Topical Retinoids Made Easy


Significant effort has been expended to identify retinoids that are efficacious and have an overall lower irritation profile.

Oblong & Jarrold in Draelos, Dover & Alam (2016) Cosmeceuticals. Elsevier Canada.

All is Not What it Seems

Not all vitamin A (retinoid) products are created equal. The words retinol, retinoids, and Vitamin A are bandied about and the marketing hoopla is ferocious. This leaves the consumer really having little way of separating the truth from fiction. We heard a hilarious story on a podcast recently where an at-home treatment was being marketed as a “Retinol Mask” with absolutely NO Vitamin A ingredient evident in the ingredients list!

Why Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is awesome and has benefits for the skin including reducing the appearance of:

  1. Sun damage
  2. Acne
  3. Fine lines
  4. Wrinkles
  5. Pigmentation

Wasted Time & Money

Unfortunately, most products have Vitamin A in such low concentrations (or are left completely out of the formulation, see above), they don’t work or cause such redness and skin irritation that nobody wants to use them. Cheap forms that have no skin benefits are often used as well. Mileage is made out of marketing a Vitamin A product but it is near to useless because it is the incorrect form of it.

Some skincare products cost in excess of $500 for a 50g pot of cream and promise you “ultimate regeneration and radiance” with no sign of any active ingredients that we know contribute to this outcome like Vitamin A, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid.

The Good Stuff

The two types of Vitamin A that are the exception to this are liposomal retinaldehyde and retinyl palmitate. Both of them are used in high-quality skincare products because they are gentle on the skin and highly effective. This is because they convert to retinol while on the skin, are very active and don’t cause redness or irritation. This means you get results without the hassle.

At Science Skincare we use both of these ingredients in abundance in a lot of our products. All of our Vitamin A serums have both liposomal retinaldehyde and retinyl palmitate in them. In our home range the Cream Cleanser, Hydra Cream Moisturiser, ABC Body Hydrate Cream and Exfoliant have retinyl palmitate so you are getting great Vitamin A doses at every turn. Our in-clinic Vitamin A Infusion is 2.5% retinaldehyde for a super-shot of active vitamin A after skin needling or PRP while the Newskin and Blemish enzyme peels and Phytohormonal mask are choc-full of retinyl palmitate. All of out Vitamin A containing products are safe for pregnant and breasfeeding mums.