinol, botanical hyaluronic acid, organic jojoba oil, witch hazel, organic green tea, and vitamin E. This anti-wrinkle, nourishing retinol-based serum promises to boost a youthful appearance, while also increasing the overall health and strength of your skin. ToLB Retinol Serum promises to be non-greasy and residue free, as well as cruelty-free and paraben-free. A 1-fluid ounce bottle costs $10.40.
Olivia says “I bought this for ant-aging purposes, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it also has the benefit of clearing up my skin too. I’d been having recurring breakouts on my chin, jaw, and right under my nose. I’ve only been using this stuff for 3-ish days and my skin as totally cleared up. Other people mentioned a tingly, burning feeling when applying it. I haven’t noticed that. However, I do put moisturizer on after applying this serum. I apply the serum, gently massage it into my skin, then use St. Ives Timeless Skin moisturizer.”
Looking for a brand you can really trust? Vesna Essentials is proud to provide 100 percent vegan, 98 percent all natural, and completely cruelty-free beauty products. This Vesna Essentials Retinol Serum uses a formula free of parabens, sulfates, and fragrances with 72 percent organic clinical strength retinol, 10 percent vegan hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, witch hazel, jojoba oil, and green tea. This serum focuses on reducing fine lines, preventing wrinkles, and rejuvenating, hydrating, and nourishing skin for a youthful, plump, and healthy look. You’ll get your bang for your buck with this high-quality serum. A 1-fluid ounce bottle costs $69.99.
Elizabeth Bennett says “I received this as a gift over Christmas, I am a licensed aesthetician and worked in skin care for more than 10 years and I was very impressed with the product. It is very light and I’ve worn it both at night and under makeup before my moisturizer. Retinal increases skin cell turnover which in turn leads to a smoother and more radiant skin it also will help with other product penetration – Instead of your moisturizer or steer him sitting just on the surface of the skin blocked by a layer of dead skin cells this will help clear the way for much more effective results.”
This Eve Hansen Retinol Serum is not only vegan, cruelty-free, organic, and based on natural ingredients, but it also promises to be free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. This serum uses a blend of 2 percent vegan retinol face serum, vitamin C, vitamin E, witch hazel, organic jojoba oil, and organic aloe. Along with boosting collagen production and skin elasticity, this serum seeks to remove dead skin, shrink pores, fight wrinkles and fine lines, lift and tighten skin, and help reduce acne. With a powerful infusion of botanical antioxidants, this serum heals and hydrates all at once! A 2-fluid ounce bottle costs $22.78.
dimples says “This product is amazing and it works really fast I got it so fast in the mail and started to use it and in a couple of days I could see results my skin is so soft and the blemishes I had disappeared and my skin has lightened up a lot and the dark circles under and around my eyes have almost disappeared and its unbelievable how good this product works but it does no lie it’s wonderful and I will not be without it, so happy I found this miracle in a jar thanks Amazon for an Amazing product I wouldn’t believe the results if someone would have told me I wouldn’t have believed them, but I see the results with my own eyes.”
This Asutra Anti-Aging Serum infuses this wrinkle and fine line fighting product with 2.5 percent rovisome retinol. Asutra is proud to provide 100 percent vegan, natural and nontoxic, cruelty-free, and organic-based ingredients in their beauty products. This retinol serum promises to be 72 percent organic, 98 percent natural, and 100 percent vegan. This formula improves pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, skin texture, and tone while fighting acne and other blemishes. A 1-fluid ounce bottle costs $14.24.
Omama 2015 says “This is a wonderful product! I was amazed at how easy it is to apply and just how little is necessary. I’m 63 and wanted to get rid of laugh, eye, mouth and brow lines. I’ve been using it for 3 weeks and my skin is glowing! I had someone ask for my Driver’s license to prove my age when I asked for a senior discount. Made my day. I also appreciate the customer service you get with this manufacturer. They are there to answer any questions and back their product with a full refund guarantee. I will be purchasing this product again.”
If serums just don’t work for you, here’s one retinol-based cream that may be perfect! Namskara Retinol Moisturizer Cream is a vegan-friendly, cruelty-free product that focuses on using a blend of natural and organic ingredients such as 2.5 percent retinol, hyaluronic acid, organic aloe vera, organic sunflower oil, organic jojoba oil, wildcrafted green tea, vitamin E, vitamin B5, and shea butter. While moisturizing and nourishing, this cream will fight the signs of aging including crow’s feet, dark circles, and uneven skin tones. Plus, this cream promises to unclog pores in order to fight acne and other breakouts! This formula is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, triclosan, petroleum, artificial colors, and fragrances. A 1.7-ounce jar costs $16.95.
Lynne Guitar says “This is a great facial cream. It smooths on easily, doesn’t feel greasy, and has the two main ingredients I was seeking, retinol and hyaluronic acid. It can’t make my 69-year-old face look 25 again, but has definitely erased some of the fine wrinkles and feels good on my face all day long. And a big plus is that it costs less per ounce than other similar face creams on the market. Thank you, Namskara!”
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