Best Natural Retinol Serum: 11 Top Organic Retinol Serums In 2023

natural retinol

Every skincare connoisseur will tell you that retinol is the gold standard in the fight against wrinkles (and a whole host of other problems). It can boost collagen, plump your skin, reduce pigmentation, and even help with acne. 

Yes, retinol is a miracle worker, but there’s a catch: the retinol found in skincare products is usually synthesized. This, unfortunately, means that if you have sensitive skin, it can leave you looking worse than before. 

So, does this mean that those with irritable skin can’t enjoy the benefits of retinol like everyone else? Nope! Luckily, alternatives to synthetic retinol exist, and they work just as great. 

Retinol is basically vitamin A, which occurs naturally. So, some brands have developed retinol products from those natural sources. Let’s take a look.

Related article: Best Organic Face Serum 2022: 12 Natural Face Serums We Recommend

Best Organic Retinol Serums & Creams 

Here are 11 organic retinol creams, serums, and oils that will leave you looking radiant and youthful. 

1. 100% Pure Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm

organic retinol

100% Pure Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm combines avocado butter and oils with natural retinol derived from carrots to form a luxurious anti-aging balm. It helps firm up the skin, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improves the tone and texture of your skin. 

This nourishing balm is suitable for every skin type, including sensitive skin. It’s easy to apply and works practically overnight.

Based in: California, United States. Ships internationally.



2. Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil

clean retinol

Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil is a lightweight face oil made of retinoic acid extracted from rosehip. It also contains vitamins and minerals to help your skin look youthful and healthy. 

This face oil targets signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles and even works on uneven skin textures. 

100% of the face oil’s ingredients are natural, and 74% are from organic farms. This oil is certified by Ecocert Greenlife for being produced in an eco-friendly manner.  

Based in: Vermont, United States. Ships internationally. 



3. Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum

natural retinol serum

If you have sensitive skin, Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum is your natural retinol serum 

of choice. This lightweight and highly effective serum is made with bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative to synthetic retinol and niacinamide. 

The serum reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, makes your skin firmer, and evens your skin tone after only a week! All that without causing sensitivity or irritation. Not only that, the packaging is both lightweight and 100% recyclable. 

Based in: California, United States. Ships to the USA, Canada, the UK, and Europe. 



4. Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum

This award-winning serum is made by the cosmetic chemist Marie Veronique, known for making formulas that deliver remarkable results. Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum combines the vitamin A derivative with vitamins C and E for incredible results. 

Not only does this product speed up cell turnover and boost the production of collagen, but it also controls blackouts and clears your pores. It contains hydrating and softening ingredients like jojoba oil and green tea extracts. If you have dry, reactive skin, we recommend you try this serum. 

Based in: California, United States. Ships internationally. 



5. January Labs Triple Active Reclaiming Serum 

clean retinol products

January Labs Triple Active Reclaiming Serum contains a soothing, state-of-the-art stabilized formula guaranteed to give you glowing, youthful skin. January Labs combines its innovative retinol derivative with vitamin C and niacinamide.

This retinol addresses signs of aging, such as wrinkles, elasticity, and fine lines. Vitamin C improves the brightness and tone of your skin. Niacinamide helps reduce hyperpigmentation. This organic retinol serum is most suitable for sensitive skin as it contains aloe, lactic acid, and a marine extract. 

Based in: California, United States. Ships internationally. 



6. Maya Chia The Straight A

Maya Chia The Straight A isn’t like other clean retinol products. It combines two natural retinol: bakuchiol and moon bean extract, with Encapsulated Retinol to eliminate fine lines, wrinkles, and textures. 

The retinol leaves you with enviable smooth and radiant skin. Maya Chia didn’t stop there. This gentle serum also uses vitamins C and E, chia seed, and buriti oil. This combination leaves your skin looking bright, even, and moisturized. They don’t call it ‘the Straight A’ for nothing!

Based in: South Carolina, United States. Ships to the US and Canada only. 



7. Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum

Do you have dull and uneven skin? Is your skin prone to dryness? Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum can help solve these problems. 

This sustainably sourced serum is made with bakuchiol, which smoothens your skin and hydrates it, leaving it silky smooth. It’s gentle even on the most sensitive skin. Tests have shown that users will see improved skin texture, tone, and brightness within weeks. 

Based in: Washington, United States. Ships internationally. 



8. Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum 

Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum is an affordable natural retinol cream for beginners. It uses bakuchiol and encapsulated retinol. It doesn’t just reverse the signs of aging but also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients to make your skin look beautiful and healthy. 

With this fantastic product, you don’t need adjustment time (which can take anywhere between 2 to 8 weeks). As a bonus, you won’t worry about irritation either.  

Based in: California, United States. Ships to the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, and partially in the EU.

9. Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil 

Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil is a nourishing retinol oil made with a blend of trans-retinol acids, chia seed oil, avocado seed oil, and blue tansy and German chamomile essential oils. 

It works by stimulating your cells while you sleep. Your skin’s pores and wrinkles are reduced thanks to collagen synthesis. Your fine lines, age spots, and uneven texture are also improved. You’ll be left with smooth, radiant, and hydrated skin.

Based in: Texas, United States. Ships to the USA, Canada, and the UK only. 

10. Hippie Vitamin A Serum

Hippie Vitamin A Serum works like a gentle exfoliant. It combines HPR, a bioavailable form of retinol, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid to plump up your skin while hydrating it deeply. Aloe vera in the blend gives your skin a thin protective layer. 

This serum works best on skin that can handle the slightly more aggressive formula, so steer clear if you have sensitive skin. The glass and dropper are fully recyclable; Mad Hippie has also teamed up with TerraCycle to help you recycle the rubber tops and plastic seals. 

Based in: Portland, United States. Ships to the USA, Canada, and the UK only. 

11. Mara Algae Retinol Face Oil 

Mara Algae Retinol Face Oil is an award-winning face oil. It uses natural retinol, algae extracts, all 20 known amino acids, primrose oil, and fermented green tea. The blend is meant to significantly speed up cell turnover, dramatically softening signs of aging like uneven skin texture, hyperpigmentation, pores, and wrinkles. You also get the benefits of hydrating oils. 

The retinol is formulated without parabens, synthetic fragrances, or preservatives. It works well with all skin types, including acne-prone skin.

Based in: California, United States. Ships internationally. 

What Are Retinols? 

If you’ve been using skincare long enough, you’ve probably come across the word retinol. Retinoids are a class of compounds derived from vitamin A, with retinol being the most common compound. Retinol is used as a dietary supplement and added to creams, lotions, and serums. 

So, how does retinol work? 

Retinol helps boost the production of collagen and elastin and promotes cell turnover. Cell turnover occurs when your body sheds off dead skin cells and replaces them with younger cells. When this happens, you get a ‘plumping’ effect where the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines, and acne looks less severe. 

What Are Natural Retinols? 

Most retinol used commercially is derived synthetically in labs. Natural retinol is derived from plants by extracting naturally occurring forms of vitamin A and other ingredients. Here are a few common natural retinols to help you get started.

Rosehip and Carrot Seed Oil 

Rosehip oil is derived from the rosa canina rose bush. It contains trans-retinoic acid, a naturally occurring vitamin A. Rosehip oil boosts collagen production and has healing regenerative properties. The carrot seed oil contains beta-carotene, which the body converts into retinol. It acts as an antioxidant, protects from UV rays, and has anti-aging properties. 


Rambutan is a tropical tree found in Southeast Asia. The extract is taken from the tree’s leaves and used in skincare products, most commonly serums. Rambutan is gentle and hydrating and contains antioxidants like vitamin C and manganese. Like retinol, rambutan boosts collagen production and cell turnover.


Bakuchiol is an extract taken from bakuchi plant seeds. This ingredient is rich in antioxidants and contains both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Tests have shown that synthetic retinol and bakuchiol have the same anti-aging effects on the skin despite being chemically different. What gives bakuchiol the edge? It’s more gentle on the skin. In fact, unlike retinol, you can add bakuchiol to vitamin C and acids.

Epidermal Growth Factor

Epidermal growth factor (EGF) differs from other organic retinol because it’s a protein. It was discovered in the 1950s as a way to speed up the recovery of wounds and burns. Naturally, it found its way to skincare products decades later. The ingredient encourages the body to produce collagen, melanin, keratin, etc. It also protects the skin against sun damage and pollution. EGFs in skincare products are made from stem cells and are specifically meant for people with sensitive skin. 

Reasons To Consider a Natural Retinol Alternative

Synthetic retinol is a near-miracle ingredient. It makes you look young and bright, lessens the appearance of blemishes and scars, and it can even help with acne. While synthetic retinol is excellent, it has a bad side. Sensitive skin that can’t handle this potent ingredient reacts in what is called ‘retinol burn.’ This is red, flaky, dry skin that peels and gives you a rash-like appearance. 

Fortunately, there’s a safer way to look young and fresh-faced: natural retinol.

Natural retinol (or clean retinol as some people call it) does what synthetic retinol does but without the side effects mentioned. Natural retinol tends to be gentler on the skin and often comes with additional benefits like antioxidants. 

Natural retinol is a game changer for people with sensitive skin, and everyone conscious about what they put on their skin. It leaves the skin looking smooth, bright, and moisturized. Choose clean retinol and enjoy the same benefits as synthetic retinol without the adverse effects! 

Want a clean skincare routine? Check out our recommendations for the best organic skincare brands.

  Jamie - Cofounder

Hi, I hope you enjoyed reading this article.

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Thanks for stopping by - Jamie