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Medik8's Guide to Crystal Retinal

Our Crystal Retinal is a cult favourite - adored by beauty therapists, celebrities and influencers all over the world. This supercharged night time serum can give you a whole new complexion in just 4 weeks of use.

But we know, whether you're new to Crystal Retinal or a seasoned user, it's hard to decide where to begin or how to move between strengths. So, we've had our in-house experts and product specialists break it down for you.

Vitamin A Strength Ladder

Where to Begin...

Strength: 3: Start here if you've already been using Medik8 Night Ritual Vitamin A, Retinol 3TR / 3TR Intense or Retinol 6TR / 6TR Intense. If you've been using 0-0.6% retinol from another brand, start here too. In all cases, make sure you phase in first use of Crystal Retinal since retinaldehyde is a new vitamin A molecule to your skin.


Strength: 6: Start here if you've already been using Medik8 Retinol 10TR / 10TR Intense or 0.7-1% retinol from another brand. Remember to phase in use when moving from retinol to retinaldehyde for the first time since retinaldehyde is a new vitamin A molecule to your skin.

Our Frequently Asked Questions


As a general rule we say start on a 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 go lower in strength with our stabilised retinol 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 Intense
0-0.6% - start on Retinol 3TR Intense
0.7-1% - start on Retinol 6TR Intense


If Retinal - start on Crystal Retinal 3
If Retinyl Retinoate - start on r-Retinoate Day & Night or r-Retinoate Intense

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
Retinol 3TR/Intense -> Crystal Retinal 3
Retinol 6TR/Intense -> Crystal Retinal 3
Retinol 10TR/Intense -> Crystal Retinal 6

If you have sensitive skin - Crystal Retinal 1, Night Ritual Vitamin A, r-Retinoate Day & Night If you do not have sensitive skin - Crystal Retinal 3, Retinol 3TR Intense, r-Retinoate Day & Night or r-Retinoate Intense

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).

Examples:
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)

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.

All Our Vitamin A Products

Here's a summary table between all of our Vitamin A serums, including out r-Retinoate range.