For every “pro” that comes along with retinoid use, there are also some pretty notable “cons.” Yes, these vitamin A derivatives can give you mirror-finish skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles, but they can what’s more leaves your complexion red, flaky and irritated. And don’t get us wrong: we love our retinoids (and understand why dermatologists so often call the ingredient “the gold standard of skincare”), but for some, it’s just not worth the discomfort and hassle.
However, the good news for those who have ditched retinol altogether is that these days there are a plethora of equally effective (and far less irritating) natural alternatives making their way into our skincare lately. . The most recent that catches our attention? Rambutan, a tropical fruit from Southeast Asia that offers the same “pros” of retinoids for skin rejuvenation without any of the frustrating “cons.”
The benefits of rambutan in skin care
1. Promotes the production of collagen and elastin
If it’s the smoothing effect of a retinoid you’re after, you’ll be glad to know that rambutan can do the job, too. “Rambutan leaves are rich in corilagin and have been shown to stimulate collagen and elastin production,” says Hadley King, MD, a New York-based board-certified dermatologist. Rambutan has been shown to improve skin firmness and elasticity, as well as diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, much like retinol. Although rambutan can diminish the appearance of fine lines everywhere, Dr. King notes that the ingredient is most effective on “crow’s feet” lines around the eyes.
2. Provides antioxidant protection
Fruits tend to be high in antioxidants, and luckily, rambutan is no different. “The peel, pulp, and seed are rich in sugars, tannins, and flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties,” says Dr. King. She notes that rambutan also contains other antioxidants like vitamin C and manganese, which work together to protect skin against free radical damage from environmental stressors that lead to visible signs of aging.
3. It can be used at any time, by anyone.
“Retinoids can cause redness, peeling, and general skin irritation,” says Erin Kleinberg, founder of SIDIA, a skincare brand that uses rambutan in its products. She explains that retinoids are usually a night-only option because they make the skin more sensitive to UV damage. On the contrary, rambutan can be used both in the morning and at night, since it is not as sensitizing.
Dr. King adds that rambutan is similar to bakuchiol, the current reigning natural retinol alternative ingredient, in that “both are considered gentler alternatives to retinol because they stimulate collagen production without as much irritation as you might see with retinol.” .
The limitations of rambutan in skin care
Retinoids are powerhouses and different people use them for different things, and that includes acne. But while retinol has been shown to effectively diminish all types of acne (blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, etc.), the same cannot be said for rambutan. While it does offer A+ anti-aging benefits, Dr. King confirms that it probably won’t do much to keep breakouts at bay.
the final verdict
“Rambutan would be interesting for retinol-sensitive skin in patients who want anti-aging and pore-minimizing benefits,” says Loretta Ciraldo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Florida and founder of Dr. Loretta Skincare, “It may also be an option.” for the very young who are looking for more preventive than corrective benefits for anti-wrinkles, smoothing the skin and giving shine”.
Buy skin care products with rambutan
Dr. Dennis Gross Overnight Wrinkle Treatment — $85.00
With a proprietary Phyto-Retinol blend that includes both rambutan* and bakuchiol*, this night cream is no joke when it comes to diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re also concerned about sun spots, this cream contains niacinamide to brighten the complexion, plus ferulic acid to boost antioxidant protection.
Alpyn Beauty Wild Nettle & Niacinamide Firming Serum — $58.00
If a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming isn’t on your travel itinerary any time soon, let the area’s beauty secrets come to you. Kendra Butler moved to Jackson Hole before founding Alpyn Beauty and she fell in love with using nature’s resources to take care of herself in all facets, including her beauty routine. This formula contains rambutan to plump up fine lines and wrinkles, niacinamide to brighten the complexion, and nettle extract, which hydrates the skin and offers anti-inflammatory benefits.
Fieldtrip Wandermist Hydrating Facial Spray — $16.00
Using a facial spray is one of the key ways to boost hydration levels when the 2pm dehydration hits. This spray has aloe to soothe skin, while glycerin locks in moisture and rambutan plumps the complexion.
Olos Youth Enhancing Revitalizing Toner — $32.00
If you spend a lot of time in front of a screen (who doesn’t these days?), you’ll want to check out this blue light-protecting toner. It uses aloe to soothe skin, rambutan to accelerate collagen and elastin production, and nasturtium extract to provide blue light protection.
OWEL Holifrog Multi-Peptide Eye Cream — $56.00
Since rambutan works exceptionally well around the eyes, it’s only natural that the ingredient would be made into an eye cream. Along with fine line-diminishing rambutan, this eye cream also contains white lupine seed oil rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 to plump the undereyes, as well as acetyl hexapeptide-8, an inhibitory peptide of neurotransmitters that focuses on expression wrinkles. similar to the way Botox does.
Indie Lee Retinol Alternative Cream — $72.00
If you’re a skin connoisseur looking for a product that can act as both an anti-aging serum and moisturizer, you’ll want to get a load of this retinol alternative cream. It’s packed with rambutan and paracress extract to increase elasticity, while squalane and orange blossom extract further plumps skin and increases moisture retention.
SIDIA The Hand Care Duo — $67.00
Aside from the face and neck, hands show some of the first signs of aging, so why not bring some of that skincare love to your hands? This duo contains an exfoliating wash with rambutan inside to smooth away fine lines or wrinkles. In contrast, this duo’s hand cream adds hydration and moisture with cactus flower extract, aloe vera, avocado butter, and shea butter. This duo smells amazing, looks luxurious, and best of all, it’s like a daily facial for your hands.
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