What is drinkable retinol

April 15, 2019 12:06 pm | Updated 12:06 pm IST

We’ve known retinol as a molecule available in skincare products, to slow down the process of premature ageing (fine lines, wrinkles, dull skin, dark spots). “It’s basically a vitamin A derivative,” says Delhi-based dermatologist Dr Kiran Kaur Sethi.

So what’s a retinol drink? Dirty Lemon, the US-based functional-drink brand that also does collagen, charcoal, ginseng, and more, now has this. They describe it online as a “proprietary ingestible beauty serum to support more youthful-looking skin and stimulate natural collagen production”.

Whether it works is anyone’s guess. Dr Sethi says a Vitamin A supplement, in the form of a pill is available, and she’ll prescribe them to people who have pigmentation disorders. “It improves the immune system and reduces free-radical activity. However, a drink will only contain retinol, when you need beta carotene as well,” she says. Also, do bear in mind that retinol in a supplement is a synthetic molecule. The healthiest way to consume both is in foods: orange, red and green, as well as eggs.

While Dirty Lemon isn’t in India, there are sure to be other brands that pick up on the trend and begin to offer them soon. Do remember though, that there is no long-term, proven research that says these so-called functional drinks (meaning they’re targeted at a specific function, and are not just for general health) are of help for collagen stimulation. “There is no magic potion that will do this,” says Dr Sethi. The secret of good skin is boring but simple: getting exercise and sleep, eating healthy, and not abusing your body with stress or any kind of stimulants.

In this column, we demystify the buzzwords in wellness

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