A313 – Retinol Pomade (epic miracle worker!) UPDATED

A313 Retinol Pomade


When I first heard about retinol, I was very sceptical, and I am now a convert thanks to A313 retinol pomade. Retinol is a form of vitamin A when used topically boast an array of benefits including:

  • Improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduction in hyperpigmentation
  • Brighter complexion
  • Increased cell turnover
  • Helping with acne and breakouts
  • Encourages skin regeneration
  • Probably another million things I can’t think of right now!

So I jumped on the retinol train, I was weary as I was aware that retinol takes some getting used to and you need to phase it into regular use gradually. 

I was reading about Avibon; this was the original french pharmacy go-to retinol. However, the makers stopped producing it mysteriously. I believe A313 is the replacement (don’t quote me on that). A313 is weaker than Avibon, but still very effective!

A313 is formulated with retinol esters, which means it has to convert several times in the skin before it turns into retinoic acid, yes that’s the good stuff that delivers all the benefits! If you were to get retinol on prescription, the likelihood is this will be a different type of retinol closer to/is retinoic acid, therefore a vast reduction if conversions and an increase in efficacy. 

There is about 0.2% of useable retinol, which doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, it’s plenty enough if you are starting on a retinol journey. I’ve used other retinol’s, but for some reason, this seems much more robust. 

You will notice this comes in an aluminium tube, to maintain freshness. A313 is an ointment, so expect a thick formula akin to soft Vaseline. I appreciate this sounds utterly horrendous but stick with me. The key to this stuff is ‘less is more’ anything more than the size of a pea is too much; that amount will be enough to do your face and neck. 

Before application, you want to make sure your skin is 100% dry – if you don’t, your skin will be itching like mad. Applying A313 is not the easiest thing to do; it very thick and doesn’t necessarily want to spread in a nice even layer. I found that warming the product with your finger helps immensely with this. 

It is best to do this at least an hour before going to bed, as the product makes your skin feel a little sticky and look a bit greasy. Do not (I repeat DO NOT) touch your face while this is absorbing; otherwise, it will itch, as the product will react with any grease or moisture on your fingers. From the initial application, it should take approximately 20-30 minutes to settle/absorb.

With this sort of texture, you would expect the product to cause breaks as it feels very occlusive. For some reason, it does not. The base of this product is called macrogol, which helps to stabilise the retinol and helps the product absorb. Macrogol is a polyethylene glycol that can be used in cosmetics and is a humectant. This being the case, moisturising after the product has absorbed is optional.

The overnight results, plump, and very soft skin. With longer-term use, this helped (along with an exfoliating regime) to massively reduce my hyperpigmentation marks. In real life, you had to be standing nose-to-nose with me to notice any sign of discolouration. 

As with all skincare, it takes time, and 3-6 months of consistent and continuous use will yield fantastic results. By this, I mean, spot-free and barely any hyperpigmentation marks on my skin. I don’t have any fine lines or wrinkles, so I can not vouch for that. 

If you are new to retinol, you will need to build-up using A313. Otherwise, you might have red, peeling, and itchy skin. I started off using it one night for the first week, two nights the second, and so on. I ended up using this five times a week and doing a deep exfoliating treatment on the other two days (non-consecutive). 

As with all retinoids, make sure that you do not mix it with anything harsh or overly exfoliating at the same time. Let it be the star ingredient of your nighttime routine, seriously it is all you need at night. In the morning, make sure you wear sunscreen, as your skin might be sensitive to sunlight. 

If I weren’t so fond of trying new products, this would be one of the permanent products in my routine. 

At the time of writing, you could buy a tube of A313 from a French company called Soin et Nature for about €7.55. With the shipping on top, you may as well look around at the other french pharmacy beauty products as they are some of the best!

My final thoughts on A313 retinol pomade

I am in love with this product; even from the first use, you are left with plump and smooth skin. With continued use, it helped me have the best skin (in terms of breakouts and hyperpigmentation) I ever had in my adult life (that I can remember :-)).

This is a relatively long article for me – which should go so way in showing my appreciation for this product!


There is very little scientific evidence on the efficacy of retinol esters, but the few studies that exist suggest that they are not effective. I have repurchased this and will try again and update this article as necessary. However, I found that this product worked for me.


5 star rating

For the price and the results give it a go!

To read about other retinol products, please click here.

Have you used this product or something like it? Tell me about your experiences in the comments section below.

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