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Does Vika's Essentials use retinol?

Retinols are seeing a surge in popularity right now, reflecting the ever-changing tide of skincare trends.

It is prescribed across the board as a solution for nearly every condition, for all skin types, ages, and histories. I will always push against this "cookie-cutter" methodology as our skin and unique needs are highly individual.

As you may notice, none of my products contain retinol as an ingredient. I don't use retinol in my products because it renders the skin more sensitive to environmental aggressors like pollution and cigarette smoke that cause a kind of oxidative damage that speeds up aging. While also smoothing skin, retinol products are also known to cause irritation, redness, flaking, and peeling.

It's only been since the late 90s that people have used retinol. We haven't yet seen the long-term effects of retinol use, other chemicals, and nanotechnologies, for example. The aim is to speed up cellular turnover to create plump new skin, but cell turnover is finite. Many of them are very hard on the skin. You get this healing reaction short-term and lovely, but it is an added stress to your skin.

I believe that synthetic ingredients or harsh ingredients like retinoids are counterproductive. I understand the desire for quick-fix products when attempting to fight the signs of aging or treat breakouts. However, I lean towards a gentler and more nourishing approach. Natural plant oils that have an optimum affinity with the skin and are rich in vitamins, including betacarotene, a precursor of vitamin A/retinol. They naturally harmonize to nourish, soothe, and support the skin's best health.

My mission is to create formulas that restore your skin's natural health and balance with the least amount of interference to our biological function. I want to build up our skin's own integrity, allowing it to serve as the protective organ. Sometimes we forget that our skin plays an integral role in our body's care, the same as our lungs, heart, or other vital organs.

What do I use instead?

I combine ingredients like plant oils, natural cleansing clays, extracts, restorative salts, turmeric, and vitamin C to encourage cellular rejuvenation and skin luminosity. Here is an example of organic plant oils I use in my products which contain Vitamin A (beta-carotene/retinol in its natural form): Argan Nut Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Aloe Vera Leaf Gel, etc.