Our Rating: 3 stars

I recently tested the Arcona Vitamin A Complex ($68). Its key active is retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, which is one of the body’s key nutrients and the premier go-to skin care ingredient for anti-aging. It is important to stress that Arcona uses no petrochemicals or added binders and fillers, parabens and toxic ingredients. It is a reputable brand that uses cosmeceutical-grade ingredients and strict processing standards to produce effective products. The claim for the Arcona Vitamin A Complex is that it reverses the signs of aging, sun damage and hyperpigmentation through its “synergistic” formulation geared at speeding up cell turnover, resurfacing the skin, and stimulating collagen and elastin growth. I tested the product for an extended period (eight weeks instead of four) to see if this was a valid claim.

Recently reformulated minus Arbutin, which prevents melanin formation, and quercetin, a powerful antioxidant, both found in Arcona’s other products, this lightweight, pale yellow, runny serum had a faint smell of witch hazel (the first ingredient on the list) and easily dispensed from a convenient air-tight frosted gray pump. The serum glides smoothly and absorbs well when applied. I concentrated the two to three times a week application on the cheeks where my melasma spots are, as well as to that center area just below the neck where my collarbones meet (I may have been wearing v neck shirts too often which left that part more exposed). With glycolic acid also among the ingredients, I noticed that this product gently and gradually exfoliates the skin just enough to shed the dead skin cells without causing irritation and revealing a softer, smoother and firmer skin texture only after a couple of weeks.

However, as to the hyperpigmentation diminishing claim, I really could not detect much with close scrutiny through my magnifying mirror. I would say though that the melasma discoloration may probably be a half shade lighter, just because I find that I can easily cover them with my makeup concealer with fewer strokes or layers than the period prior to the treatment.

Arcona states that the effects are cumulative, so I expect to see further improvement over time. It has been two months since I started using Arcona Vitamin A Complex and it seems there is enough product left for another two to three more months (but I can’t really tell since the container is opaque and doesn’t show how little remains) so the price being less than $100 ($68) for the 35 ml serum is of good value considering the benefits that it had already achieved. I will surely update this review when the supply runs out to let the community know if there is a visible difference in the hyperpigmentation aspect.

Ingredients: Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Agua (Water), Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate, Fructooligosaccharides (D-beta), Glycolic Acid, Glucosamine HCI (D), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Acacia Gum, Benzyl Alcohol