You’ve heard of Retinol, but what’s Retinal?*

Hello everyone and welcome to the first blog post for the new year!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Years with your loved ones. I’ve been a bit slacking with my IG lately, because life gets in the way, but I’m hoping to get more active over there. If you don’t follow me already, you can find me here.

Today I am talking all about Retinal. Haven’t heard of it before? Neither did I, until I was introduced to the ESK Ultimate A* last year. Essentially what Retinal is, it’s the third stage of the retinoic acid conversion process and performs more effectively than other non-prescription Vitamin A products. Retinal gives you the same results as Retinol, but without all that discomfort, flaking skin and redness. ESK has created two kinds of Vitamin A serums, Ultimate A (0.06%) and Ultimate A+ (0.1%).

ESK (Evidence Skincare) was founded in 2012 by Dr Ginni Mansberg, and her husband, Daniel Rubinstein, after finding a gap in the market for skincare that’s backed by evidence. They are Australian made and owned and are cruelty free! ESK offers a range of products, including cleanser and primers. When I came across their website, I was amazed at how extensive their range was! They have even assorted their products into kits, to make it easier for the everyday consumer to find the right products for their skin.

Looking more closely at the Ultimate A, it is a Vitamin A and B3 based night cream. As with any Vitamin A products, sun protection (i.e. sunscreen) must be seeked the following day. Retinal as mentioned above, is the least irritating form of Vitamin A and helps to reduce hyperpigmentation, promote collagen growth and increases skin elasticity. In conjunction with the B3, it helps improve the skin barrier function, thus promoting a more even skin tone and reduces uneven pigmentation. Please note, Vitamin A shouldn’t be used if one is breastfeeding or pregnant.

Personally, I have not tried any Vitamin A products before, so starting off with the Ultimate A was a good measure. I suffer from pigmentation and have some texture due to previous acne scarring.


Apply 2 – 3 pumps to face following Smooth Serum at night.


PurifiedWater, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Alcohol, Niacinamide, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Glycerin, Sucrose Distearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sucrose Stearate, Polyacrylamide & C13-14 Isoparaffin & Laureth-7, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycolic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid & Benzyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Retinal, Oil Lavender Bulgaria, Pelargoneum Roseum, Rose Damascena


My thoughts:

I have been using this for about a month and stopped other chemical exfoliating products when trialling the Ultimate A. As I haven’t been exposed to Vitamin A products before, I started off using this every 2-3 nights for the first week, and then progressed into using it nightly and of course following up with sunscreen the day after.

I was not expecting it to be a yellow in appearance to be honest haha. But it is a nice colour, not a colour I would typically see often in my skincare. The first night I tried it, it went on smoothly and I applied 3 pumps, and I also distributed it onto my neck. Had no problems with it the following days – no breakouts, no flaking skin, no redness. It had zero irritating effects on my skin! I was already impressed by this.

As I used the product nightly, I noticed it helped reduce the appearance of texture on my cheeks. Not a huge difference but I definitely saw a difference, especially with how my skin looks with foundation on. My skin under foundation looked more ‘blurred’, than before. It might be harder to show through pictures, but overall, my complexion looks clearer and I look forward to better results when I finish the bottle!

I’ll post some progress pictures below!

December 3rd was the earliest picture I had before I started using the Ultimate A. It may be hard to tell, but there’s a difference in the overall complexion!

Overall I’m really happy with the Ultimate A, and my results! Will definitely consider purchasing a full size in the future, once I get through my collection of acids and treatments!

That’s all I have for this week, I hope you enjoyed learning more about the Ultimate A! Don’t forget to check out the ESK website, they have such an amazing range of products, it’s so tempting to look at haha!

Have you tried Vitamin A products before, are you more interested in trying them out now?

New post up next week as usual, have a great week!

With love,

*PR sample, all opinions are my own.

4 Replies to “You’ve heard of Retinol, but what’s Retinal?*”

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