We see it splashed on the labels of our serums, makeup, supplements and food. From healthy vision to optimal immune system function, cell growth and its impact on our skin, Vitamin A — whether natural or synthetic — can have immense benefits impacting our overall health and wellness. One of the biggest nutrients for our skin provided in Vitamin A in both its natural and synthetic form, is retinol. Below we take a look at the difference between natural and synthetic Vitamin A, what to eat and how to pick the safest products for your skin.
101: Here’s the difference between natural and synthetic nutrients:
- Natural nutrients: These are obtained from whole food sources in the diet.
- Synthetic nutrients: Also referred to as isolated nutrients, these are usually made artificially, in an industrial process. It is important to note the potential risks of consuming and applying fat-soluble Vitamins — specifically A, D, E and K, as supplements can exceed the recommended daily intake of many nutrients and be stored in the body leading to risk of hypervitaminosis. Recommended daily doses are safe for most people, but caution and using approved products is advised.
What is retinol:
Retinol, also known as Vitamin A₁, is a vitamin found in food and used as a dietary supplement. Skin is a retinoid-responsive organ, able to readily absorb vitamin A when applied topically to stimulate the production of new skin cells and aid in certain skin conditions such acne, promote collagen production and reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
What to eat:
Retinoids can be found in animal products, such as:
- beef liver
- dairy products, such as milk, butter, and cheddar cheese
- cod liver oil
Carotenoids (plant-based sources of Vitamin A) can be found in plant products, such as:
- sweet potatoes
- leafy green vegetables
- fruits, such as mangoes, apricots, and plums
Consuming natural, whole foods provides our bodies with a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and fatty acids required to maintain a healthy functioning body. They help prevent and manage serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and help to stabilize our blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
While it’s quite obvious that eating whole foods is the purest way to absorb the nutritional benefits naturally, there are many ways to apply our vitamins in order to reap the rewards of retinol, especially when it comes to our skin.
What to apply:
On most cosmetic shelves, you’ll find a wide array of synthetic retinol, which is why it’s important to read your labels and be an informed consumer. We did the work for you and vetted the safest, natural option that’s Copal approved.
At Copal Clean Beauty, we are big fans of Holi (oil) Refining Youth Serum by Agent Natuer. Holi Refining Youth Serum combines the highest grade of natural, non-gmo ingredients that are organic or wild crafted. With its deeply penetrating formula, Holi brightens, hydrates, reduces redness and wrinkles, heals scars and acne, prevents sun damage, corrects hyperpigmentation and dark spots, and replenishes collagen for a glow that will make you smile.
h o l i ( o i l ) can be used day or evening and should be applied to clean skin before bedtime or in the morning. We suggest using four to five drops and patting evenly on your face and décolletage. We personally love mixing our youth serum directly with our sunscreen and foundation in the palm of our hand. It can be worn with or without makeup.
In conjunction with a healthy diet, filled with fresh plant and/or animal-based products indicated above, you can be sure that you are consuming the recommended daily requirements of Vitamin A, and consequently, retinol.
*As always, consult with your doctor before applying any over-the-counter topical products with Retinol.