EWG rates it as 8 (out of 10), with overall hazard level rated as ‘high’. They also claim it’s a known to cause birth defects and accelerate development of skin cancer.
All of which are true, sort of. But here again we see that they string together factoids out of context to spin their narrative.
It’s true that overdose of oral vitamin A can cause birth defects and other problems. That’s why derms are careful when prescribing Accutane, and that’s why women taking Accutane must use birth control.
This is not applicable to retinol used in acne and personal care products. Studies have shown that the vast majority, if not all, of topically applied retinol is metabolized in the skin, i.e. it never makes it to the bloodstream and thus cannot cause birth defects.