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Bad news for Retinol fans

Retinol enthusiasts may have already seen it in the news, but Retinol in high doses is not recommended by the European scientific health watchdog. She has recommended that by the end of 2026, high percentages (from 0.3%) of Retinol will no longer be allowed in our beloved creams.

What's up with that?

Retinol falls under the vitamin A family. A is in our food, but there are also anti-aging conscious people who take an extra shot through nutritional supplements. Although in general exposure to vitamin A through cosmetic products is low, it can become critical for the group of consumers who already consume vitamin A from other sources. Retinol can then build up in our body and subsequently cause damage, such as osteoporosis, liver problems, and complaints such as nausea, irritation, headaches, fatigue, hair loss, eye problems and dry lips [i] .

Moreover, you can question high percentages of active ingredients in cosmetics. Are these actually good and effective for the skin? Do the pros and cons outweigh each other? This again depends on where you apply it, the condition of the skin and your personal characteristics. Every skin - sensitive, thick or fragile - can react differently to cosmetics. And with Retinol, 'one size fits all' certainly does not apply. For example, dry skin is able to absorb relatively much. In combination with hormonal fluctuations and sensitive skin, you then run the risk of a strong sunlight reaction. Unintended stacking effects then lead to skin damage that is difficult to repair. Therefore, always use high sun protection with Retinol - preferably with a mineral composition!

What now?

Is the fun over now? Because yes, Retinol is also versatile and very effective. Due to its positive effect on cell division and collagen production, it promotes our natural skin firming. Retinol prevents pimples from eating away and our pigment is better distributed. These are just some of the fantastic properties of Retinol.

But don't worry. To maintain your skin improvement after a facial treatment, you can use products with a lower Retinol percentage. Like 0.3% for the face. This is safe for many skin types and still effective. But you can also look at other skin-improving ingredients, such as Bakuchiol. Research has shown that Bakuchiol has similar anti-photoaging benefits to Retinol. Bakuchiol is now seen as a promising alternative to Retinol because the skin tolerates this substance better. You can buy these products at Medicadermis, so feel free to come by for advice during a free intake.

The future comes from the East…

At the same time, we also see another important trend. With the rise of Asian cosmetics in the Netherlands, there has been a shift in the philosophy of skin care. While vitamin A is now commonplace and an industrial bulk product, we see the opposite interest among consumers. They are increasingly focusing on high-quality ingredients with minimal side effects. Where the skin barrier is central and the skin microbiome is promoted. The skin improvement results with this are remarkable. This will most likely be the clove and pepper of the 21st century. In a future article I will discuss my ideas about the microbiome and the use of bacteria to improve the skin. Because you can also contact Medicadermis for this.

Sources and footnotes

  • European Commission. (2023). Commission Regulation (EU) …/… of XXX amending Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the use of Vitamin A, Alpha-Arbutin and Arbutin and certain substances with potential endocrine disrupting properties in cosmetics products. Accessed on 19/06/2023.
  • Dhaliwal, S., Rybak, I., Ellis, S.R., Notay, M., Trivedi, M., Burney, W., ... Sivamani, R.K. (2019). Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoaging. British Journal of Dermatology, 180(2), 289-296.
  • Puyana, C. MD, MSPH, Chandan, N. MD, MPH, & Tsoukas, M. MD, PhD. (2022). Applications of bakuchiol in dermatology: Systematic review of the literature. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
  • [i] It is not recommended to use Retinol during pregnancy.
  • If you suspect vitamin A poisoning, it is always advisable to seek medical advice.

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