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What's inside? Medik8 Crystal Retinal 6

Here’s what makes this skincare icon so unique

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What's inside? Medik8 Crystal Retinal 6
Written byAmelia CranstounContent Editor
Start your 2 minute skin quiz today and one of our aestheticians will create a personalised skincare routine for you!Take the skin quiz

What is inside Medik8 Crystal Retinal 6? 

The main point of difference between the products in Medik8’s Crystal Retinal range is the concentration of retinaldehyde. The concentration of retinal in the product is crucial. Higher concentrations may provide more significant results but can also lead to increased irritation so must be worked up to, in order to ensure the skin can tolerate it. Crystal Retinal 6 suggests it contains 0.06% encapsulated retinaldehyde. 

What is Retinal? 

Retinoids are a type of vitamin A, and they're essential for maintaining healthy skin, teeth and bones. Retinal (retinaldehyde) is a form of retinoid, and it's considered to be one step closer to retinoic acid than traditional retinol, therefore making it more effective.

What makes Medik8 Crystal Retinal 6 so unique? 

Medik8’s Crystal Retinal is made using encapsulation technology. Encapsulation can help stabilise and deliver the active ingredients over a longer period. This also reduces irritation compared to non-encapsulated forms. As we discuss in our blog on Medik8’s Crystal Retinal range, this product is a good option if you have never used retinoids before, or if you have used retinol products in the past but are looking for something gentler on the skin. 

Who should be using Medik8 Crystal Retinal 6?

If you’re an experienced skincare user or progressing from Crystal Retinal 3, this higher strength will positively support the skin’s ageing journey. Remember not to increase the strength of your retinoid too quickly - it really is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re using the Crystal Retinal 3 and haven’t yet built up to every evening application, then stay on this strength until your skin can tolerate daily use before moving up. 

What is Crystal Retinal 6 good for?

Topical skincare retinoids in serums and creams can offer excellent skin health effects due to their ability to speed up skin cell turnover, regulate oil production and stimulate collagen production, which helps to:

  • Soften wrinkles and fine lines

  • Fade hyperpigmentation

  • Improve skin tone

  • Reduce congestion 


Crystal Retinal 6 is clinically proven to visibly smooth, brighten and firm skin. It is claimed to work 11x faster than retinol - this is due to the fact that retinaldehyde converts into retinoic acid (our bioavailable form of retinoid), 11x faster than retinol. 

Is Crystal Retinal good for all skin types?

Retinoids and retinaldehyde may not be suitable for everyone. 

They have a host of benefits, but can also be drying, especially when you first start using them. Redness, peeling, and dryness are common side effects. It’s always best to start with a lower concentration and frequency of application, and gradually increase this over several months. 

Those that shouldn’t use retinoids would be those who are pregnant or trying to conceive. We’d also advise real caution if you have a history of eczema or rosacea.

How to introduce Crystal Retinal 6 into your skincare routine

Firstly consider how the retinal product fits into your overall skincare routine. Certain ingredients, such as vitamin C, can complement retinoids, while others, such as AHA’, BHA’s and PHA’s that also have an exfoliating effect may increase irritation.

Retinoids can make skin more sensitive to UV light, so it is particularly important to use sunscreen everyday and follow current guidelines on re-applying every 2 hours to ensure skin is fully protected. 

If you are new to Retinoids or increasing your dose

When introducing a retinoid to the skin, or increasing the strength of your retinoid, we’d recommend following these steps. 

Patch Test: Before applying the product to your entire face, do a patch test. Apply a small amount of product to a discrete area (like behind your ear or on your jawline) and monitor for any adverse reactions over 24-48 hours before applying to the full face.

Start Slow: Begin by using the product once a week, at night, for the first few weeks. This allows your skin to acclimate to the retinoid without overwhelming it. 

Cleanse and Pat Dry: Cleanse your face and pat it dry. Leave for a few minutes for skin to dry - applying a retinoid to damp skin can increase the rate of absorption and therefore the chance of irritation.

Apply a lip balm: Retinoids can dry out the lips, so we’d recommend applying a lip balm first before your retinoid to keep lips moisturised. 

Retinoid sandwich: If you’re sensitive, dry or introducing retinoids for the first time, using the retinoid sandwich technique can help to reduce any associated dryness. Apply your moisturiser first, then your retinoid, then another layer of moisturiser over the top.

Avoid delicate areas: When applying your retinoid, avoid the lips, eye area and corners of the nose. The skin here is thinner and at increased risk of dryness. 

Skip Other Actives Initially: For the first few weeks, avoid any other exfoliating ingredients. Keeping the rest of your routine simple with plenty of hydration is the best way to balance any side effects of the retinoid. 

Use Sunscreen: Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 during the day, especially when using retinoids. Retinoids can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, and sunscreen helps prevent sun damage.

Increase Frequency Gradually: After a few weeks of consistent use without irritation, you can consider increasing the frequency to two or three times a week. Continue to monitor your skin for any signs of irritation. Build up the frequency of product usage over several weeks until you’re using every other day (or daily if skin can tolerate this.) It may take several months to build up to daily usage (if at all). 

Be Patient: Results from retinoids may take some time to become noticeable. Be patient and consistent with your routine. It can take a few weeks to a few months before you see improvements in your skin. Retinoid benefits also accumulate over time so you should continue to see improvements after years of usage. 


Retinoids can be one of the best ingredients for achieving results in the skin, but also one of the most challenging ones to integrate into your routine. If you’d like help in creating a personalised routine suited to your individual needs, our team of licensed aestheticians are here to help. To book a consultation, or a visual skin review - get started here.

Amelia CranstounContent Editor
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Amelia CranstounContent Editor
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