I came across A313 while searching for five star products on Amazon. I love skincare especially when it is beneficial for aging skin. A313 is designed to help soften fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improve texture and tone of skin. The reviews on Amazon were all positive (save a few because #life) and what I read led me to do a bit more research before buying the product.
I am not a medical doctor and any all all advice given is based on my own personal experience with the product. I will also say dermatologists do discourage the use of Vitamin A while pregnant. Use at your own discretion.
ABOUT THE PRODUCT:
A313 is a Vitamin A pomade designed to use on the skin for fine lines, wrinkles and dullness.
Upon my research I realized it is considered to be a less potent replacement for Avibon which is a French prescription strength Vitamin A pomade that Gwyneth Paltrow raved about on her site GOOP. If you click on the Avibon link you will see you can still purchase the product and have it shipped directly from France, however the Avibon product now shows a picture of the A313 box, the same one I received from purchasing off Amazon.
It comes in a metal type tube, the type where you have to pierce the opening with the top of the cap. It comes in the same type of tube prescription dermatalogical creams come in. The writing on the tube is in French.
A313 is thick, clear, and a little bit sticky. I've read on other sites some people think its greasy, however I personally don't think it is, even after applying. There is a slight smell when you smell it directly in the tube, but once I disperse and apply to my face I smell nothing at all.
It comes up as a Prime purchase, however it took at least a week to arrive. I didn't check the package address before taking it out, but my husband said he saw it came from Canada.
HOW TO USE:
Before I move into how to use I want to make sure everyone knows A313 is a form of retinal which can take some time for the skin to get used to. If you use too much too soon or too often you may notice intense itching, burning and redness. If you are used to using prescription creams like Retin-A or Tretinoin, you would fine following the below directions and using 2-3 times a week. If you are new to any sort of Vitamin A products, start by using once a week.
At night -
Remove makeup and wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
If you have a derma roller, roll your skin.
If you use eye cream, apply.
Wait 20-30 minutes for your skin to dry completely.*
At your own discretion: I have read others apply a small layer of their PM moisturizer as a barrier before applying the A313. I personally didn't do this, but this is an option if you are concerned with a reaction from the A313.
Apply a pea size amount onto finger tips and rub together to melt the product just a bit. When I say pea size amount, I literally mean a pea size. Just trust me, a little goes a long way!
Apply to your face in a circular, upward motion moving from your chin to your forehead. Avoid under eye area, but you can do crows feet. Don't forget your top lip!
You can apply a night time moisturizer if you choose.**
*A313 is VERY POWERFUL. Moisture on your skin causes a reaction with Vitamin A which makes the product penetrate deeper into your skin more quickly and could cause an intense reaction of itching, burning, and redness. If you wait until your skin is completely dry (about 20-30 minutes) you shouldn't notice anything other than maybe a slight tickle feeling.
**For the first 4-6 weeks I didn't use a moisturizer on top of the A313. However a normal reaction of Vitamin A is to cause dryness (read more below). Once my skin entered into the sloughing stage I started applying a night cream on top.
The next morning -
Wash face with a washcloth and water.
Apply a daytime moisturizer with an SPF
Below is a schedule to go by when first starting gout. If you have used other prescription strength Vitamin A creams in the past, you would probably be fine beginning with two days a week, possibly even three, but once again use at your own discresion.
Week 1 - Monday
Week 2 - Monday, Thursday
Week 3 - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Week 4 - Monday, Wednesday. Friday
It is normal to feel almost a like a tickle in a few places on your skin. I seem to always have the tickle feeling around my jawline and under my nose.
Around the 4 mark (possibly before if you are using it more frequently) you will probably start to have a lot of dryness. Read more about this below. This happens because Vitamin A increases the speed at which your body sheds old skin cells and creates new skin cells. This phase isn't long, maybe 2-3 weeks, but it can be alarming if you aren't expecting it. Staying hydrated helps as well as not picking or scratching your skin. If it gets to be too much, stop using the product so frequently or use a smaller amount. The dryness does go away once the cell turnover process has taken place.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
A313 can be a bit deceiving. I say that because after 1 use you will probably see some sort of a change, but the BIG changes come with consistent use over time. If you want the best results from this product you have to build up to using it on a regular basis, around 3-4 times a week for about 6 months.
After your first use of A313 you may notice the next morning your skin is much smoother and has a "glow" to it. With continued use your skin will become much softer and more even textured. I noticed a big difference in my hyperpigmentation on my forehead as well. The soft skin alone will probably keep you coming back for more!!
Around week 4 (possibly sooner if you are using A313 more frequently) your will probably notice your skin is MUCH dryer. It will then start flaking off. Do your best not to pick or scratch and continue with your usual skincare regimen incorporating A313 as you have been before.
For me personally the dryness stayed for 2 weeks. During this time I decided not to wear a foundation, but I did wear a tinted moisturizer on top of my day time moisturizer.
After the drying and flaking stage, your skin will be baby soft. Your fine lines will appear softer and less "deep". More than likely you'll notice less use of concealer, except for those stubborn under eye circles. Your overall appearance will be more youthful.
HOW LONG TO USE:
I know from my past experience with prescription strength retinal products, there was a 6 month cut off point. I honestly don't know if there is one with A313. A313 is powerful, way more powerful than other over the counter Vitamin A products, but I'm not 100% sure if it is prescription strength grade Vitamin A. I've used other over the counter retinal products daily for years.
I'm not at the 6 month point yet, so I'll do an update on here once I get there. Obviously there is no harm in cutting back to once a week for a while, or possibly holding off use altogether for 1-3 months. I think this would be more of a personal choice.
Have you tried A313 yet?
I'd love to hear your feedback on the product!