Experts in Vitamin A

Vitamin A (also known as retinol / retinal) is the unequivocal gold standard in skincare when it comes to anti-ageing concerns. However, this active is notoriously unstable and renowned for causing irritation - but not at Medik8! Our cutting-edge vitamin A range is formulated to suit all skin types and needs, boasting expertly stabilised strengths that ensure maximum youth-boosting results alongside minimal irritation.

Key Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A, The Medik8 Way

There are many different types of vitamin A (retinoids), but not all are equal in power or effectiveness. As Experts in Vitamin A, we only use those forms of vitamin A with proven scientific evidence to ensure our formulas deliver visible age-defying results - for both the face and delicate eye area. 

Stability Matters

If vitamin A isn’t stabilised, it simply isn’t going to be as effective over time. At Medik8, we understand that it’s essential to not only stabilise retinoids, but also to ensure that the product packaging is adequate in keeping the formula fresher for longer. That’s why all of our formulas feature industry-leading stabilisation systems as well as innovative packaging to ensure maximum visible results alongside minimal irritation - until the very last drop.  

Progressive Strengths

Many of our vitamin A formulas are available in a choice of increasing strengths. Work your way up when you’re ready and continue to see the results you love. 

Proven Results

At Medik8, we only use proven forms of vitamin A, and rigorously test our formulas in both consumer and clinical trials - so you get the very best results and experience.  

An Option For Everyone

Our wide range of vitamin As are formulated with every skin type and need in mind. From vitamin A newbies to experienced retinoid lovers, we have something to suit everyone.


Daniel Isaacs


 It’s no secret that vitamin A has its challenges. When delivered at levels high enough to have a visible effect on skin ageing, it can often cause irritation. That’s why we’ve developed industry-leading stabilisation technologies and expertly optimised formulations to minimise the potential for irritation while maximising visible results.

Find Your Vitamin A

At Medik8, we work with 3 proven forms of vitamin A; retinol, retinaldehyde (retinal) and retinyl retinoate.
"What’s the difference?’’ we hear you ask. Let us explain.


The Classic Vitamin A

We take traditional retinol’s anti-ageing benefits to the next level within our Intelligent Retinol range by enriching our formulas with climbazole, a proven retinol-boosting ingredient.



The ‘Everyone’ Vitamin A

The star of our breakthrough Crystal Retinal range, retinaldehyde works 11 times faster than classic retinol[1] to deliver remarkable results - without the prescription or the irritation. New to Crystal Retinal? Start at Crystal Retinal 3. Regular vitamin A user? Try Crystal Retinal 6.



Our Ultimate Vitamin A

Medik8’s exclusive supermolecule - 8 years in the making and 8 times more powerful than retinol.[2] Non-irritating on the most sensitive skin and uniquely photostable, it can be used both day and night for profound age-defying results that outperform retinol in every way.

Sensitive skin? We recommended trying Crystal Retinal 1. It’s clinically proven to be super gentle, even on the most sensitive skins. [3]

Pregnant, breastfeeding or have skin that’s intolerant to vitamin A? Try our plant-based vitamin A alternative, Bakuchiol Peptides

Add Vitamin A to Your Evening Regime

Still unsure? Check out our detailed Layering Guides.

Vitamin A: Deep Dive

Keen to learn even more about vitamin A?

Delve into the science behind this age-defying hero with Medik8’s very own Director of Research, Daniel Isaacs.

Discover CSA

Enhance and maintain the age-defying benefits of vitamin A by adding vitamin C and sunscreen to your daily skincare routine. This powerhouse trio is the holy grail to achieving more youthful-looking skin and makes up Medik8’s pioneering CSA Philosophy: vitamin C plus sunscreen by day, vitamin A by night. Follow this simple, clinically proven approach and discover Beautiful Skin for Life.

I’ve been using vitamin A before from another brand, what should I move onto in Medik8?

As a general rule we say start on 1 strength lower than you were using from another brand. Unfortunately we do not know how stable the other brand’s retinol serum was; what was labelled as 1% retinol may actually be equivalent to a much lower concentration of retinol if it has degraded. Therefore, to stay on the safe side, we would recommend going lower in strength with our stabilised vitamin A serums to ease your skin into using them, and avoid irritation.

If retinol:

What percentage of retinol were you using in the other brand?

Don’t know - start on Retinol 3TR

0-0.6% - start on Intelligent Retinol 3TR

0.7-1% - start on Intelligent Retinol 6TR or start on Crystal Retinal 3

If retinyl retinoate - start on r-Retinoate Day & Night or r-Retinoate Intense

I am using a Medik8 Intelligent Retinol serum - how do I switch to Crystal Retinal?

In general we recommend that new users of Crystal Retinal start with Crystal Retinal 3. This is an effective, but relatively lower strength of retinaldehyde, to give your skin an opportunity to adjust to the new vitamin A molecule.

There are a couple of exceptions depending on which retinol product you are currently using. Here is our guide:

If you have very sensitive skin -> Crystal Retinal 1

Night Ritual Vitamin A -> Crystal Retinal 3

Intelligent Retinol 3TR -> Crystal Retinal 3

Intelligent Retinol 6TR -> Crystal Retinal 3

Intelligent Retinol 10TR -> Crystal Retinal 6

I’ve never used vitamin A before - where do I start?

At Medik8, we use three forms of Vitamin A: retinol, retinaldehyde, retinyl retinoate. You can start with any one of these molecules. We’d always recommend incorporating your vitamin A into our wider CSA regime - so pick a vitamin C and sunscreen for day also to really amplify results. Take a look at our CSA Kit Builder to find your perfect regime.

When do I have to phase vitamin A into my routine?

Every time you start on a new molecule of vitamin A (eg. switching between Intelligent Retinol and Crystal Retinal). Except when switching to r-Retinoate Day & Night, which is so gentle it doesn’t need to be phased in. You do not have to phase in when moving up strength in the same vitamin A ladder (eg. moving from Crystal Retinal 3 to Crystal Retinal 6).


If moving from Intelligent Retinol to Crystal Retinal - phase in

If moving from Crystal Retinal 3 to Crystal Retinal 6 - don’t need to phase in

If moving from Intelligent Retinol/Crystal Retinal to r-Retinoate Day & Night - don’t need to phase in

If moving from Intelligent Retinol to r-Retinoate Intense - phase in (due to retinal content)

If moving from Crystal Retinal to r-Retinoate Intense - don’t need to phase in (same molecule: retinal)

Why can I start on r-Retinoate Intense but not Crystal Retinal 6?

r-Retinoate Intense is a nourishing cream formulation, which contains lots of emollients, squalane and ceramides, which minimise its potential for irritation on the skin, in comparison to Crystal Retinal 6 which is a lighter cream-serum. It also contains 3 types of Time Release Technology; polymer-encapsulated retinyl retinoate, crystal-encapsulated retinaldehyde, and polymer reservoir technology. All three modes of Time Release minimise the irritation potential for r-Retinoate Intense, and we are confident that most skin types will be able to phase this into their skincare routine without issue.

[1] G. Siegenthaler et al., Retinol and retinal metabolism, Biochemical Journal, 1990, 268, pp 371-378
[2] H. Kim et al., Synthesis and in vitro biological activity of retinyl retinoate, a novel hybrid retinoid derivative, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2008, 15;16(12), pp 6387-93
[3] Proven via independent clinical study on Crystal Retinal 6. Tested on 33 participants over 12 weeks.