Osmosis Calm Level 2 Vitamin A Serum

I’ve been playing with a few things by Osmosis skincare. I talked about the brand a little bit in my first post. Osmosis is a medical grade skincare brand that believes in a holistic approach. Next up for review is the Level 2 Calm Vitamin A Serum. This is a retinal serum. Their retinal comes in three levels-2, 3 & 4 based on your skins sensitivity and needs you can pick your strength. I was sent Level 2 by the brand. Details per Osmosis:

Calm is designed for moderately-sensitive skin types who desire a dramatic restoration of the skin rejuvenation process. The Osmosis vitamin A serums are the most powerful age-reversing serums available. It encourages the skin to calm inflammation, restore the protective barrier, increase skin nutrients and immune repair, rebuild the thin dermis, normalize oil, hydrate, firm and protect skin from UV rays.

Level 2 is designed for sensitive skin but it’s a good place for anyone to start who hasn’t tried retinol by a brand yet. The directions state to apply 1-2 pumps morning and evening. I applied two pumps in the evening only. I love that this serum works on sensitivity and redness (beta-glucan, cloud berry) in addition to the retinol benefits. Osmosis also includes peptide Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, lactic acid and niacinamide. This isn’t just a retinol serum. It’s a night repair serum that targets anti-aging in multiple aspects. It’s also got a lot of natural ingredients and extracts. I love that they made this so well rounded.

This serum contains 0.042% Retinaldehyde or retinal. Retinal is different than retinol. Both are forms of vitamin A or retinoids which accelerate skin cell turnover leading to a rejuvenated complexion. Retinol is the gold standard in skincare because it helps with everything-lines, wrinkles, uneven texture and skin tone, dullness. You name it retinol helps. It’s your anti-aging power house ingredient. It ranges from prescription strength to over the counter. Retinol and Retinaldehyde both have to be converted by enzymes in the skin to vitamin A aka retinoic acid. Only as this last product retinoic acid can retinoids work on the skin. Retinaldehyde is a newer form of retinol (it’s been around as it’s in the conversion) but it wasn’t in a lot of retinol serums until recently. Here’s the basic conversion:

Retinyl palmitate > Retinol > Retinaldehyde > Retinoic acid

So the closer you get to retinoic acid the more effective it is. Retinaldehyde or retinal is over the counter like retinol. They both have far less irritation or side effects than prescription retinoic acid. I can use either without any redness or flaking. I find Retinaldehyde to be a touch more effective than retinol yet I experience less side effects from it. I do tend to experience more dryness in my skin when I use a nightly retinol/retinal so I make up for it with soothing & hydrating extras. This serum has a yellow color and a light gel serum texture. I love that it’s a non creamy lighter texture serum. Too many retinols have a heavier cream finish which I don’t like. This produces great results while remaining gentle. I had no side effects from using (other than the dryness). I love how well rounded it is with the other additives and I would 100% buy it again. This just made it into my top three retinol serums.


Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Phosphatidylcholine, Pentylene Glycol, Asiaticoside, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Niacinamide, Dimethyl Sulfone, Lactic Acid, Panthenol, Pyridoxine HCl, Fulvic Acid, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Retinal*, Hydroxyproline, Beta-Glucan, Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloud Berry) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Bark Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle ) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Cyclodextrin, Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate.
*0.042% Retinaldehyde

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