The A factor Navigating your way through vitamin a products

The A factor Navigating your way through vitamin a products

Vitamin A was the first vitamin to be named – hence the vitamin title of ‘A’. The derivatives of Vitamin A are known as retinoids (those found in animal-based foods) and Carotenoids (found in plant-based foods, most famously in Carrots).

Vitamin A is essential for the health of your skin, as it is an important element of the production of enzymes that build your collagen. It is also essential for the overall health of your vision, your immunity and is an important antioxidant.

Whatever skin concern or issue you may have, Vitamin A has a place in your skincare regime. Acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, when treated with the correct formulations, can deliver exceptional results. This clever nutrient can communicate with damaged cells to encourage them to function normally again. This is often referred to as DNA repair. Cellular turnover will increase as well as switching on the youth enzymes that produce and stimulate collagen synthesis.

Vitamin A is a lipid-soluble vitamin and refers to the family of ingredients known as Retinoids, renowned for having powerful anti-ageing properties when used in skincare.

When it comes to Vitamin A derivatives, there is a conversion that must take place for the cell to accept the source or derivative of Vitamin A. In the body, we convert Beta Carotene into Retinol, Retinol into Retinaldehyde and Retinaldehyde into Retinoic Acid. Each of these vitamin A derivatives are important for your skin health, but because of the size of some of the derivative molecules, they struggle to penetrate the top layer of skin (epidermis) when applied topically. This can result in skin irritation and sun-sensitivity that some people experience with common forms of Vitamin A.

But with so many different forms of the vitamin A used in skincare, it can be difficult and overwhelming to figure out what is best for our skin.
Types of Vitamin A Retinoids: Also known as the generic term of tretinoin or by brand names such as Retin-A or Differin are only available with a medical prescription.  When applied topically it is accepted directly into the skin cell without any conversion, which makes it a highly effective ingredient for the treatment of lines, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and acne.
However, there is a downside. It can be very irritating to the skin. Redness, irritation and peeling of the skin are often experienced and so Retinoids are just mainly used to treat severe acne.

Retinyl Palmitate: This is a combination of retinol and palmitic acid, which although it converts to retinoic acid, the path is long and by the time it has converted has lost much of its ability to make any difference to the DNA of the cell. You would need a high concentration of retinyl palmitate for it to be significantly effective and most skin care brands who use retinyl palmitate as their sole source of Vitamin A rarely put enough in the cream or serum. Unless retinyl palmitate is combined with other derivatives of Vitamin A, then just adding it to the list of ingredients is inadequate if it appears so far down the list as to render it almost useless.

Retinol: Is an over the counter alternative. This is the form of Vitamin A that most cosmeceutical and cosmedical skin care companies will opt for. The conversion to retinoic acid is a two-step process, but despite this, retinol still packs a great punch and I have seen exceptional results when including retinol in-home care regimes.
Retinol, though used most commonly in skincare, is also not a particularly stable ingredient, which means that it is highly susceptible to chemical change when coming into contact with other compounds, including water and oxygen. It’s important to use a range of skincare that offers methods of encapsulation to ensure the Retinol remains stable and delivers the results. Cheaper ranges may not offer this kind of technology, and the Retinol contained within may lose its effectiveness before it even hits the skin.

Retinaldehyde: This is an important and potent form of Vitamin A, as it requires minimal conversion and causes very little – if any – irritation to the skin. In fact, it only requires a one-step conversion and is seen by many as the closest to retinoic acid without all the irritating side effects or need for a prescription.
But again, you will need to take note of where it appears in the ingredient list. For retinaldehyde to be effective it needs to be in a concentration of 0.05% to 0.1% which is equivalent to a 0.025% tretinoin topical cream. This means it should appear towards the top of the active ingredients list in most topical creams.
Retinaldehyde is hands down, a far superior form of Vitamin A than Retinol. Specifically, liposome delivered Retinaldehyde, cannot be beat. I choose to use Retinaldehyde in my product formations (Retinal, for short) for the following reasons:

Most other forms of Vitamin A have a very low level of penetration, so it sticks around the surface causing over exfoliation, redness, and sun sensitivity, meaning it increases inflammation, causing temporary plumping that ages the skin further in the long run.


  • It’s the least irritating and safest form of Vitamin A on the market and has a greater level of effectiveness because of its ability to penetrate the skin more effectively.

  • It isn’t drying or irritating to the skin. In fact, it balances oil production whether you are excessively oily OR dry, by increasing the production of GAG’s.

  • It’s safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • It doesn’t photo-sensitize the skin, so you can use it AM or PM and not worry about the disastrous effects of UV damage that Retinol exposes you to.

  • It increases NATURAL cell renewal by feeding and nourishing the cells vs. forceful, damaging exfoliation. This means brighter, smoother skin, and less blemishes.

  • It promotes THICKER, not thinner skin by supporting natural production of collagen and elastin, restoring “bounce” and volume. You’ll see a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles too.

Most other forms of Vitamin A have a very low level of penetration, so it sticks around the surface causing over exfoliation, redness, and sun sensitivity, meaning it INCREASES inflammation, causing temporary plumping that AGES the skin further in the long run!

  • Promotes cell turnover

  • Brightens skin tone

  • Aids skin tightening

  • Thickens your dermis (inner layer of your skin)

  • Restores a youthful complexion without irritation

  • Gentler on your skin compared to other Vitamin A

  • Safe to use while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Safe to use morning and night



Platinum Peptide night serum 1% $320

1% Retinaldehyde
Firms | Plumps | tightens | lifts | brightens | smooths
A lightweight silky serum used in your day regime targeting the three key stages skin ageing - the prevention, intervention, and rejuvenation of skin ageing. This serum targets fine lines to deep wrinkles by increases collagen production, recovers volume loss, promotes strong skin elasticity, rebuilds damages cells and strengthens muscles for a lifting effect a little like the effects of Botulinum toxin.


A – Calm 30ml $185 

0.5% Retinaldehyde
Anti-inflammatory | Strengthen | Calm
Aids reduction of inflammation calms & helps instigate skin renewal. actives: 0.5% Retinaldehyde, Vitamin A, B, C, Amino Acids Red Algae Extract.5


A – Acne 30ml $185

0.5% Retinaldehyde
Blemish Control | Sebum Control | Decongesting
Vitamin A + B + Peptide serum with anti-bacterial & anti-inflammatories Clears & calms, treating infection, inflammation and normalises oil


A – Repair 30ml 1% $185

1% Retinaldehyde
Tighten | DNA Repair | Firm
Remodels, protects & restores healthy skin. Recalibrates skin to function in its youthful state. Graduate up to this Ultra Potent Vitamin A formula


Night recovery serum (Douglas Pereira Skin Science) 0.5% $125

0.5% Retinaldehyde
Vitamin A + B + C + Peptide serum
Potent anti-inflammatories
Calm & instigate epidermal remodeling |Stimulates collagen
The Recovery Night Serum covers all bases when it comes to antiaging. This powerful formular is made up of age defying A, B & C Vitamins, depigmentation peptides and our free radical, anti-inflammatory antioxidant complex.
Harnessing the power of Retinaldehyde 0.5% a derivative of Vitamin A, this formula will restructure and rebuild damaged DNA within the cells, stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and reduce the visible appearance of redness.

The depigmentation peptides target uneven skin tones to improve pigmentation issue such as sunspots & melasma.

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