It isn’t often that I talk about the same product twice on my blog. I first shared my thoughts on the Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum back in 2015. I liked it back then. It was one of the few retinol products that I found helped my skin, and was gentle, yet effective. So, why am I favouring it with a SECOND review?
Well, 2 reasons really.
The first is because I wanted to share that Mad Hippie is now available in Malaysia. I have not tried many products from them (Only the Vitamin C and Vitamin A serums – here’s what I think of the Vitamin C), which brings me to my second reason.
I was told that the Mad Hippie Vitamin A serum had been improved upon with a new, and effective retinol ingredient, and I wanted to see how a product that worked well the first time around, could be improved upon.
Well, well, well. Knock me down with a feather – it still is very impressive! 🙂
My invitation to try the new and improved Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum came at a time when I was going back to using retinol in the evening. Thus far, I have not been terribly lucky with using retinol, as some formulations have a tendency to break me out. So, I was concentrating on using up my Sunday Riley Luna oil.
So, when this landed on my desk, I decided I’d have a go. After all, it is now easily available locally, and I remembered that it was effective, and it is really, fairly affordable.
The serum is still a fairly thick emulsion, that comes in a dropper style dispenser. It is an opaque whitish-yellow colour and smells slightly fruity. Thus far, it seems the same, based on memory.
The difference lies in the type of retinoid used – Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR). Previously they used Retinyl Retinoate. So, what is Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR)?
What is Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR)?
I did a little digging, and it turns out that Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate is the newest form of retinoic acid ester, that promises efficacy, but without irritation. In fact, it is said that Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate works just as effectively as Tretinoin (Retin–A), without the irritation that Tretinoin (Retin–A) brings. Only Retinoic Acid has a biological effect on skin, while other types of retinoids have to convert to retinoic acid before having any effect. Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, being a retinoic acid ester means it does not require conversion, which from my understanding, means it works right out of the bottle.
You can read a little more here and here. Now know that there are now quite a few products that contain Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (one of them is the Zelens Vitamin A serum that I’m dying to try now I know a little more! It is also found in some The Ordinary products – which I won’t try for personal reasons) but there aren’t many yet. And one of them, is this Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum. I read that it contains 2% of Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate but I can’t find more information on this.
Truthfully, I’m no skincare expert. I can only tell you how a product performs for me, and if it is indeed possible, this Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum is now even better than before. I almost did not want to believe it 😛
I have been using this serum only at night, for about 3-4 weeks now (I’ve lost count), after I had a last bout of issues with my skin. Sometimes, I go off track and my skin derails along with me. When I get back on track, my skin starts behaving again. This was one of the serums I used to get my skin back on track.
I can attest to skin that is smoother, softer and more plumped. I have laugh lines that are noticeably less obvious, and my skin just looks generally better overall. Do note however, that I cannot say with 100% certainty that it is 100% attributed to this product. I also use a Vitamin C serum in the day, and I am paranoid about hydration. But this serum has certainly helped, because I have noticed a marked difference in skin quality, with regular use. Everything in my earlier review still stands true so you can read it for better depth and comparison if you like.
Is HPR better as an ingredient? Honestly, I won’t know either. But thus far, I have experienced no irritation to my skin at all. I am very careful to wear a high SPF sunscreen every single day, and I am also careful to only use this product at night. Retinol can and will make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so to avoid further sun damage, protect your skin at all times.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum with Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR) is an upgrade of their already very good formula. The formula feels comfortable on the skin, and leaves no residue. I find it very effective in making my skin texture better overall, and noticeably softer and smoother. It is also very gentle which makes this a good introduction to using retinol in your skincare. This was a good product and remains a very good product and I have nothing bad to say about it at all. For the record, I use half to one pump each time. They still haven’t advised us how much to use each time.
PROS: Affordable, Lightweight emulsion texture sinks into skin easily, Not drying, No irritation, Makes skin feel smoother and softer, Skin looks more plumped and lines are less noticeable, Effective and gentle
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants to try an effective yet gentle retinol (vitamin A) serum, Anyone who has problems with fine lines and rough skin
PRICE: RM139 (presently on sale) | US$33.99 for 30ml
Here is the ingredient list for the new Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum with Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR).
Compare this with the previous version I used.
There is some different ordering of ingredients and change of ingredients. But if you ask me, the new one is all good. Thumbs up!
Did you try the Mad Hippie Vitamin A serum the first time around? What Retinol products are you using now?
I must say I am quite impressed by this one. But I am also now champing at the bit to try the Zelens Vitamin A serum since I’ve had such good results with their Vitamin C! Now, let me shake out my couch for loose change and see if there’s enough to splurge yet LOL!