What is it? Vitamin A, or retinol, serum
What does/should it do? Increase cell turnover to help encourage even out skin tone, increase elasticity & diminish fine lines.
Repurchase? Not for me.
Vitamin A, or retinol, can be an intimidating product to start incorporating in your routine. There is plenty of information to tell you that you do need it, but that you can also expect your skin to freak out and break out when you start. I’d agree. If you’re over 30, you might want to think about establishing a committed relationship with Vitamin A, and I think Alpha-H’s Vitamin A is a gentle place to begin.
Vitamin A benefits in so many ways. It increases cell turnover, which allows the redness from blemishes (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, technically) to reduce faster. It helps exfoliate your skin, making a smoother and more even texture. It thickens your skin, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and promotes blood flow. It helps regulate sebum production – the natural oils your skin produces – and so it’s often prescribed by dermatologists for cystic acne. Finally, it stimulates collagen production, increasing elasticity in your skin, which is what I’m here for.
You can probably guess this came into my life via the Alpha-H Vitamin Serum Kit (you can read my thoughts on the Vitamin B and Vitamin C), but I’ll be honest – it was the Vitamin A in the kit that I really was keen to try. Having come from stronger retinols, including other products in Alpha-H’s range, I didn’t get the benefits I was expecting for my skin. That is not the fault of the product – it’s just that my skin needs a bit more. If you’re starting out, I absolutely would recommend starting here.
Because Vitamin A can increase your skin’s sensitivity, and even cause you to break out while your skin adjusts to the effects, it’s an excellent idea to start slow and build up. Ideally, you’d want to see results from your regular Vitamin A routine in about six months, which is about how long it would take you to use this bottle if you were going for it a few nights a week.
This really is a great starter retinol. It’s full of anti-inflammatory and hydrating ingredients to help with that sensitivity. If you find your skin is starting to get particularly sensitive – feeling itchy, dry or uncomfortable – layer the serum with a small amount of moisturiser until you adjust. Start out one or two nights a week, and progress from there. A good rule of thumb is two nights in your twenties, three in your thirties, etc. You do you, however: you might find when starting out, or moving to a higher-strength retinol, you might need to reduce the number of nights you use it to prevent overloading your skin.
Don’t forget your spf! You need it anyway, but you definitely need it if you’re hanging out with retinol.