EWG SCORE: 6-9What is EWG?

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A; in fact, it is the form of Vitamin A that our body ultimately ends up converting to and using (for this particular vitamin type).  It has been recognized and proven to help boost collagen production, fight the signs of aging (fine lines and wrinkles), as well as help improve and smooth out skin tone and color.  Retinol has also been further used to help control and prevent acne by keeping pores unclogged, allowing other targeted medications do their magic.

Due to the multi-function nature of Retinol, it has been considered a ‘cure-all’ for skin concerns and issues; while this is obviously not the case these days, this particular ingredient is still widely recognized for its anti-wrinkle, anti-acne, and other properties, all of which have been validated time and time again.

Ingredient Safety

Because knowing what goes into your skin is important.

Despite the various recognized benefits of retinol, this particular ingredient strays far from the ‘green’ path as set by the Environmental Working Group, and even the FDA.

EWG: 6-9 (High Hazard)
Citing different resources, including the FDA, German BfR, and Canada’s list of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients, Retinol has scored poorly on EWG’s Hazard Scale.  This particular ingredient has been cited to be a known human reproductive toxicant, as well as holding the potential for heightened cellular mutation and/or cancer.
You can view EWG’s Retinol (Vitamin A) entry here.

US FDA:  FDA currently regulates products that contain a higher concentration of Retinol than what is normally acceptable, which appears to be at about a 1% concentration or less.  Numerous publications have been found, both at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Website as well as other repositories, documenting both the efficacy and safety considerations of Retinol.
Read more about Safety and Efficacy of Retinol at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Website

Effect Types

Categorization of what the effects Retionol may be when used on the skin

Despite certain risks that Retinol poses, the unique properties of this particular ingredient and compound has been proven to assist in a number of different areas, including

  • Acne Control and Prevention
  • Skin Smoothing (Anti-Wrinkle/Aging)
  • Psoriasis Management
  • Wart Control

The powerful nature of retinol also brings a note of particular skin issues and considerations, including:

  • Dryness and Irritation
  • Skin Color Changes
  • Sensitivity to Sunlight
  • Redness and/or Swelling
  • Crusting and/or Blistering

References and Further Reading(need to be fixed):
Retinoids in the Treatment of Skin Aging: An Overview of Clinical Efficacy and Safety, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Retinoid Treatment of Skin Problems: Acne, Wrinkles, & More, WebMD

RETINOL (VITAMIN A) || Skin Deep Cosmetics Database | EWG

Recommended products with Retinol

CrediThink currently does not carry any products with Retinol as one of its ingredients.