Vitamin C vs Retinol


Just like we’re taught to care about the amount of vitamins our bodies get each day, so should we take care to ensure that our skin receives its fair share too. Vitamin C and retinol (also known as Vitamin A) are two vitamins that are essential for proper healing and maintenance of the skin. And while things like diet and taking supplements are a great way to deliver vitamins to the rest of your body, when it comes to the skin, it’s often best to use things topically.


Here, at Mad Penguin, we use only the best naturally sourced and organic ingredients in our skincare, and that commitment to quality and purity includes the vitamin C and vitamin A we work with.

In the world of high caliber private label skincare, there are two skincare ingredients standing at the top of the anti-aging pyramid, and we love them both. Vitamin C and retinol, two anti-aging skincare powerhouses delivering powerful skin healing and verifiable results in real time. What’s interesting is it’s not often you see a private label skin care product featuring both at the same time. But why? Must there be Camp Vitamin C and Camp Retinol, or can the two ingredients reign side by side, all the while smoothing out our fine lines and wrinkles with effortless, perfect grace?


The answer is yes, they can reign the world of skin care together, as long as they are in the right form. This is especially important when it comes to retinol, or vitamin A. For many people, though they love using retinol, their experience is tainted by the irritation their skin inevitably experiences upon regular use. Though the use of retinol is great for fine lines, skin sagging and darkly colored hyperpigmentation, it can also cause major drying and irritation of the skin. This makes it a difficult for skin care companies to get behind a product because the cons out weigh the pros. 

Thankfully, there is a solution! A wonderful, effective, gentle botanical solution to the retinol dilemma: crithmum maritum extract. This tenacious little plant grows by the sea and is rich in botanical vitamin A, which offers all the same benefits of regular vitamin A without the irritation and dryness. It’s the perfect answer to an industry wide problem, and it makes the retinol vs vitamin C debate useless. Now there’s no reason to hate on vitamin A, because when it’s botanically derived from crithmum maritum, it does everything right.



The same goes for vitamin C—when it’s in the right form, it becomes an easily absorbed, highly effective anti-aging ingredient healing and protecting you from all things related to premature aging and elemental-induced (think too much sun) damage. While many private label skincare manufacturers use a cheaper form of vitamin C that is initially more stable, the downside is that it’s not as effective and easily absorbed into the skin, as well as being irritating for some users.


But, with the right kind of vitamin C, specifically Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, this is no longer a problem and the bounty of benefits from vitamin C are fully available for your skin to utilize.


Vitamin C Deficiency

You’ve probably heard of scurvy before, the disease that results from a deficiency in vitamin C. Though virtually nonexistent these days, there is another vitamin C “deficiency” that manifests itself in your skin. And though much less serious than actual scurvy, it can still cause your skin to look sad, saggy and unable to heal as quickly as you would like. Though not an actual disease, the beneficial effects that vitamin C has on the skin are so important that when your skin does go without it, there’s no way you won’t notice it.


Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins out there for anti aging skincare because it is so effective at protecting collagen while also facilitating its creation. This means fine line and wrinkle repair are enhanced and overall texture and tone are smoothed and balanced. Vitamin C also helps to protect against photodamage, so people with dark spots and weathered skin can greatly benefit from its use as well.


Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A , like vitamin C, is used by the body every day, especially in the hair, skin, nails and eyes. But unlike vitamin C, vitamin A is a little harder to come by in our diets due to the fact that it has a pro-vitamin form found in fruits and vegetables, and a fat soluble form found in things like grass fed animal products. While our bodies can utilize the water soluble form of vitamin A, some people’s bodies do so better than others.


Like vitamin C, when it comes to the skin, vitamin A is best used topically. And also like vitamin C, retinol is fantastic for helping the skin stay smooth and firm and bright. Skincare lovers use it for everything from pigmentation to sagging skin, and it comes in a wide variety of products. However, our favorite product type for the delivery of both vitamins A and C definitely has to be a serum. This is due to the smaller product molecules found in serums in comparison to other products and helps these important ingredients better penetrate into the skin and do their good work. 

So, which will it be? Vitamin C, or Vitamin A? If it’s up to us, the answer is: BOTH!

There’s no reason you can’t combine both of these vitamins to receive the maximum amount of skincare support.