Retinal is the "big brother" molecule of the better known anti-aging superstar, retinol. While retinol needs two metabolic conversion steps to reach the active form, retinoic acid (aka tretinoin), retinal is the direct precursor only one conversion step away from the active form the skin cells understand. It is estimated that retinal can convert more than 10x faster to retinoic acid than retinol, making retinal an outstandingly effective member of the retinoid family (vitamin A family).
Once converted, retinal helps the skin cells to produce more collagen and other structural elements, making the skin more youthful, firm and elastic. It also speeds up the renewal process of the upper skin layers making it smoother and more even. A-Game is a smart-aging must-have, but it is also useful as an adjacent product for fading pigmentation, as well as helping acne-prone skin.
In terms of strength and knowledge, we would compare our 0.05% retinal serum to a mid-strength retinol product (typically in the 0.2-0.5% range), but with less irritation potential and possibly quicker results.
Who is it for?
how to use it?
Apply a pea sized amount to the face in the PM. In your evening routine, apply liquid and gel-type products first (for example a toner, our exfoliants or our other serums such as HA 5 or B-Bomb), then A-Game. Follow with a moisturizer. Wear a sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater in the morning.
If your skin is sensitive, start using A-Game every other day and if well-tolerated, move up to every evening in two weeks. You can try using A-Game around the eye area, but pay attention not to rub it into your eyes.
Do not use if pregnant. Topical use of retinoids during breastfeeding is considered low risk, however, please consult your physician first.
Good to know: A-Game has a bright yellow color due to the retinal in it. Based on our experience, it dissipates on the skin and does not leave a yellow tint on surfaces.
Shelf life: 18 months from production (unopened), 6 months PAO (period after opening)
Ingredients & Research
Retinal (0.05%) – An anti-aging superstar ingredient that is the direct precursor of retinoic acid (the active form that the skin cells understand) and shows an outstanding activity/tolerance ratio among topical retinoids.
Allantoin & Panthenol – A classic ingredient duo known for their skin soothing and skin protecting abilities.
Biosaccharide Gum-1 – A carbohydrate molecule that has nice skin soothing and moisturizing abilities, and makes A-Game even more gentle and silky.
full inci list:
Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oleyl Erucate, Glycerin, Triheptanoin, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Cyclodextrin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Allantoin, Retinal, Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloudberry) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Citric Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium Edta, Pentylene Glycol, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol
Creidi, P., and Ph Humbert. "Clinical use of topical retinaldehyde on photoaged skin." Dermatology 199.Suppl. 1 (1999): 49-52.
Siegenthaler, G., J. H. Saurat, and M. Ponec. "Retinol and retinal metabolism." Biochemical Journal 268.2 (1990): 371-378.
Fluhr, J. W., et al. "Tolerance profile of retinol, retinaldehyde and retinoic acid under maximized and long-term clinical conditions." Dermatology 199.Suppl. 1 (1999): 57-60.
Creidi, Pierre, et al. "Profilometric evaluation of photodamage after topical retinaldehyde and retinoic acid treatment." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 39.6 (1998): 960-965.
Mukherjee, Siddharth, et al. "Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety." Clinical interventions in aging 1.4 (2006): 327.
Dréno, B., et al. "Topical retinaldehyde with glycolic acid: study of tolerance and acceptability in association with anti-acne treatments in 1,709 patients." Dermatology 210.Suppl. 1 (2005): 22-29.
Pechere, M., et al. "The antibacterial activity of topical retinoids: the case of retinaldehyde." Dermatology 205.2 (2002): 153-158.
Excellent product, affordable, and effective! Love, love it!
I've been a bit apprehensive of trying retinoids before, as i have dry skin that can be a bit temperamental, I've also largely seen retinoids recommended to only oily and combination. I bought the lower strength version (A-Game 5) and started out using it only twice a week, and more often when i dint see any issues or irritation. I've been really careful to follow all the steps correctly, and i am really pleased with the product overall! I never had any purging or ill effects, and i found that after about two months of using it, my skin was smoother, with less texture and bumps. I combine this with a very simple skincare routine of (sometimes double) cleansing and moisturizer, and nothing else. I have pound that this is the perfect routine for me, and I'm really happy to have finally settled on a routine after a very long time of trying the newest trending product or just ineffective and irritating skincare in general. Again, can't recommend this enough!!!
I have only just started using a retinol/retinal product so I can’t speak for the results just yet. A Game is easy to use, packaging is great and delivery was quick.
always a pleasure with G&G