High-performance Beauty & Wellness

RETINOIDS vs. ROSEHIP OIL

Many people have asked me if rosehip oil is a good vitamin A alternative to retinol for repairing aged skin. 

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with retinoids unless you have a specific condition such as pregnancy, eczema, rosacea, allergy, or experience severe intolerance to retinol.  Retinoids work!  In fact, only retinoic acid has a biological effect on the skin and there's plenty of peer reviewed dermatological journals confirmed by in-vivo (performed on living people) studies:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6791161/ and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699641/.

I am all for "clean" beauty products but as a clinical aesthetician, my focus is on results-oriented treatments and products formulated with tried and tested ingredients proven to safely transform the skin. 

Indeed, rosehip oil contains a tiny (parts per million) of natural retinoic acid (tretinoin), a retinoid famously known in the skin care world for its anti-aging, anti-pigmentation, anti-acne benefits.  However, when you're looking for "active" vitamin A content in a product made with rosehip oil, you would first need to estimate its percentage according to its full ingredients list.  So let's do a little math... 

Pure rosehip oil contains about 0.357 mg of tretinoin PER liter of oil, which translates to 0.00003923% tretinoin.  Keep in mind its potency also depends if the oil is refined or cold-pressed.  Let's use Tata Harper "Retinoic Face Oil" as an example.  Going by the ingredient list on their bottle, we can safely estimate 37% rosehip oil, which indicates the product contains approximately 0.0000145% tretinoin, in other words almost nothing! 

Prescription tretinoin is usually 0.025% to 0.05% or higher.  That being said, the amount of retinoic acid in rosehip oil is not significant enough to scratch the surface of skin rejuvenation. 

Other than being formulated with nourishing rosehip oil and probably smelling good (due to a blend of essential oils), I'd proceed with a high level of skepticism in regard to the retinoic acid claim.  Please beware of the misinformation and marketing jargon used by many cosmetic brands misinterpreting the term "retinoic" or "clean" retinol in the name of their retinol-free products.  As I explained, there is no such thing as clean and dirty/toxic retinol. 

If you've been on the lookout for an effective vegan vitamin A product without retinol, look no further and try Beleza by Z Vitamin 'A' Renewal Elixir. This plant-based high-performance elixir powered by hydroxypinacolone retinoate (HPR) is an ester of all-trans retinoic acid, which works without the dryness, itching, and sun sensitivity commonly experienced with retinol. 

 

1 comment

  • I have Lupus and a few years ago in 2019 my hair started to fall out. I immediately started working on some sort of Solution to apply to my scalp. I was surprised to find out that Biotin could not be absorbed topically for the results I wanted to achieve so I started mixing oils. Coconut, Vitamin E, Tea Tree, Olive Oil and Vitamin A to start with. I also mixed in Castor oil but it was obviously too heavy to mix w/ the others & I started to add Castor oil to my scalp on alternate days. I know my formula (ingredients) is a bit redundant but that’s why I’m still researching. Is there a topical retinoid that can be applied to the scalp? Would it be more prudent to scrap one of these above oils for Rose hip oil or should I stick with Vitamin oil and if so where does one find Vitamin A Oil that doesn’t have sugars or flavors? It’s been quite a chore for me. I’ve even bought the gel caps and squeezed out the liquid capsule by capsule to only end up with maybe 1/4 cup oil from 200 plus capsules. Could I use a fish oil alternative (though the smell would then be an issue)? I also don’t want to induce Vitamin A toxicity by combining the same Vitamin A laden ingredients together. Any thoughts on this matter? Tho my hair has grown back a bit thicker than before and I’ve seemed to suffer no I’ll affects , I’d like to help my Mother grow hers back too. Have you any knowledge to share regarding Vitamin A and hair regrowth?

    Kenya C

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