Frequently Asked Questions

Crystal Retinal 20

When can I move up to CR20 on the Crystal Retinal Ladder?

If you feel you are ready to move up from Crystal Retinal 10, visit a Medik8 Professional who will be able to advise you on your purchase. 

You should be comfortably using Crystal Retinal 10 every night for 3 months or completed 2 full tubes (whichever comes sooner) before you consider moving up, so your skin can build up an advanced tolerance to high concentrations of retinal. 

Why have we increased the amount of time you have to use Crystal Retinal 10 before you can move up to Crystal Retinal 20?

We advise customers/clients who have been using Crystal Retinal 10 every night, comfortably for 3 months before you consider moving up. This contrasts from our other Crystal Retinals, where we recommend using them every night, comfortably for 6 weeks. This is because CR10 to CR20 is our biggest jump yet (a whole 0.1% retinal increase), over 2x the increase between our other Crystal Retinals. As a preventative measure to ensure skins have time to adjust to the high strength of retinal, we recommend to be on CR10 for double the time we would usually suggest, before moving up.

Do I have to phase in Crystal Retinal 20 if I am moving up from CR10?

As a general rule, there is no need to phase in use again as your skin is used to this molecule. 

However, we advise to closely monitor your skin during the first 2 weeks of using Crystal Retinal 20. Slight tingling is normal with this powerful formula, however if you feel any sensitivity as you move up, please reduce how much product you apply nightly or apply every other night to begin with. Low and slow is our advice.

Why does it say to phase in Crystal Retinal 20 on the packaging?

We have our phase in instructions on all Vitamin A packaging (minus r-Retinoate), to ensure our products are directed for use properly in the case of a customer not following our ‘levelling up’ advice. For example, Crystal Retinals could be given as gifts, or recommended by non-professionals. Therefore, it is important that we stay cautious with our packaging, to ensure that if the customer is not familiar with the regular guidance of the Crystal Retinal Ladder, that the product is used safely with minimal irritation.

Would you recommend Crystal Retinal 20 for pregnancy or nursing Mothers?

Unfortunately, as a cosmetic brand we are unable to provide specific medical advice relating to our products. We would strongly advise speaking with your GP or Midwife so that they can give you an accurate recommendation.

As general guidance we would recommend you avoid the use of vitamin A (like retinol/retinaldehyde/retinyl retinoate) and leave on, high strength exfoliating acids (like glycolic/lactic/salicylic/mandelic/gluconolactone). 

As Crystal Retinal contains retinaldehyde, we do not recommend it for use during pregnancy.

How long should you wait after having a peel to use Crystal Retinal 20?

No wait time if you are comfortable on Crystal Retinal 20 already.

If you want to move up to Crystal Retinal 20 from Crystal Retinal 10, we would recommend waiting until your skin has fully healed from your peel before moving up (~5-7 days).

Is Crystal Retinal 20 non-irritating on skin after having a peel?

If the skin is already comfortable with high levels of retinal, it should not cause additional inflammation of the skin. However, if any irritation is occuring, minimize frequency of use. 

Where can I buy CR20?

Crystal Retinal 20 is exclusively available through a professional recommendation in clinic. 

It will not be sold online, through, e-tailers, or skin clinics online.

Why is it PRO only?

While still a cosmetic product that does not require a prescription or thorough facial consultation, CR20 is our most powerful retinal serum therefore in-clinic is the ideal environment to purchase.

Medik8 professionals will be on hand to help advise on CR20 and can expertly recommend suitable regimes.

This makes for a more personal and tailored experience for our most dedicated customers.

Can I or my client step up to Crystal Retinal 20 while on the 12 Weeks to WOW program?

It is recommended not to take your clients up through the Medik8 vitamin A ladder when carrying out a course of peels. This may cause slight irritation due to the skin acclimatising to the increased vitamin A dosage, which could potentially lead to an increased peeling sensation and a greater down time. For the best, most comfortable results it is advised to maintain on the same strength of vitamin A throughout the 12 weeks. After the first 12 Weeks to WOW course there will be a break of 6 - 8 weeks; this would be the ideal time to step up the vitamin A strength.

Is 0.2% retinaldehyde safe?

Crystal Retinal 20 has been assessed for safety by an independent safety assessor.

Sunscreen should always be used when using vitamin A as vitamin A is known to increase sensitivity to the sun.

Can I use Crystal Retinal 20 in the summer months?

Vitamin A, including Crystal Retinal 20, is completely safe to use in the summertime or on holiday, as long as you are applying a high protection sunscreen every day.  We'd recommend using your vitamin A serum at night, and then applying an ample amount of sunscreen like Physical Sunscreen or Advanced Day Total Protect during the day. If you are in direct sunlight, we recommend you reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.

Vitamin A is actually able to block the production of pigment in the skin, and therefore it is very useful to use if you are concerned about pigmentation when in the sun.

Does Crystal Retinal 20 leave both pale and deeper skin tones with an orange tint?

Crystal Retinal is designed for night time use, followed by a night moisturiser (such as Advanced Night Restore). It may leave skin with a slightly peachy tint, however when blended under a night cream it is less visible. The colour comes from the strength of the retinal, and is a sign of its high concentration.

If I have been using tretinoin - can I move straight onto Crystal Retinal 20?

We would always recommend consulting with your doctor or dermatologist before stopping usage of tretinoin and moving to a non-prescription retinoid. If your skin is comfortable on tretinoin (prescription strength vitamin A), but you are looking to move to a non-prescription retinoid, we would recommend you start on Crystal Retinal 6. This is easily available via our website or clinics and allows you the space to move up the Crystal Retinal Ladder when you feel you want or need to. We recommend that you phase this into your routine (twice a week for the first 2 weeks, every other night for the next 2 weeks and then every night after that) to allow your skin to adjust to the use of a different vitamin A molecule.

Why is Crystal Retinal still patent-pending?

Patents require complicated legal processes which can take many years to complete. The good news is that the technology is still unique to Medik8 while the patent remains pending. Watch this space for the patent to be finalised!

Can we still use leave on acids with Crystal Retinal 20?

All of our Direct Acid products can be layered with Crystal Retinal, however if any irritation occurs please minimize usage of the Direct Acid product (eg by reducing frequency of usage). Press & Glow would be the ideal gentle acid product to use alongside Crystal Retinal 20.

It is important when stepping up to Crystal Retinal 20 that we consider minimizing use of high strength Direct Acid products (eg Sleep Glycolic, Glycolic Acid Activator, Blemish Control Pads) as the skin adjusts to the higher strength of retinal. Once the skin has adjusted (usually after around a month of use), acid products can then be reintroduced to the routine slowly.