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Choosing The Right Vitamin A

Choosing The Right Vitamin A

10th Oct 2018

Fall is officially here and with it brings some necessary tweaks to our skin care routine. We’ll all miss the beach days and warm sunshine filled afternoons, but we won’t miss what it does to our skin. Sun exposed skin tends to have more texture, uneven skin tone (hyperpigmentation), enlarged pores, and overall crepeyness. Repairing and rebuilding these damaged surface skin cells should be your priority for your fall skin care routine. The best tool for this? Pumpkins! Or more specifically, Vitamin A. Our lovely pumpkin products are high in naturally occurring Vitamin A.

Vitamin A (aka Retinoids) has been a gold standard skin care ingredient for years. It actively solves texture issues, clears blemishes, firms and lifts, and fades dark spots. Retinol, Retinaldehyde, and Retin-A (pure retinoic acid) are all popular Retinoids used in the skin care industry.

Only Retinoic Acid can be immediately utilized, all other forms must first be processed and converted into Retinoic Acid by enzymes in the skin. This process goes as follows, Retinyl Palmitate converts to Retinol which then breaks down into Retinaldehyde which in its final stage becomes Retinoic Acid.


Retin-A, also known as tretinoin, is the only product made up of pure Retinoic Acid. Since it doesn’t need to be converted any further, it is the strongest and often most harsh form. Of all forms of Vitamin A, this has the worst side effects including skin peeling, burning, redness, itching, and scaling. It originally was produced as a treatment for acne, because of its very drying and antibacterial nature.

In recent years, it is also prescribed to older clients with aging concerns. Unfortunately, it can often cause more damage than good because of its very potent nature. Studies have shown that this form of retinol actually stimulates the wrong kind of collagen for healthy aging. It stimulates rope-like fibers that resemble a callous. Over time, this is very unattractive and actually causes the skin to look older.


Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that is naturally produced in the body. When inside a skin care product, enzymes first break it down into Retinaldehyde, then Retinoic Acid. Since it is a form of Vitamin A that our skin is already familiar with, it is far more stable than Retinaldehyde, meaning it can be used in larger concentrations. Its stability makes it a great option for both acne and anti-aging. It tends to be more exfoliating than Retinaldehyde because of its higher concentration, as well as its ability to be paired with helpful acids such as Lactic Acid. More exfoliating is important for those that wish to smooth the texture of the skin.

Those with normal and combination skin types will like this form of vitamin A as it will help diminish sebum and oil production, smooth out pores, and exfoliate away dead skin cell build up. Due to being a Vitamin A, skin peeling and redness are still common side effects and should be curbed with a nourishing serum that will aid in rebuilding the skin. Rhonda Allison Sea Gems is our go to for this with its deeply hydrating and rebuilding ingredients. 

Shop our collection of RETINOL SERUMS HERE


Retinaldehyde is the newest form of Vitamin A to hit the market and is a wonderful solution for those with sensitive and dry skin types. For years, scientists were unable to utilize this form because it can be highly unstable. Eventually, they found that it worked wonderfully in a lower concentration as a gentle form of Vitamin A. Since it doesn’t need to convert through as many stages, Retinaldehyde can produce results without as many side effects like dryness and peeling. Those with dry and sensitive skin can use it daily.

Anyone who has been unable to tolerate Retinol in the past, should consider giving Retinaldehyde a try. Due to it’s gentle nature, it is not often mixed with any other actives or acids, which can make it less than ideal for acne prone skin, but perfect for irritated, dry skin. As with all Vitamin A products, a replenishing serum must be used to prevent the skin from becoming overly dry. 

We have a lovely selection of RETINIALDEHYDE SERUMS HERE>