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Conventional vs. Botanical Retinol

Republished with permission from The Green Beauty Collective an Evio Community Partner




Retinol is a popular ingredient that has many proven benefits for those who wish to boost collagen, reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. It can also help with clogged or congested pores, acne, and discoloration.

Although it is a very widely known and ingredient in skin care, the world of retinol can be a little confusing so our goal is to simplify and provide you with a better understanding of how it works, and the benefits that it can have for the skin, specifically in a botanical form.

Retinol is one very common family of Retinoids, which is an umbrella term that is used to describe any ingredient that is a derivative of Vitamin A, meaning that it is chemically similar to Vitamin A. There are many different forms of Retinoids, some are naturally occurring, some are synthetic (usually prescription forms).




Conventional retinoids can be very effective but are not always easily tolerated in higher concentrations, such as prescription form. In some forms, retinoids can become unstable when exposed to UV rays which can cause the product to degrade. For this reason, it is often advised that you take extra precautions and use sunscreen regularly as it can make your skin more vulnerable to sun exposure.

Another drawback of conventional Retinol is that it has the potential to cause redness, sensitivity and dry, flaky skin until you become acclimated and develop receptors that allow your skin to utilize it effectively. This period of time often passes within a few weeks but can vary for each person depending on a person's vitamin A receptors, and based on how sensitive the skin type is.

Luckily, those of us who enjoy organic plant-based skin care can also reap the many benefits of Retinol without experiencing the potential drawbacks.



One very effective form of botanical retinol is called Moth Bean Extract. This extract derived from the Vigna Aconitifolia (Moth Bean) seed, is a type of legume that grows in India and Pakistan. Although the Moth Bean Seed is not actually a vitamin A derivative, it performs in a very similar way within the skin and provides many of the same benefits as non-botanical Vitamin A derivatives.  

Moth bean extract penetrates into the skin works to encourage healthy cell renewal. The moth bean extract is also fantastic at slowing down signs of aging like fine lines and loss of skin elasticity because of its natural ability to boost collagen production. 

This extract also contains phenolic compounds like caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid and kaempferol which all protect your skin against free radicals and UV damage.

The added benefit to using botanical retinol is that is a very active and effective ingredient, but at the same time can be tolerated much better by those with sensitive skin. It also has very high stability during sun exposure, unlike some conventional types of retinoids, which means it can be safely worn during the day.



⦁ Stimulates skin cell renewal

⦁ Stimulates collagen synthesis

⦁ Decreases the appearance of lines and wrinkles

⦁ Antioxidant activity to prevent free radical and UV damage

⦁ A gentle exfoliator that reduces pore clogging and prevents the development of acne blemishes

⦁ Highly stable and more tolerated than other forms of retinol



The Graydon Full Moon serum contains an organic form of retinol derived from the moth bean plant. It is shown to be much more gentle than regular retinol, while still remaining just as effective.

If you are struggling with acne or congested skin, Fullmoon Serum is a great option for you. This is a water-based serum without oils or waxes, which works to prevent clogged pores and breakouts

Full Moon Serum also helps to improve and protect your skin’s natural beauty while combating the many comprehensive signs of aging. Moth Bean Extract can be very effective in strengthening your skin's dermis (lower layer of skin) and decreasing wrinkles due to the increase in healthy collagen production.

This serum is ideal for all skin types and has a feather-light consistency to help protect your delicate facial skin from everyday pollutants while also soothing inflammation.



Collagen:  protein-rich extract from African Mahogany to help minimize pores and provide a firm texture

Hyaluronic Acid: from Indian Senna to help improve the appearance of dry skin by boosting hydration

Oligopeptides: enriched with amino acids to replenish & restore the look of your skin’s natural health

Anti-Pollution: moringa extract to battle signs of stressed skin exposed to environmental pollution

Retinol: from seeds of the moth bean plant to help correct the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Vitamin C: rich moringa leaf to brighten the appearance of your skin’s complexion

Anti-Inflammatory: blue tansy to help soothe skin and minimize the appearance of redness



Because of the stability of the botanical extracts, this serum can be safely applied both day and night.

Apply 4 to 6 drops of Fullmoon Serum onto your palms after cleansing and toning the skin. Gently sweep the serum onto your face, neck and décolleté with special attention around your eye and brow area.

Can be applied directly to the face, or blended with your favorite Graydon Moisturizer. Although this serum contains botanicals that remain stable in sunlight, we always recommend applying daily sun protection with a min SPF of 30.

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