So is this just an either or situation? Josie Maran, founder and CEO of Josie Maran Cosmetics says no. "Retinols are the gold standard in anti-aging skin care," Maran says. "Although they’re the most studied and best proven, the time is right to find a better, cleaner way to achieve retinol results."
With that goal in mind, Maran set out to find a clean and naturally derived source of pro-retinol, otherwise known as beta-carotene, a plant pigment that your body converts to vitamin A. "I learned that pink algae is one of nature’s richest sources," Maran explains. "And the fact that it’s a beautiful shade of pink made the decision that much easier." (Cue your updated shelfie pic now.)
The result is Argan Beta-Retinoid Pink Algae Serum, a pro-retinol serum that's free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates that combines pink algae with Maran's signature ingredient: argan oil. "We were able to create something that I can recommend to my friends who use retinol and know that they’ll see the results they expect with a clean product," says Maran. Sold yet?
Keep reading to find out how Josie Maran's clean pro-retinol serum works to achieve the same glowy results as the traditional stuff.
A deep dive into the ingredients
"Most of the alternatives that have come out recently aren’t true vitamin A, but pink algae is rich in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A," says Maran. "Vitamin A is essential to seeing results anywhere near those of traditional retinol products." (Fun fact: The beta carotene from algae is also what gives flamingos their pink hue.)
To help give the ingredient a helpful nudge to start working its magic, Maran added argan oil to the mix. "Argan oil is rich in quercetin, a nourishing antioxidant recommended for skin exposed to environmental aggressors," she says. "These antioxidants work as a booster to support the beta-carotene."
And since argan oil is booming with essential fatty acids that our bodies don't create on their own, according to Maran, it's a game-changer. "When our skin is receiving its requirements of essential fatty acids, it’s better able to put other actives to optimal use," she explains.
The skin benefits of this pro-retinol
A lot of people who deal with easily irritated skin tend to shy away from harsher retinols on the market out of fear it'll make it worse. You can put that fear to bed now, according to Maran.
"All skin types will benefit from Argan Beta-Retinoid Pink Algae Serum, particularly sensitive skin types that haven’t been able to tolerate traditional retinol products," she says. "If you’re noticing wrinkles, large pores, dryness, or congested skin, then this is your new best friend."
There's intel to back this up, too: According to a clinical study from Josie Maran, after a week 97 percent of participants noticed an improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with zero irritation, while 100 percent showed significant improvement in the dryness immediately after application. And in a consumer study, 100 percent of people agreed it was gentle enough for everyday use.
In other words, if you previously thought "gentle" and "retinol" didn't belong in the same sentence, then clean pro-retinol might just be your answer. Start the youth-boosting mission now.
Sponsored by Josie Maran
Top photo: LEANDRO CRESPI/Stocksy
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