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Does “Natural Retinol” Stand up to the Real Deal?

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Before we dive in, I wanted to share a Beautycounter promo—get a free Body Butter in Citrus Mimosa (so luxurious and perfect for the upcoming fall months when skin gets drier) when you spend $150+!

If you need help selecting products for your skin type, click here and get your personalized skincare recs!

You might have seen the announcement in July, but if you missed it, there’s some BIG news in the anti-aging skincare world—BAKUCHIOL!

Huh?!?! You might be saying…

It’s pronounced “bah-coochie y’all”—the Texan in me loves saying this word and it’s known as the natural alternative to retinol. And, basically the biggest thing to happen to skincare since retinol!

I’ve had so many of you say that you’d like to switch to cleaner, more natural products, but the one things that’s holding you back is that you’re not ready to give up your retinol. I have to admit, I totally got it. Personally, I did swear it off after I got pregnant and never looked back, but I’d been hoping something new would pop up, because mama ain’t gonna stay young forever!

When we were at the Beautycounter conference back in March, they announced their latest product line—Countertime. A full anti-aging line formulated with their “retinatural” complex, which includes—you guessed it—bakuchiol as a main ingredient.

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    What is Retinol and What Does it Do?

    Chances are you’ve used some product with retinol in it. It’s essentially vitamin A. It speeds up cell renewal and can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and helps with acne and breakouts as well.

    Is it Safe?

    I won’t sit here and say it’s going to kill you, but there are a lot of side effects that you should aware of if you’re using it. For some people it works wonders, for others, it’s incredibly irritating. A lot of clean beauty companies do not use the ingredient for these reasons below, so make the decision for yourself!

    Retinol & Pregnancy

    My doctor didn’t give me too many no-no’s when I found out I was pregnant with Owen, but she did strictly say that I should discontinue any retinoid use. —this was the only BIG no-no my doctor told me about at our first it’s irritating, it can speeds up cell turnover, which means if you have cancerous cells, it can speed up the growth of those cells as wel

    Retinol & Sun Exposure

    Retinol and sun are not a good combo. If you’re on any retinol product, your doctor has likely warned you to wear sunscreen and keep out of the sun. Because retinol speeds up cell turnover, it can also speed up unhealthy cell turnover and speed up the growth of cancerous cells.

    I did not heed my doctor’s warning too seriously and now have sun damage across my forehead. I would give anything to go back and do it over again!

    Ultimately, it is a highly effective product, but it’s not 100% safe. Thankfully, there’s a new option that is totally safe!

    What is Bakuchiol?

    Bakuchiol is a plant-derived extract from the babchi plant that has the same benefits as retinol without the irritating side effects. It also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which makes it amazing for those of us who deal with breakouts too.

    What is in Beautycounter’s “retinatural complex”?

    Last month, Beautycounter announced the launch of their newest line—Countertime. This is HUGE huge huge for the clean beauty world. Up until this point, there wasn’t anything that compared to retinol. The star of the Countetime line is the Retinatural Complex. It’s a mixture of bakuchiol and Swiss Mountain Rose.

    We already know what bakuchiol adds to the picture, Swiss Alpine Rose boosts skin’s antioxidant defense. The combo is magical!

    Does it Work?

    The big question—the most important one too if you’re looking for a safer anti-aging alternative to retinol. Does this stuff actually work?

    In one word—YES.

    Not only does it have wonderful reviews, but I’ve used it myself and I’ve been blown away at how my skin looks after just a few weeks of use. The best part? I doesn’t come with any of the sun sensitivity or irritation!

    What Can it Help With?

    Bakuchiol or the Retinatural Complex can help:

    • reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines
    • improve skin texture
    • increase skin’s firmness
    • boost your skin’s glowiness
    • increases skin elasticity

    And, for those of you that still deal with breakouts (hi! this is me!) I’ve found that it’s helped greatly with:

    • reducing breakouts
    • less redness
    • lightening scars
    • boosting overall skin tone

    Bakuchiol Products

    Okay, so where do you get bakuchiol?! Several brands of jumped on this new amazing ingredient—Beautycounter, Biossance, Herbivore, and so many more. I only have experience with Beautycounter’s line which I have loved, but I wanted to dive into how you can actually work bakuchiol into your own routine!

    How Can You Work these Products into your own routine

    Depending on your skin type or exact needs, you can easily work this amazing ingredient into your own routine without swapping out every single product in your daily routine. I think most of us are concerned with aging at some level, so checkout this graphic, broken down by skin type, to figure out how to work it into your routine!

    Personally, I fall somewhere between oily and dry acne-prone skin. My favorite products from the Countertime line that I use on a daily basis are:

    Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil: You guys know I love the cleansing balm, but I’ve been testing this one out and I love it! I’d say, they have a similar purpose, but of course, if aging is a bigger concern, then I’d go for this cleanser!

    Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum: If you only get one (unless you have really sensitive skin), make it this one. It’s the big daddy of them all! It’s the last step in my skincare routine and it’s continued to improve the look and texture of my skin. I also find that it helps battle breakouts as well!

    I’ve been using it about every other night since I alternate with the Overnight Peel.

    Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream: Since I have oilier skin, I don’t actually use this on my face, but I do use it on my neck and chest. Those two areas are often overlooked, but can show signs of aging just as much as our faces can.

    Rob has dry skin and he uses it on his face. He’s had no adverse reaction at all and says his skin doesn’t feel as dry! That’s about as detailed a description as I could get out of him, ha! He loves the eye cream too!

    Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream: I just ordered this as my old favorite (Rejuvenating eye cream) ran out and I wanted to try this one. People who were hooked on the Rejuvenating Cream have told me this one is “100x better!” Maybe that’s a big exaggeration, but it sounds amazing! I’ll keep you guys posted after I try it out!

    BTW, 8 toxic ingredients to avoid in skincare, and all of my Beautycounter favorites in one spot.



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