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What Is Vitamin A?

What Is Vitamin A?

What is vitamin A and how does it work to help prevent signs of ageing?

Vitamin A is an umbrella term for a family of skincare ingredients known as retinoids. Retinol, retinaldehyde, retinoic acid and retinyl retinoate can all be classed as retinoids. When vitamin A is introduced to skin, it is converted to its active form, retinoic acid. Once converted, it signals the skin to increase cellular regeneration and collagen production. This action triggers the smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles, improved skin tone and texture, and a reduction in blemishes, dark marks and age spots.

Do I have to use a high strength vitamin A in order to see results?

Choosing the right vitamin A product is completely dependent on your skin type and the severity of your skincare concerns. Research shows that concentrations of 0.01% retinol and higher can improve visible signs of ageing, minimise pore size and even out skin tone and texture. Obviously, the lesser the dose, the less significant the results.

Is vitamin A too strong to be used around the delicate eye area?

The skin around the eyes is extremely delicate. As such, it is particularly prone to sensitivity. We would always advise using an eye-specific retinol product such as Retinol EyeTR™. It uses a lower strength of vitamin A and advanced Time Release Technology which is kinder to the skin.


How do I know which vitamin A product is right for me?

If you’re looking to treat blemishes and ageing, you may want to choose a retinoid with antibacterial properties such as retinaldehyde. If significant anti-ageing benefits are your goal, Medik8’s patented r-Retinoate®is a vitamin A derivative clinically proven to be 8 x stronger than standard forms of retinol – plus, it can be used day and night, and it’s non-irritating. The best way of discovering the right vitamin A product for you is to consult a skincare professional.

How soon will I see visible results?

It can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks before you start to see the benefits of vitamin A. Your results will depend on the strength and the type of retinoid you’re using.

When should I use vitamin A in my skincare routine?

Many professionals recommend applying vitamin A to clean, dry skin before bed followed by a moisturiser. This will help to offset any dryness that may occur as your skin adjusts to your chosen retinoid. For best results, Medik8 recommend including vitamin C and a high quality broad spectrum SPF 30 in your morning routine.


Why can’t I use vitamin A during the day?

Contrary to popular belief, retinoids do not make your skin more sensitive to sun. The reason vitamin A is not recommended for daytime use is because it is not photostable. This means it is deactivated when exposed to direct sunlight. However, advanced vitamin A molecules like Medik8’s r-Retinoate® remain stable when exposed to UV light.

Can I use vitamin A if I have sensitive skin?

Vitamin A is suitable for all skin types but it can take some time getting used to, especially if you have sensitive skin. Medik8 recommend following a ‘retinol ladder’ to allow your skin to get used to the ingredient. Start with a low strength retinol serum like Retinol 3TR™. For the first two weeks, use the serum twice a week. For the next two weeks, apply every other night. Then move onto nightly application. After a few months, you can then upgrade to higher strength serums such as Retinol 6TR™ and Retinol 10TR™.

At what age should I start Vitamin A?

You can start using Vitamin A as early as your 20s. For those in their 20s looking to prevent signs of ageing and perhaps clear up the odd blemish, a low strength retinol, around 0.1% or 0.3%, would be preferable. You can then move on to a higher concentration when the results start to stall. Mature skin types in their 30s and 40s should still start on a low percentage, but they may wish to progress quickly to higher strengths in order to maximise results.

How soon can I use my vitamin A (retinol) after peels or micro peeling?

It’s advisable to wait until the skin has stopped visibly peeling, usually between 24-72 hours but this will vary on the length of the peel and the condition of your skin. After the skin has stopped peeling, you can incorporate vitamin A into your regime every evening. We recommend doing this for at least 3 months after your last peel session. This will maximise the effects of the peel and speed up the skin’s natural healing process.