April 09, 2024

New To Retinol? Try These 6 Gentle Vitamin A Formulas

Because no one wants a disrupted skin barrier.

gentle vitamin a formulas

Vitamin A and all of its relatives—retinal, retinoids, retinol esters—can seem daunting from the outside. We hear stories of those who have disrupted their skin barrier and broken out thanks to the ingredient. But, we also know what a powerhouse it can be when added to your skincare routine in a gentle and effective manner. The ingredient has had over 70 years worth of studies and research proving its skin-restoring, firming, smoothing and antioxidant capabilities. So, why are we all so afraid of it? Well, to the surprise of some, there’s no need to be using a high dose serum to see results. It’s all in the formula and percentage of the ingredient within the product. In fact, using a product with as little as 0.01 per cent vitamin A can improve overall skin health and appearance. 

Fortunately for us, with the rise in popularity of the ingredient in the mainstream skincare realm, comes many different formulations. What’s more, some of the best vitamin A brands are now even creating specially formulated gentle vitamin A products perfect for sensitive skin types—or, for those who are still sitting on the fence. So, we’ve done some digging and below are rounding up the best vitamin A formulas perfect for those who are still dubious. 

Innisfree Retinol Cica Repair Ampoule

What It Is: Formulated to gently address skin concerns such as breakouts, uneven texture and fine lines, this retinol serum by beloved Korean skincare brand, Innisfree, is the answer to maintaining a healthy complexion, sans irritation. Created with unique liposome technology and infused with soothing ingredients like cica, hyaluronic acid and ceramides, the serum is perfect for those with sensitive skin, or those just beginning their retinol journey.

What Reviews Say: Ideal for sensitive skin and taming breakouts. A little goes a long way and most importantly, no skin barrier was impaired while using—a big win. 

Shop Now: Innisfree Retinol Cica Repair Ampoule, $58 

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

What It Is: A skin-loving retinol serum developed by the dermatologists behind one of our favourite budget beauty brands: CeraVe. The serum uses encapsulated retinol, meaning it will increase your skin’s collagen and hyaluronic acid production more slowly in comparison to other retinol serums out there, leaving you with a glowing and healthy complexion. The slow-release properties are ideal for sensitive skin types and makes for a gentle alternative to stronger vitamin A serums. 

What Reviews Say: Great value for money and loved by sensitive skin types. The serum causes no irritation and leaves the skin feeling clear and healthy. 

Shop Now: CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum, $43.99

Alpha-H Vitamin A Serum with 0.5% Retinol

What It Is: Made for those new to retinol, or those with skin that can be easily aggravated, this Alpha H Vitamin A Serum with 0.5% Retinol works by supporting the skin in its natural renewal cycle. Filled with conditioning ingredients like tomato fruit extract, a retinol stabiliser that helps to maintain the skin’s bounce, and evening primrose oil, rich in omega-6 to stop moisture loss, this serum is the perfect entry-level vitamin A. 

What Reviews Say: Effective at improving skin texture, reducing pigmentation and preventing breakouts. Great introductory retinol serum that is tolerable for those with sensitised skin. 

Shop Now: Alpha-H Vitamin A Serum with 0.5% Retinol, $84.95

Kiehl’s Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum

What It Is: Kiehl’s Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum is exactly what it sounds like—a specially formulated vitamin A serum that provides the skin with a more gentle daily micro-dose of pure retinol. Best suited to beginner retinol users, or those with more delicate skin, this serum is packed with nourishing ingredients like peptides and ceramides to aid in the skin’s tolerance of retinol, while reducing discomfort. 

What Reviews Say: A gentle yet effective serum that leaves no signs of irritation or barrier-disruption. Not harsh on the skin and works well to improve skin radiance and texture.

Shop Now:: Kiehl’s Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum, $148

Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1

What It Is: Specifically formulated for those beginning their journey with vitamin A, this entry-level Medik8 serum is the gentlest in its famed Crystal Retinal range. Using the brand’s innovative crystal encapsulation system, retinaldehyde is released slowly into the skin, meaning less chance of irritation and more chance of glow. Known for being vitamin A experts, Medik8’s crystal retinal range might just be the benchmark for all other retinol serums. 

What Reviews Say: A great first step to introducing retinol into a skincare routine. Leaves the skin feeling smooth, plump, and most of all, happy. 

Shop Now:: Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1, $89

La Roche Posay Redermic Retinol B3 Serum

What It Is: This La Roche Posay Redermic Retinol B3 Serum is the epitome of gentle yet effective vitamin A serums. Formulated with a complex of pure retinol with an instant release, as well as gradual retinol that releases more slowly for optimal tolerance, the serum is perfect for beginners. Expect to see improvement in signs of ageing while your skin barrier remains happy and functioning, thanks to the added benefit of vitamin B3. 

What Reviews Say: Easy to introduce into an established routine. Great for those new to retinol as it leaves the skin feeling hydrated and clear without irritation. 

Shop Now: La Roche Posay Redermic Retinol B3 Serum, $74.95



This post has no comments yet.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search our
Little Black Book
Of Beauty

I'm looking for...
To submit your business for consideration, enquire here