How Safe Is Lab-Made vs. Nature-Made?
Did you know that ingredients in commercial skincare may not be what they appear to be?
Some are disguised to resemble a natural ingredient, but are really altered chemically and function completely different, and most are harmful. For instance, Retinol A- the compound found in many anti-aging products because it speeds cellular regeneration. It's a little ghoulish and deceptive is all... read this:
"Hi,I was curious what your opinion is on Retinol. I noticed that on ewg.com most products with Retinol are toxic. Is Retinol toxic on it own? Thank you."~Natasha
GREAT question! I actually LOVE this question because as an expert in making skincare solutions from food/plant sources, THIS is what it is all about!!! This question is the heart of why I do what I do!!
The real question here is: how safe is lab-made versus nature-made?
Lab made versions (retinol, retinoids, retinoic acid and others) are not the complete compound if you will. During chemical processing, changes and losses occur.
Nature is "self-protective" and "self-serving". What I mean by that is this- the compounds in plant are complete- they auto regulate and perform holistically. When a compound is altered, it looses certain qualities and protective mechanisms. The PURE form of Vitamin A found in carrots, squash, pomegranate, rosehip, etc. is a lot different than the retinol found in commercial skincare.
Natural sources of Vitamin A from vegetables such as carrots, or in seed oils such as rosehip contained within the whole plant have a much more balanced range of action. Whenever a single molecule is extracted from its natural environment you create a physical imbalance that the body continually tries to recover from by action/reaction.
Hypersensitive skin from repeated long term use of synthetic Vitamin A is common and a perfect example of over-use of an ingredient whose primary action is to purposefully burn the skin. Unstable and highly reactive, consistent use of synthetic Vitamin A alters the biochemistry of the skin in sometimes serious and irreversible ways, which is why you need a prescription from a doctor. You don't need a prescription to eat a carrot - or apply rosehip seed oil to your skin. (Carrot Seed Serum / Moisturizer, Pomegranate Serum / Moisturizer and Beyond Serum / Moisturizer are all rich sources of naturally occurring vitamins A and C)
Retinoids are compounds derived from Retinoic acid, a form of Vitamin A. Skin care products such as Retin-A® or Renova® are brand names for tretinoin, a form of retinoic acid, are topical retinoids. For instance Accutane is an isomer of tretinoin (a retinoid), and is used orally for chronic or severe acne. It is a teratogen (connected to birth defects) and has been linked to an increased risk of suicide. Synthetic Vitamin A ingredients in skin care formulations focus on a purposeful burning of the skin and used long term these effects can endanger health to say the least.
On the other hand naturally sourced vitamin A from fruits and vegetables have been shown to be important for healthy eyes and vision and protects against infection, baldness, acne, cancer, kidney stones, radiation, pollutants, contraceptives. Vitamin A also promotes normal cell growth, healthy skin and hair, assists in protein digestion and maintains healthy blood and glandular function.
Lab made chemicals are cheaper alternatives that commercial skincare companies use without really caring how they effect the body and the harm they can cause. Using real, fresh sources is always best for the body.
I hope that helps.
Trina Felber, CEO
RN, BSN, MSN, CRNA