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Mad Hippie - Vitamin A Serum

Mad Hippie - Vitamin A Serum

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Info: 30 ml (1.02 fl oz) Dropper Bottle

This product has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but will soon be succeeded by a similar one in early 2023.

Are you seeking a non-prescription version of a retinol cream to help even out your skin tone and help reduce sun damage, dark spots, and fine lines and wrinkles? Well, not so fast: you might be better off with this other form of Vitamin A: a sister ingredient, HPR, which not only causes less irritation in topical applications, but can also be more effective and work faster since it's more bioavailable.

Product Notes:

It's not easy to keep all the retinoids (a family of compounds derived from vitamin A, which includes beta-carotene) straight, but here goes.


At the top of the heap, there's Tretinoin, the prescription medication which is used not only for anti-aging and enhancing collagen production but also to treat acne. Technically, it's known as all-trans-retinoic-acids, and it works at the cellular level, since the skin cells actually have receptors for retinoic acid; when it binds to those receptors, it can cause fundamental changes like gene expression in the skin cells.


Next up is Retinol, otherwise known as pure Vitamin A (or Vitamin A1). It also works with those receptors, eventually, but cannot do so directly. Retinol needs to be metabolized by the skin first, and that actually takes two steps: first it has to get converted to retinaldehyde, and then to retinoic acid. But there's a lot of variation in how well people's skin can make those two conversions, so it's not surprising that Retinol is less effective than Tretinoin.

There are also significant skin side effects (or perhaps just 'growing pains') associated with both of these. Redness, peeling, and flaking are typical initial reactions with both (albeit less so with Retinol), along with dryness, and possibly increased sensitivity to the sun (although that last one has been disputed).

RP and HPR

There's also been at least two other kindred ingredients making appearances in cosmetic products, which both have far less "retinol burn": Retinyl Palmitate (RP), which has been around for a while; and now Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR), a relative newcomer. While both are tolerated much better by those with sensitive skin than those first two, HPR has the potential to be far more effective than RP, since HPR can actually work directly on those retinoic acid receptors like Tretinoin can, while Retinyl Palmitate actually takes three conversions to take effect (first to retinol, then to retinaldehyde, and finally to all-trans-retinoic acid).

That's why Mad Hippie's Vitamin A Serum features that more bioavailable and less irritating retinoid form along with an array of well-established soothing, nourishing, moisturizing and moisture-retaining natural beauty ingredients such as Aloe vera and Hyaluronic Acid to help even out the complexion, fade brown spots, and soften the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles.

Related Product: See Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum.


Water, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glycerin, Oat Beta-Glucan, Hydrolyzed Soybean Palmitate (Phytoceramide), Acetyl Glucosamine, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR), Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Citrus aurantium dulcis Peel Oil, Citric Acid.

This is a vegan and cruelty-free product, which is also free of parabens, petrochemicals, PEGs, SLS, and synthetic fragrance.

Suggested Usage:

Massage into skin after cleansing at night. A dime-sized amount is usually enough to cover both the face and the neck. You should probably avoid using an exfoliating serum on the same night, to avoid excess irritation.


For external use only. Consult your healthcare practitioner prior to using Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

UPC / Barcode: 609015880227