Credo & Retinoids
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Credo & Retinoids 

Retinoids (retinol, retinyl palmitate) describe a group of chemical compounds found in nature that are known as Vitamin A, and they assist in some of the essential functions of the body. Vitamin A is found in both plant and animal sources and it’s needed for the proper function of our immune system, vision, growth of bone tissue, and skin cell growth, repair and differentiation. It’s a really important vitamin that is a strong antioxidant. It’s remarkable ability to affect skin cell regeneration has catapulted it into the spotlight over the last several years, and its laboratory isolated components are now infused to anti-aging and acne -damaged skin care products.

However, the problem is that although it can help our skin repair and heal, it can also make it extremely sensitive and vulnerable to environmental damage and potential carcinogens. There have been countless blog posts, and research studies arguing both the pros and the cons of using retinoids topically, and opinions by advocates from both sides still stand divided.

So where does that leave us? Somewhere in the middle. At Credo, we know finding products that offer proven results are important to our customers. But we also feel a great responsibility to making sure that the products used don’t harm us, or the environment. For those seeking effective result driven anti-aging and / or acne treatments, it is proven that certain retinoids work.  But there has also been an equal display of research revealing their potential harm. For example, California’s Proposition 65 lists it as a developmental toxin, and the Skin Deep database suggests avoiding it- and many organic skin care brands have decided not to incorporate it. But the EU commission on cosmetic safety, doesn’t list it as a toxin, and advises its use at .03% or below.

For us at Credo - we strongly urge our customers to use caution and common sense when using products with retinoids.  If you decide to use a product with retinoids, please follow a few safe practices: 1) check the percentage and make sure it is listed below 1%,  2) Be aware that the product may cause skin irritation and sensitivity, and stop using immediately if discomfort persists 3) Avoid the sun!, 4) Avoid using continually, give skin a break.

Ideally, it would be best advised to avoid retinoids altogether, but a few of our brands have incorporated some milder variations of the vitamin’s components in very small percentages in order to support a few of its beneficial therapeutic actions in their products -and in these instances, you will notice the retinoids are at low percentages, and not included in sun care products.

We hope to empower our customers to better educate themselves about the products they put on their faces and bodies, and to make informed decisions about what is best for them individually.  Below please find some reliable posts and research on retinoids.

One last note:

It’s also very important to note that all the studies indicating its cause for concern are based on research and experiments that test on animals, where they administer high dosages both orally and topically and observe the animal’s response. In most instances they are using a laboratory synthesized version of the retinoid, and not a natural isolate.

Obviously, it’s always best to get our vitamins directly from a food source, because the interplay of all of the nutrients (all vitamins and minerals) in the food, as a whole (together), allow for each component to be more safely absorbed in our bodies.  It’s when these vitamins are isolated and removed from the food source and administered on their own that their reaction in the human body may differ. That said, look for whole ingredients in your skin care products like sea buckthorn oil and extracts, carrot seed oil and extracts, and avocado oil, to name a few.  These whole ingredients contain within them naturally occurring retinoids that may be more digestible, and safer, for the skin to process. 

References: Europa , NEIHS, EWG, ODS, Safe Cosmetics, Truth in Aging

Other names and synonyms of retinoids, how you may find them listed:

INCI names (how you may see it listed on the label): Retinol, Retinyl acetate, Retinyl palmitate

Chemical Name

Retinol: Chemical name: All-trans-3, 7-dimethyl-9-(2, 6, 6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-2, 4, 6, 8- nonatetraen-1-ol

Retinyl acetate: Chemical name: All-trans-3, 7-dimethyl-9-(2, 6, 6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-2, 4, 6, 8- nonatetraene-1-yl acetate

Retinyl palmitate: Chemical name: All-trans-3, 7-dimethyl-9-(2, 6, 6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-2, 4, 6, 8- nonatetraene-1-yl palmitate

Trade Names - ( this means laboratories that design synthetic versions - nature identical -)

Retinol: Acon, Afaxin, Agiolan, Alphsterol, Epiteliol, Testavol

Retinyl acetate: Vitamin Acetate

Retinyl palmitate: Arovit, Testavol S; Vitamin A Palmitate

Other Synonyms:

Retinol: All-trans-retinol, All-trans-retinyl-alcohol Vitamin A alcohol 15-apo-(3-caroten-15-ol) Axerol, Axerophthol, Axerophtholum, Biosterol, (E)-3, 7-dimethyl-9-(2, 6, 6-trimethylcyclohex-enyl)-2, 4, 6, 8- nonatetraenol, (E)-3, 7-dimethyl-9-(2, 6, 6-trimethylcyclohexen- l -yl)-2, 4, 6, 8- nonatetraenol, (E)-9-hydroxy-3, 7-dimethyl-9-(2, 6, 6-trimethylcyclo-hexenyl)-1, 3, 5, 7-Nonatetraene, Oleo Vitamin A Retinol Trans-retinol 2-trans, 4-trans Vitamin A, Vitamin A alcohol, Vitaminum A                                        

Retinyl acetate: All-trans-Vitamin A acetate, Vitamin A acetate, Acetic acid (E) -3, 7-dimethyl-9-(2, 6, 6-trimethyl-cyclohexenyl)-2, 4, 6, 8-nonatetraenylester, Acetic acid retinyl ester, All-trans-retinyl acetate, All-trans-retinol acetate, O-acetoxy-all-trans-retinol, O-acetyl-all-trans-retinol, Retinylacetate, 2-trans, 4-trans, 6-trans, 8-trans-retinolacetate, 2-trans, 4-trans, 6-trans, 8-trans-retinylacetate, Rac 

Retinyl palmitate:All-trans-Retinyl palmitate, Retinyl palmitate, Palmitic acid (E)-3, 7-dimethyl-9-(2, 6, 6-trimethyl-cyclohexenyl)-2, 4, 6, 8-nonatetraenyl ester, Palmitic acid retinyl ester, O-palmitoyl-all-trans-retinol, O-palmitoyl-retinol, Retinylpalmitate, 2-trans, 4-trans, 6-trans, 8-trans-retinylpalmitate, 2-trans, 4-trans, 6-trans, 8-trans-retinol palmitate, Retinol hexadecanoate, Trans-retinol palmitate, Trans-retinyl palmitate, RP