Is This Asian Fruit The Best Natural Alternative To Retinol?

Smooth skin, less irritation

If you haven't heard about this yet, we're letting you in on a new skincare gem: rambutan skincare products. The Asian fruit has been found to be a viable alternative to the retinol. Intriguing, right?

While retinol is great for anti-ageing, it’s also notorious for potentially causing skin irritation and light sensitivity. Rambutan is said to be just as great at giving results but is a more gentle and slower worker compared to retinol. Interested to know how it will work wonders for your skin? Here's why and what you need to know about it.

It acts like retinol

Rambutan fruit shot

(Photo from: Quang Nguyen Vinh via Pexels)

Let's break down how retinol works. Retinol triggers specific receptors in our skin that, in turn, kickstart the cell renewal process. It accelerates the skin's ability to produce new skin cells that give the skin its smooth, youthful appearance. Rambutan acts in a similar fashion. It triggers another set of receptors that also boost cellular turnover and collagen production, but at a slower rate.

So while rambutan acts and delivers results in a similar fashion to retinol, there's still a tiny difference between the two that you must consider before swapping one for the other.

It helps lock in moisture

Girl eating peeled rambutan

(Photo from: Atahan Demir via Pexels)

Got dry skin? Consider looking for skincare with rambutan peel extract. A 2017 study discovered that it has some moisture-locking properties, which is great for plumping up sagging skin or fine lines. Retinol, on the other hand, doesn't inherently provide your skin with hydration — it's actually known to be quite drying if used too frequently in short time spans — but it can help prevent moisture loss by removing dead skin cells. Rambutan's moisturising quality helps minimise irritation and can potentially be better for those with sensitive or dry skin.

It's packed with antioxidants

Yes, the rambutan fruit isn't just good for your physical health. Its rind and leaves are also packed with nutrients that your skin will gladly soak up. Just like your good ol' brightening serums, rambutan skincare products help protect your skin from free radicals that break down collagen and causes blemishes. Rambutan peel extract, in particular, contains polyphenolic compounds like vitamin C and manganese that minimise oxidative stress caused by UV radiation.

Where to find rambutan in skincare

Now that you know more about this retinol alternative, here are some rambutan skincare products you can check out.

Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Range

Starts at ~USD78.26

If you're a newbie to retinol, you can ease your way to that skincare level with the Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic range. The range, comprised of facial and eye serums, overnight texture treatment, and a chemical peel treatment contains a Phyto-Retinol Blend™ — retinol, bakuchiol, rambutan, and ferulic acid — to help your skin rebuild itself as you sleep. It is also formulated with soothing cucumber extract as well as hydrating squalane and hyaluronic acid to boost skin radiance.

Alpyn Beauty Wild Nettle & Niacinamide Firming Serum


You can amplify the retinol-like effects of rambutan with nourishing ingredients like niacinamide. In the Wild Nettle & Niacinamide Firming Serum, the US-based skincare brand Alpyn Beauty combines the benefits of rambutan and niacinamide with plant-sourced vitamin C and hydrating wild nettle extract to improve the overall texture of your complexion. They offer international shipping to Asia, so you can try its benefits for yourself.

Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Serum


Another benefit of using retinol is it helps firm up sagging skin. You can achieve the same lifted look with the roll-on Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Serum. It contains rambutan, rye seed extract, and tripeptides that eliminate horizontal lines on your neck and plump up loose skin around the neck and chest area. It also helps strengthen the skin's moisture barrier to help keep it looking smooth and even-toned.

Will rambutan be the new skincare ingredient you’ll look for?

(Cover photo from: Atahan Demir via Pexels)

Get to know the benefits of adding soybean-based skincare products to your routine.

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