Dr Different VITALIFT-A Forte Review
This post contains affiliate links. Product provided by Sophie beauty box.
Do your skincare goals include diminishing the early signs of aging, improving the appearance of pores, increasing cell turnover, fighting hyperpigmentation, and addressing the overall appearance of skin? Then your routine needs a retinoid! Retinoids are the gold standard of skincare. There are several types of retinoids, among them the best known retinol, retinyl palmitate, and retinaldehyde. Often people say “retinol” to describe all of them, but retinoid is a more correct term for the category.
Kbeauty doesn’t have that many retinoid options, although more are coming out due to global demand. The main brand I use is Dr Different - read my review for the original vitalift, vitaacnal cream, and the eye & neck cream. I have graduated from the regular vitalift to Dr Different VITALIFT-A Forte, available on Amazon (official Dr Different storefront), Olive Young, and Stylevana (save with code INF10KBH).
The main difference between the Vitalift-A and Forte is the amount of retinoid in the formula. The forte has more retinal content than the original formula, although the brand isn’t the most forthcoming about the exact percentages. They did tell me that the vitaacnal formula has the most retinoid concentration out of the three.
Retinol vs Retinal
When applied to the skin, the more commonly known retinol must be converted to retinal and then to retinoic acid, but retinal is ready to directly go to retinoic acid. That last conversion is rapid, and since the first conversion is skipped, retinal can provide faster results than retinol. I am not a scientist by any means, but this is my best understanding of the difference between retinol and retinal, and why Dr Different is able to claim that their products work quicker than the ones with retinol.
Dr Different VITALIFT-A Forte has a rich, creamy texture and the yellow color often present in retinoid containing products. I do not notice a scent. The packaging design has changed a bit since I have received my products (I went through a tube of Vitalift-A, currently finishing Forte while sometimes using the VITAACNAL, and have two brand new tubes of vitaacnal and forte waiting their turn).
Retinal is UV sensitive and should only be used at night. Don’t forget to use sunscreen every morning and reapply if you are outdoors for an extended period of time.
Just like the original, this cream absorbs well and isn’t sticky. It can be applied on “bare”, dry skin after cleansing, the way the manufacturer suggests. But I like the method often mentioned by dermatologist Dr Dray - she does her basic routine, complete with a moisturizer, lets everything soak in until the skin is dry, and then finishes with a retinoid. This way, chances for dryness and irritation are reduced. You can try both ways and see which one you prefer. I have a step by step video tutorial on how I layer skincare, including retinoids, here.
Skincare is a long haul game - do not expect immediate results. Retinoids are no exception. With continued use, my pores are looking smaller and more clear, and my freckles are almost nonexistent. I’m hoping it’s also doing something to slow down the formation of fine lines, but preventative measures are pretty much impossible to measure.
Pro tip - apply a bit to the backs of your hands before bed, because the skin there ages quickly and is susceptible to sun / age spots.
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Dr Different VITALIFT-A Forte ingredients: Purified Water, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Squalane, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Cholesterol, Phytosteryl/Behenyl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyglyceryl-10 Oleate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polyglutamic Acid, Ceramide NP, Stearic Acid, Retinal (0.1%), Oleic Acid, Tocopherol, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA