Italic Future Perfect vs Medik8® Stable Retinal Night Serum

June 01, 2023

An in-depth dive between two different retinal serums.

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You might have heard of retinol but have you ever tried its lesser-known cousin, retinal?

Both belong to the family of vitamin A derivatives found in skincare that deliver incredible anti-aging benefits. Retinal however is prized for having a higher exfoliation rate and therefore works faster than retinol.

Most brands opt for retinol because it’s more recognizable and easy to source, but at Italic we put performance and efficacy above all else. Our Future Perfect Retinal Serum contains 0.5% retinal and retails for $30, a fraction of the price compared to most retinol and retinal serums. In this article, we will compare and analyze the key differences between our Future Perfect Retinal Serum and the Medik8® Crystal Retinal 10™ Stable Retinal Night Serum, a market leader in retinal.



  • Both serums are water-based which indicates a lightweight texture.
  • Both contain glycerin, a humectant and common moisturizing agent found in skincare.
  • Both contain squalane, an efficient hydrator known to lock in moisture.


  • Future Perfect Retinal Serum contains a higher concentration of retinal at 0.5%. Crystal Retinal 10™ contains 0.1% retinal (Medik8® has four different concentration options ranging from 0.01% to 0.1%).
  • Crystal Retinal 10™ contains 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid which is a form of vitamin C. This helps brighten and fade hyperpigmentation. Retinal and vitamin C can be super efficient when combined. However, the two strong actives also have the potential to irritate sensitive skin.
  • Future Perfect Retinal Serum contains niacinamide which is known to reduce the appearance of pores and improve skin texture. It’s also known to decrease irritation traditionally associated with retinals.
  • Crystal Retinal 10™ contains various oils to keep skin moisturized.
  • Future Perfect Retinal Serum contains apple fruit extract which is high in antioxidants and has anti-aging benefits.
  • Crystal Retinal 10™ contains colorants which is most likely added for aesthetic purposes versus the efficacy of the formula.
  • Crystal Retinal 10™ contains BHT which is on Italic’s ingredient blacklist. BHT helps stabilize the formula but there have been some studies loosely linking this ingredient to hormone disruption although more research needs to be done. As a safety measure, Italic does not include this ingredient in any of our formulas.


  • Both use airless packaging which is necessary with most retinal formulas. This prevents the formula from oxidizing, therefore keeping it more efficacious for the duration of it’s shelf life.
  • Medik8® seems to use an airless tube while Italic uses an airless bottle, both are just as effective.


Medik8® Crystal Retinal 10™ Stable Retinal Night Serum retails for $106 on its website and in various retailers. The Italic Future Perfect Retinal Serum currently retails for $30. Both serums also have the same 30 mL fill weight.


Both formulas contain moisturizing ingredients which are crucial when using retinal because the increased exfoliation can cause dryness. Both contain supporting ingredients to amplify the benefits of retinal. Medik8® contains vitamin C which generally works well with retinal but can be irritating for sensitive skin. Italic contains niacinamide which soothes skin to counteract the irritation that may come with retinal.

The biggest differences are the retinal concentration and price:

  • Italic contains 0.5% retinal while the highest Medik8® concentration is 0.1%
  • Italic retails for $30 while Medik8® retails for $106 (Italic has a 72% savings)

If you want to give Future Perfect Retinal Serum a try, get it here:

Future Perfect Retinal Serum

We supercharged this nourishing serum with the age-defying properties of retinal (a hyper-efficient alternative to retinol) to plump and revive the skin while balancing your complexion. Enriched with niacinamide and apple fruit extract, this unique formula helps improve skin texture, reduce hyperpigmentation, and diminish fine lines while you sleep. Made in the USA.

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Ingredient lists used for the comparison above.

Italic Future Perfect Retinal Serum
Ingredient List: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Niacinamide, C13-15 Alkane, Squalane, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Propanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Retinal, Caprylyl Glyceryl Ether, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Citric Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol

Medik8® Crystal Retinal 10™ Stable Retinal Night Serum
Ingredient List: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Isododecane, Cyclodextrin, Cetearyl Olivate, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Olivate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Squalane, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydroxyacetophenone, Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Oil, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Pentylene Glycol, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Retinal, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Alumina, Isostearic Acid, Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, BHT, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Sodium Polyaspartate, Dipteryx Odorata Bean Extract, Coumarin, Red 4, Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891.

*Ingredient list from Medik8® website on July 13, 2022

*Medik8® and Crystal Retinal 10™ are trademarks of Pangaea Laboratories Ltd. Corporation