If you are looking for a retinol alternative, look no further! Retinols have taken over the skincare industry due to the promise of achieving clear and supple skin. But there are side effects and inflammation that are a downside to retinol.
Thankfully, Gotu Kola is a safe alternative to retinols and is 100% vegan! Since Gotu Kola is a plant with all the fantastic properties of retinol, it is also anti-inflammatory and does not cause redness or trigger breakouts. Below, we will go over what Gotu Kola is, the benefits in comparison to retinol, which products are best, and which ingredients are safe to use alongside Gotu Kola.
What Is Gotu Kola?
Gotu Kola (aka Centella asiatica) is a plant native to India and the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean. In Ayurvedic traditions, the leaves of the Gotu Kola plant aid the crown chakra. Thus, it also aids memory and helps boost the immune system. Additionally, Gotu Kola is also known as the "herb of longevity," helping to bring mental and spiritual clarity to the individual.
Gotu Kola's benefits concerning skincare include decreasing aging signs, promoting tighter and firmer skin, and it is anti-inflammatory. It contains nutritional elements, including beta carotene, amino and fatty acids, and phytochemicals. All these ingredients protect the skin against environmental stressors and fight aging signs from setting into the skin.
Beta-carotene – is potent and rich in vitamin A, stimulating collagen production and reducing fine lines, acne, and skin texture. The skin's upper and lower levels must have enough vitamin A, or the skin could get dry, itchy, and more prone to acne. In addition, beta-carotene contains antioxidant properties that help reduce redness and irritation and repair skin damage caused by free radicals.
Amino acids – divided into two categories: essential and non-essential amino acids. Certain amino acids perform specific functions in skincare, and they are the basis of peptides and proteins that are the gateway to clear skin. Furthermore, Gotu Kola contains amino acids such as lysine, threonine, and glutamic acid. Lysine helps strengthen the skin's surface, threonine has anti-aging and hydrating benefits, and glutamic acid helps the skin maintain an appropriate moisture balance.
Additional Gotu Kola Benefits
Fatty acids - are often used to seal the skin's moisture and act as an emollient to hydrate and soothe the skin. Specifically, Gotu Kola contains nourishing fatty acids such as palmitic, myristic, and stearic acids. These fatty acids help the skin retain moisture, reduce inflammation, protect the skin surface from water loss, and protect the skin's barrier.
Phytochemicals – are crucial in helping to absorb UV rays, prevent the growth of cancer cells, reduce inflammation, and regulate hormones. Some phytochemicals in Gotu Kola are tannins, flavonoids, saponins, and quinones. Moreover, many vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts contain phytochemicals that assist in rejuvenating and nourishing the skin and body.
Thus, Gotu Kola is an excellent and beneficial ingredient in any skincare routine to help firm and promote elasticity within the skin. Further, these elements fight off free radical damage and contain antioxidants that maintain hydration levels. Overall, Gotu Kola is a must-have for all skin types and skin care regimens because it is 100% vegan and has a vitamin A derivative, making it suitable for all skin types.
What Is Retinol?
Retinol is another form is vitamin A that is most known for promoting cellular turnover. By speeding up the process the cellular turnover, retinol assists in reducing visible aging signs such as acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and fine lines. Furthermore, retinol penetrates hair follicles in the skin to stimulate skin cell renewal. Thus, resulting in supple and bouncy skin.
There are synthetical (artificial) retinol and vegan retinol. Synthetic retinols typically cause irritation, inflammation, and possible skin purging due to the product's potency. Additionally, lab-made retinols may contain additives, chemicals, and animal by-products that further irritate the skin, making the skin especially sensitive to sunlight exposure.
On the other hand, vegan retinol is 100% cruelty-free and is full of natural botanicals. Moreover, vegan retinols will calm and soothe irritated skin due to containing only natural ingredients and antioxidants. Many retinols on the shelves do not disclose if they contain irritating chemicals, so it is crucial to do diligent research if you are looking for retinol to add to your skin routine.
Luckily, there are alternatives to retinol altogether. As stated above, Gotu Kola is a fantastic retinol alternative that delivers the benefits of retinol without skin irritations! In addition, various products contain naturally derived retinols and retinol alternatives.
Flora & Noor's Bright Side Vitamin C Serum contains the highest form of active vitamin C, along with Gotu Kola, aloe vera, and horsetail. Since all Flora & Noor products are 100% vegan, applying them on all skin types is entirely safe.
Which is better – Gotu Kola vs. Retinol?
If you are searching for a safer alternative to retinol, Gotu Kola will be your go-to! As stated above, Gotu Kola is a botanical alternative to synthetic retinols, containing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties!
Thus, if you have sensitive skin or have allergies to retinols, Gotu Kola is the best option. Furthermore, if you are nursing or pregnant, synthetic retinols are not recommended while nursing. This is due to the lack of evidence that retinols are safe during pregnancy.
In comparison, Gotu Kola is 100% natural and safe for everyone. Gotu Kola is a botanical that contains rich, good-for-you ingredients and properties, leaving the skin supple, clear, and wrinkle-free. The best aspect of Gotu Kola is that it does not irritate even the most sensitive skin!
Other ingredients that work well with Gotu Kola
Alongside Gotu Kola, vitamin C, and glycolic acid work well together to create an acne-fighting powerhouse! Our bodies naturally produce and contain vitamin C in the dermis and epidermis, but our body's natural vitamin C declines as we age.
In addition, free radical damage also makes our skin's barrier weaker. It adds to the decline of natural vitamin C. Vitamin C is in fruits of vegetables as well, like citrus, bell peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries!
Although even if we consume a lot of fruits and vegetables in our diet, it is not enough to protect our skin from sun damage. That is why looking for and utilizing vitamin C in our skincare routines is crucial.
Flora & Noor's Super Glow Gel Moisturizer contains active vitamin C and 100% botanical hyaluronic acid (Cassia Angustifolia Seed). This nourishing moisturizer fades hyperpigmentation and dark spots, reduces wrinkles and fine lines, and smooths skin texture.
Furthermore, it promotes skin cell renewal, reducing and treating blemishes! The Super Glow Gel Moisturizer also contains niacinamide, which is fantastic for improving the skin's hydration and has anti-aging properties.
Vitamin C, niacinamide, Cassia Angustifolia Seed, and tamanu contain anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that create a powerhouse of hydrating, acne-fighting, and dark spot-fighting ingredients. If you are looking for an easy-to-use product without applying ten different steps, the Super Glow Gel Moisturizer is the one for you!
Moreover, the Bright Side Vitamin C Serum contains all the above ingredients, plus aloe vera, horsetail, and vitamin E. This rejuvenating face serum reduces wrinkles, crepey skin, pores, and acne, all while promoting collagen production.
Additionally, it is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and contains antioxidants! Adding aloe vera to your skin regimen hydrates the skin and slows aging signs. Horsetail extract acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals. It is also essential to apply sunscreen daily, even cloudy, to protect our skin cells from UV damage.
Other ingredients that work well with Gotu Kola
Another ingredient that works with Gotu Kola is glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA) that naturally exists in grapes, pineapples, and sugar cane. All AHAs are water-soluble, meaning that they work to bring hydration and moisture onto the skin's surface.
In skincare products, glycolic acid reduces hyperpigmentation, improves skin texture and breakouts, and increases hydration.
Glycolic acid improves skin texture and exfoliates dead skin cells by dissolving the bonds between dead cells on the skin's surface. Thus, leaving smoother and brighter skin. In addition, exfoliation assists with reducing aging signs and promoting firmer and more supple skin.
Amazingly, Flora & Noor's Berry Oxygen Mask with Glycolic Acid is perfect for revitalizing dull and dry skin! Containing blueberry and cranberry pulp, this mask gently exfoliates and renews skin cell turnover with glycolic acid.
Moreover, it is anti-inflammatory and protects the skin's barrier from free radicals and premature aging signs. It also contains hyaluronic acid that attracts water to the skin and kaolin clay that absorbs excess oil and evens out the skin tone.
Can I use Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, and Gotu Kola together?
As a bonus, vitamin C, glycolic acid, and Gotu Kola are all 100% safe to use together. Vitamin C and glycolic acid promote skin complexion and dewy skin, but it is important to note when to apply these products. If you are using a synthetic or lab-made vitamin C or glycolic acid product, it is best to apply glycolic acid at night and vitamin C in the morning.
Why? Our skin and skincare products have pH levels. Synthetic vitamin C has a pH of about 3, and glycolic acid has a pH of 0.8. Due to both ingredients containing low pH levels, if we apply both after the other, it will lower the skin's pH to be too acidic.
Too much acidity may cause breakouts, redness, and inflammation – all of which we want to avoid. But how can we prevent this? Look for vegan and botanically derived products and ingredients in your skincare products.
Flora & Noor is 100% vegan, making all their products safe for all skin types. As stated above, the Super Glow Gel Moisturizer, Bright Side Vitamin C Serum, and Berry Oxygen Mask with Glycolic Acid are all perfect for targeting dark spots, aging signs, and dry and dull skin. And you can find all these nourishing products on Ulta.com and shop Flora & Noor!