The $35 cult retinol Leigh Campbell bought in Paris (but you can now get in Australia.)

As any skincare girlie will tell you, the French beauty scene is renowned for its really high-quality ingredients, especially in the skincare world. Like, it's truly next level. The pharmacies! The products! The science! Gah.

They're just so innovative with their formulas and have some of the most sought-after brands in the world — with cult brand A313 being up there with the best.

Yes! A313. Heard of it? It’s a pharmaceutical-grade topical vitamin A treatment that you can buy over-the-counter — and it's so popular and so dingin' effective that it has actually been dubbed one of France's 'best-kept beauty secrets.'

Classified as a retinoid (more powerful than retinol), it promises to tackle a variety of different skin concerns ranging from uneven skin tone and texture to acne and signs of ageing.

The good news? Yes, it's available in Australia.

Watch: Speaking of skincare, here are 7 ways to improve your skin while sleeping! Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia

In fact, after chatting with our very own Leigh Campbell on You Beauty podcast's The Formula, I've officially decided to place my order and give it a whirl. The best part? You can snag it for around $35 — which is pretty good considering the price of similar cosmeceutical products on the market.

As Leigh shared with me, you can currently get it from an Aussie site called French Beauty Co for $35 a tube — although it's currently sold out (told you it was popular!), but it also looks like you can also get it on Amazon.

Here's what it looks like:

Image: French Beauty Co/Canva.


Very science-y and boring looking, we know — but goodness, from what Leigh Campbell says, it's effective as hell.

"I'm doing a retinal generally a couple of nights a week," she said. "When I was in Paris late last year, I bought the cult pharmacy A313 cream. After I bought it, I did a lot of research about it in terms of strength — and compared to prescription it's not that hardcore."

Good, good — do go on...

"But I still really wanted to ease into it. I don't believe in skin purging. I don't have the time, I don't want to go through the flake and I feel like technology has advanced to the point where we shouldn't have to go through a purge."

If you haven't heard of skin purging before, it's basically where your skin is kind of freaking out and adjusting to the ingredient — that's why it's normally recommended to start slowly. 

"So, I read a really great blow-by-blow blog by someone that had tried it and had a crazy purge — so she just used it once a week for an hour as a mask," Leigh said. 

Yes, a retinoid mask! 


Similar to the sandwich method (where you layer retinol in between two layers of moisturiser), a once-a-week retinol mask is the perfect way to minimise some of the potential side effects and slowly incorporate vitamin A into your routine.

"I've been doing that on my Sunday night after my 'everything shower'. I will just use it as a mask once a week," shared Leigh.

On the other nights, Leigh said she's also been using and loving the OIe Hendriksen Transform Double Rewind Pro-Grade 0.3% Retinol Serum, $103, saying it was relatively new but really good because it doesn't cause irritation.

Listen: Want to get your ears around the full episode? Click below.

"I'm doing the mask if I'm a good girl every Sunday, and then I'll use this other retinol, maybe one other night. And then the other nights I'm just focusing on hydration."

So, there you have it! If you're looking for a hardworking, science-backed retinol that's not going to take a chunk out of your bank account (all of us), this may be one to check out. 

And hey, if it's good enough for Leigh Campbell...

Do you use retinol? What's your favourite? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@leighacampbell.

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