Retinol is regaled in the beauty industry as the regent of skin repair, yet it is synthetic retinol (retinyl palmitate, retinol propionate, and retinaldehyde) that is widely found in the creams and gels of beauty aisles or by prescription in various strengths. These creams and gels come with wary warnings of side effects. One side effect called the “retinol burn” results in a thinning of the surface layer of skin, increased sun sensitivity, redness, irritation, dryness, and for many, melasma, which makes one wonder about these products’ promise of smooth, healthy skin.

Yet nature has provided naturally occurring retinol that is highly effective and entirely non-irritating…

Really Real Ravishing Retinol

Nature, our most revered beauty attendant, knows all about retinol. There is a dynamic duo in nature’s botanical bounty that works synergistically as a resplendent retinol-retinue: righteous Wild Rosehips Carrier Oil and mighty Mastic Essential Oil.

Really real retinol found naturally in these plant oils makes skin cells act like young, healthy cells and smoothes out fine lines, plumps the skin, soothes skin disturbances, and eases signs of aging — without all of the side effects of synthetics. 

Retinol: A Review

Retinol is often used as a catchphrase for all retinoid compounds, yet retinol is technically pure vitamin A, a precursor of tretinoin (also known as retinoic acid) that naturally occurs in the skin.

When retinol is applied to the skin, it must be transformed into tretinoin to be active, and the activation rate is not 100%. Tretinoin is one of the most valuable compounds for the visage; it preserves collagen that keeps skin firm, instructs cells to make more collagen, and inhibits collagen-destroying enzymes called MMPs. It works deeply in the cells to stimulate the production of glycosaminoglycans (including hyaluronic acid, keratin, and chondroitin), the skin’s natural moisturizers. Tretinoin also lightens dark spots by preventing melanin from clumping in the skins lower layers and accelerating skin cell turnover to shed existing melanated spots. The cumulative effects are firmer, thicker, tighter, and suppler skin with fewer wrinkles, lines, and spots. Rosehips 

Tretinoin is also active against acne by preventing dead skin cells from clumping and clogging pores and balancing sebum production. Pores that are free and clear of cells and excess oil are friendly toward non-acne causing microbes and invite a well-balanced microbiome.

There are three pathways to ravishing the skin with natural retinol/tretinoin compounds:
  • Flooding the skin with retinol from the inside with a diet rich in fat-soluble vitamin A
  • Applying it topically to the skin 
  • Preserving tretinoin that naturally occurs in the skin 

Wild Rosehips Carrier Oil

Naturally occurring tretinoin, which is up to twenty times more potent than retinol, is the main active plant component of our Wild Rosehips Carrier Oil. Our Rosehip oil is extracted from the organic, crimson-colored fruit of the rose. Both the fruit and the seeds inside it are brimming with skin-saving plant compounds including vitamins C and E, abundant essential fatty acids, and tretinoin, and these compounds have soothed skin since ancient days. We add a dash of organic Lavender Essential Oil to stabilize the precious oil and add to its regenerative power.

Mastic Essential Oil 

Mastic Essential Oil is revered since biblical times as a skin primer, and now we know why. Researchers have newly discovered that Mastic has a tretinoin preserving superpower.

The tretinoin that naturally exists in our cells degrades in the presence of an enzyme (CYP26A1 to be exact), that also occurs in the skin. Mastic contains plant compounds that inhibit that enzyme from degrading endogenous tretinoin, thus boosting levels in the skin. Mastic Essential Oil, a charismatic liquid resin, super smoothes and silkifies the skin while softening the appearance of scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, lines, and spots. 

A Simple Wild Rose Retinol Remedy

Wild Rosehips Carrier Oil and Mastic Essential Oil sate two of the three bio-pathways that provide tretinoin to the skin. When these two worlds collide in a beautiful expression of rosy renewal, skin is revived and comes alive! 

It is super simple to make your own skin-smoothing, anti-acne skin care oil. Combine Wild Rosehips Carrier Oil and Mastic Essential Oil and shake gently before using. A little dab will quench the skin. Unlike synthetic retinol/tretinoin products that make the skin sensitive to the sun and may cause irritation and peeling, these botanical beauties are non-sensitizing and non-irritating. We recommend a bedtime application to freshly cleansed skin with Best Skin Ever to give the oils all night to work their magic (you can spa it up and soak it in with the Silicone Face Mask too). Allow 2-3 months to see improvement. 

30ml Wild Rosehip Oil + Lavender Oil
5ml Mastic Essential Oil

Additional options:

1ml Palmarosa (for wise skin)
1ml of Sweet Thyme (for blemish skin)
1ml of Blue Tansy (for calming skin)

Nadine BioNadine Artemis, the founder of Living Libations, is the author of Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums, and Renegade Beauty: Reveal and Revive Your Natural Radiance, which was named one of “The Top 10 Books on Skin Care” by The Strategist of New York Magazine. She is a respected media guest and contributor, and her products have received rave reviews in the New York Times, LA Times, Elle, People, Vogue, and Hollywood Reporter. Described by Alanis Morissette as “a true-sense visionary,” Nadine crafts elegant formulations and healing creations from rare botanicals that have skin glowing around the world. Her concept of Renegade Beauty encourages effortlessness and inspires people to rethink conventional notions of beauty and wellness.