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Intelligent Beauty


Trifonia Asmar
Writer and expert2 years ago
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A medium shot image of a female model with curly hair applying Medik8's Pres and Glow tonic on her face with a cotton pad.

Medik8’s approach to skin care is all about simplicity and science. Centring around its tried-and-tested ‘CSA philosophy’ (we’ll get into that further down), the brand believes that every good regime should include three fundamental ingredients – vitamin C, SPF and vitamin A. Just as efficient as it is effective, these signature steps not only tackle fine lines and pigmentation but keep your complexion looking visibly brighter.   

Paying homage to the skin care specialist, here at Cult Beauty we’ve uncovered everything you need to know about the brand – from its history to how to use its various retinols and more. Your latest beauty obsession awaits… 


Founded in 2009 by scientists (and siblings), Elliot and Daniel Isaacs, Medik8’s story began when its co-founder fell in love with cosmeceuticals after creating a redness-reducing formula for his family. Building a tiny lab in the back of his dad’s pharmacy in north London and with a background in physiology, pharmacology and biochemistry, Elliot joined forces with his brother to launch Medki8 back in 2009. Born from years of research and with a passion to create skin care solutions without compromise, the brand marries efficacy with the highest performing active ingredients. The result? Skin care solutions that dermatologists, clinics and consumers trust and approve.  


Medik8’s not so secret, secret to glowing skin? The brand’s pioneering CSA philosophy. The routine is as follows: vitamin C and sunscreen by day and vitamin A by night. Simple yet sophisticated, these three steps not only reduce the appearance of fine lines but smoothen and brighten complexions at the same time. With that in mind, it’s time to get up close and personal with the ultimate triple threat… 


While typically acclaimed for its radiance-boosting and protective properties (not to mention antioxidant benefits), vitamin C can be unstable – meaning it quickly loses effectiveness when in contact with air, heat and light. That’s where Medik8’s C-Tetra formulas comes into play… Expertly stabilised to ensure optimal potency it provides maximum results with minimal irritation.  



Without sounding like a broken record, SPF is non-negotiable. Why? Because UV rays can easily penetrate through clouds and glass, resulting in sun damage (we’re talking redness, irritation you know the drill). Sunscreens essentially shield skin against these effects and in turn help maintain a healthy-looking complexion. But going on step further, Medik8’s Advance Daily Ultimate Protect collection is specially formulated to ensure broad-spectrum protection while also meeting a high PA++++ rating (a measuring factor that looks at how long it takes for a tanning effect to occur). 



Also known as retinol, vitamin A works hard to keep breakouts and blemishes at bay while promoting natural moisturisation. And while it’s a great addition to your routine, not all skin types can tolerate retinol in the same way. However, Medik8’s Crystal Retinal range offers various expertly stabilised strengths – boosting a solution for each skin type (don’t worry we’re just about to get into this). 



When integrating vitamin A into your skin care routine, there are a few things that need to be considered. For example, if you’re new to the ingredient or suffer from sensitive skin, you may experience some mild irritation, redness or dryness.  

However, always thinking one step ahead, Medik8's retinal (not to be confused with retinol) alleviates these skin care concern with its signature time release and stabilisation technologies. Effectively reducing its potential for irritation, all the brand’s retinal formulas are specifically designed to release the product gradually into the skin throughout the night for a comforted complexion – rather than all at once. Want to know how retinol and retinal differ? Get everything you need to know in our guide here 

But, as always with this powerhouse ingredient, it’s important to phase it into your routine. Keep scrolling to uncover Medik8’s advice on how to do this. 

  1. To begin with, use an entry-level strength retinol. While most complexions can start with Crystal Retinal 3, we recommend those who suffer from sensitivity to utilise Crystal Retinal 1.    
  2. Apply your chosen strength twice a week at night for the first two weeks, before moving onto every other night for a further two weeks. After this, your skin should be ready for nightly application.  
  3. Once your skin has built up its tolerance, you can them move up to a higher strength of retinol – we’re talking from Crystal Retinal 6 to 10. 
  4. Then, if you have been comfortably experiencing Crystal Retinal 10 every night for 3 months (AKA completed 2 full tubes) without experiencing any sensitivity you can even move up to the brand’s highest strength yet, Crystal Retinal 20.  


Now you know the ins and outs of Medik8’s CSA philosophy and how to use these solutions the right way, it’s time to introduce some of the brand’s other skin care superstars… 

Soft, smooth and irresistibly silky, Medik8’s Lipid Balance Cleansing Oil melts away stubborn make up, pollutants and impurities – without stripping your complexion of its natural oils. It features an optimised ratio of lipids that mimic and replenish the skin’s natural defence barrier, revealing supple, refreshed, radiant and moisturised skin.  

Ever heard of a toner that gently exfoliates, resurfaces, hydrates and smooths without irritating sensitive complexions, drying or leaving any sticky residue? You have now! Cue: Medik8’s Press and Glow Tonic. Filled with PHAs (which have larger molecule sizes than AHAs and BHAs) and infused with aloe vera, this solution is suitable for sensitive skin. Oh, and did we mention it now comes in a refill solution too?  

Medik8’s Liquid Peptides is a lightweight serum powered by different types of. Boosting elasticity and smoothing the look of fine lines, its peptide complex works to firm and plump skin, and block skin-damaging sugars. The results? A complexion that appears supple, smooth and soothed.  

Quenching your complexion’s thirst while unveiling an illuminous glow, Medik8’s Total Moisture Daily Facial Cream supports your skin’s barrier by locking in some much-appreciated moisture. Powered by its blend of peptides, the featherweight formula removes excess oil for refreshed and replenished results.  

An antioxidant-rich night cream, Medik8’s Advanced Night Restore works to remove daily aggressors and deeply replenish your skin while you're catching your much-needed shut-eye. Starring a cocktail of saskatoon berry and dragon fruit extract, it nourishes your skin with a buffet of nutrients. What’s more, it acts as the ideal perfect top coat to seal in your retinol serum allowing you to wake looking wonderfully rested with pillow-soft skin. 

Specially formulated to brighten, hydrate and smooth, Medik8’s C-Tetra Eye Serum is a hardworking hero that your peepers will thank you for! Fusing vitamins C and E, the lightweight formula keeps your contours looking and feeling fresh – no matter what you got up to last night.  


Trifonia Asmar
Writer and expert
View Trifonia Asmar's profile
Cult Beauty’s Senior SEO Copywriter, Trifonia started out in the industry when bold brows were just becoming a ‘thing’, and shares a passion for all things fashion and beauty. Currently embracing her curly girl journey (after endless years of straightening her strands), she is finally reverting to her natural ways! When Triffy isn’t busy testing out the latest curl-saving solutions, you’ll find her binging the latest reality TV show or on a long walk listening to her ever-evolving country music playlist.