Everything you need to know about ALLSKIN | MED and how it works for anti-ageing

Jenna Swift

Jenna Swift

Ingredients, Most Read


ALLSKIN | MED is a range of professional skincare products with a single aim: to make your clients feel great in their skin. It is a range of anti-ageing products that help to treat ageing skin with advanced ingredients and technologies that will target every layer of skin to deliver remarkable results with a gentle approach. 

If you want to stock ALLSKIN | MED products in your clinic, it’s important to understand exactly what the range is, the ingredients included and how they work to treat your client’s skin. 

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the ingredients used in ALLSKIN | MED products, how they work and how you decide which products and ingredients will work best for your clients. 

Click below to read more about each section: 

What are retinoids and how do they work in anti-ageing products? 

Retinoids are vitamin A-derived ingredients that are the most used and studied anti-ageing compounds. Retinoids were originally used as part of acne treatment in the 1970s but studies have since proven that they can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles too by increasing skin cell turnover and the production of collagen in the skin. 

Types of Retinoids 

Retinoids are broken down into four main categories and they vary in their function and strength. Types include: 

  • Retinyl Esters – these are the less potent form of retinoids and are the least irritating, making them perfect for people with sensitive skin or those who have not used retinoids before. They can help to treat a number of skin concerns such as lines and wrinkles, uneven texture and tone and milder forms of acne. 
  • Retinol – this is the most popular retinoid found in skincare, used for its anti-ageing and skin renewing properties. 
  • Retinaldehyde – also known as retinal, this is the strongest of the over the counter retinoids. It’s more potent than retinyl esters and retinol and can help with uneven skin tone and texture, wrinkles and fine lines. However, it can be an irritant to people who have not used retinoids before. 
  • Retinoic Acid – this is only available by prescription and is effective at encouraging cell turnover, stimulating collagen, treating acne, softening wrinkles and providing a youthful glow to the skin. 

Key benefits of retinoids for skin 

Retinoids are used within a range of skin care products due to the number of skin concerns that can be treated, their varying strengths and their benefits. The key indications for retinoids in skincare include: 

  • Fine lines 
  • Sun damage 
  • Enlarged pores 
  • Acne 
  • Uneven skin tone 

Let’s have a look at some of the key benefits of retinoids for your client’s skin. 

1. Fights signs of ageing 

Fine lines and wrinkles are common signs of ageing. As we age, skin cell turnover slows down and we produce less collagen, leading to a duller texture and wrinkling. Retinoids are effective at increasing skin cell turnover, collagen production and moisture retention which improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

2. Evens skin tone 

As we have already mentioned, retinoids stimulate skin cell turnover which means they have an exfoliating effect. When retinoids are used in skincare products the exfoliating effect removes dull and dry skin to reveal brighter, more even-toned skin.

3. Effective on acne 

The first retinoid was approved in 1971 as an acne treatment. It controls a number of factors that cause acne such as oil production and inflammation as well as preventing future outbreaks by preventing dead skin cells from further clogging pores. Fewer outbreaks means a reduction in acne scars and can amplify the effects of other medicated creams and gels, allowing clients to get the maximum benefits from the treatments they’re using. 

The role of retinoids in anti ageing skincare products 

Retinoids are a popular ingredient for anti ageing skincare products, and for good reason! They are derivatives of vitamin A and anti-oxidants which means they help to neutralise the free radicals that destroy healthy skin cells. 

When used effectively, it helps to encourage cell regeneration, stimulates new collagen formulation and prevents the breakdown of existing collagen. As collagen is replenished and old skin cells are removed, hyperpigmentation fades, fine lines recede and the skin left underneath has a brighter, smoother appearance.

How are retinoids used in ALLSKIN | MED anti-ageing products? 

ALLSKIN | MED developed by Cantabria Labs is a range of clinically proven skincare available through professional skin clinics. The range focuses on the core indications of ageing and photodamaged skin and is the perfect choice for the majority of your client base. 

Retinoids and ALLSKIN | MED 

The range has been developed with an innovative, patented combination of powerful retinoids with a gradual release for maximum efficacy and excellent skin tolerance. Retinoids (RetinSphere Technology) used in ALLSKIN | MED is included in advanced cosmetic formulations which enhance their activity while ensuring maximum tolerability. 

ALLSKIN | MED’s pioneering patented combination of retinoids blends maximum efficacy with excellent skin tolerance. Pure retinol is contained in glycospheres and microsponges which enables gradual release into the skin. This is combined with powerful hydroxypinacolone retinoate with immediate release, all brought together in a water-free serum which maximises the activity of the ingredients. 

The retinol serums are available in three strengths: 0.2%, 0.5% and 1%. This means they can be incorporated into any skincare routine, whether your clients are new to retinol or you want to step them up a level. 

Everything you need to know about vitamin C in skincare 

Vitamin C has been a key ingredient in skincare products for decades and is now considered to be key in any anti-ageing skincare regime. While your clients might be getting vitamin C from their diet, there’s no guarantee that it will go straight to their skin. Using creams, gels or other topical products containing vitamin C provides the most direct way to help them get the benefits of vitamin C for their skin. 

When it comes to vitamin C in skincare, there are two categories: active and inactive. Ascorbic acid is the only active form of vitamin C and all other forms are inactive because they have to be converted to ascorbic acid within the skin before the benefits can be felt.

Types of vitamin C used in skincare 

  • Ascorbic acid – this is the most researched type of vitamin C in terms of its benefits for the skin. It is a pure form of vitamin C and can help to fight free radicals, boost collagen production and reduce dark spots. It’s one of the most effective types of vitamin C available and most other forms need to be converted to ascorbic acid before they’re beneficial to skin. 
  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate – this is more stable than ascorbic acid but can be reactive. It is usually used in formulas as an encapsulation so is put into a protective shell to help it remain stable as it gets into the skin. It offers the same benefits as ascorbic acid in terms of skin brightening and collagen synthesis. 
  • Ascorbic methylsilanol pectinate – this is a complex blend of a number of compounds rather than just a straightforward vitamin C derivative. Silanol is used to stabilise the vitamin C and aids with skin penetration too so helps to improve the delivery of the vitamin C into the skin. Silanol has also been shown to strengthen the membranes of skin cells, which makes them more resistant to attack by free radicals. 
  • Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate – an oil soluble form of vitamin C which means it won’t start to react and convert into ascorbic acid until it comes into contact with oils in the skin. As a result, it’s one of the most stable forms of vitamin C with a slower release time which provides a longer window of active vitamin C in your skin and a longer window of protection. 

What are the benefits of vitamin C? 

Like any vitamin, vitamin C is not produced by our bodies – it’s something we get from external food or supplements but only a small amount will make it to your client’s skin. 

Protects skin from free radicals 

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. It helps to protect skin from free radicals which lead to skin damage and accelerate skin ageing. Free radicals come from UV light, the ozone, smoke, and pollution. These can deplete stores of vitamin C in the skin over time which is why products containing vitamin C can be beneficial. 

Promotes collagen production 

As we age, collagen production within the client’s skin starts to break down which means they will start to see fine lines, wrinkles and sagginess. Vitamin C helps to protect the collagen that is already in the skin by inhibiting the enzymes that break down collagen. It also aids in healthier collagen production as it is a cofactor for two enzymes needed to build and cross-link collagen. 

Reduces hyperpigmentation and dullness 

Vitamin C is best known for its ability to create brighter, more even-toned skin by decreasing the production of melanin. 


Vitamin C helps to inhibit the proteins that start the inflammation process which makes it effective for healing acne and preventing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

What are AHAs in skincare? Everything you need to know 

AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid. AHAs are a series of acids that are derived from plant and animal sources (some are also synthetically produced). Glycolic acid, malic acid and citric acid are all AHAs that are found in skincare products such as toners, exfoliators and serums. 

How do AHAs work?

AHAs are water soluble which means they’re unable to penetrate through the skin’s natural oils. They are often added to skincare products for their exfoliating properties on the surface of the skin (stratum corneum). This makes them perfect for evening skin tone, lifting pigmentation and fading scarring. 

There are seven types of AHAs: 

  • Citric acid 
  • Glycolic acid 
  • Hydroxycaproic acid 
  • Hydroxycaprylic acid 
  • Lactic acid 
  • Malic acid 
  • Tartaric acid 

It’s important to check which AHAs are included in the skincare products, and how they are delivered to make sure they don’t cause irritation and are suitable for your clients.

Why are AHAs used in skincare? 

AHAs are used for a variety of different reasons including: 


Exfoliating properties within AHAs help to shed skin cells from the surface of the skin to remove dead skin cells and make way for new skin cell generation. 

Visibly brighten skin 

As dead skin cells are broken down and removed, the skin underneath is left looking brighter and more radiant. 

Collagen production 

Collagen is produced within the middle layer of the skin (the dermis). When the upper layer of skin (epidermis) is removed through exfoliation, AHAs are given the opportunity to work in the dermis. AHAs can also help to promote production of collagen by destroying old collagen fibres and making way for new ones. 

This feature is why AHAs are used across a wide range of anti-ageing skincare products. 

Promote blood flow to skin 

AHAs have inflammatory properties that can help to promote blood flow to the skin. Proper blood flow ensures that the skin is provided with the nutrients it needs from oxygen in red blood cells. This can help to correct pale or dull complexion. 

Increase product absorption 

AHAs can help skincare products to absorb into the skin better. Without exfoliating the surface of the skin, skincare products will sit on top of the dead skin cells without hydrating the skin cells underneath. AHAs break down the layer of dead skin enabling other products to penetrate new skin cells more effectively. 

AHA vs BHA for skin: the key differences you need to be aware of 

AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acid) are both hydroxy acids that are used to treat a variety of skin concerns. Both provide highly effective exfoliation methods but they are slightly different in the way they’re used. You should be aware of these differences when providing your clients with the right skincare products. 

AHAs and BHAs both: 

  • Decrease inflammation 
  • Decrease the appearance of large pores and surface wrinkles 
  • Even out skin tone 
  • Improve overall skin texture 
  • Remove dead skin cells 
  • Unclog pores to prevent acne 

Let’s have a look at the key differences between AHAs and BHAs. 

What are AHAs?

AHAs are water soluble which means they only work on the surface of the skin. They help to moisturise skin so they are often used in products for clients with normal to dry, sun damaged skin. They have been proven to be effective in reducing visible signs of sun damage and ageing such as crepey skin and wrinkles.  

Key uses for AHAs include: 

  • Pigmentation such as age spots, melasma and scars 
  • Enlarged pores 
  • Fine lines and surface wrinkles 
  • Uneven skin tone 

You may want to avoid products containing AHAs for clients with extremely dry and sensitive skin as they can cause irritation. Clients may also need to work up to daily use to prevent irritation. 

What are BHAs? 

BHAs work on the skin’s surface and deep inside pores. They are oil soluble which means they’re perfect for normal to oily skin prone to blemishes and enlarged pores as they can cut through oil in clogged pores to unblock them. 

Key uses for BHAs include: 

  • Acne 
  • Sun damage 

How are growth factors used for anti-ageing? 

Growth factors are naturally occurring proteins found in the body but they are also added to anti-ageing skincare products due to their many benefits. 

What are growth factors? 

Growth factors are proteins that regulate cellular growth, proliferation and differentiation under controlled conditions. They play an essential part in maintaining healthy skin structure and function.

Growth factors are secreted by all cell types in the epidermis and dermis including keratinocytes, fibroblasts and melanocytes.

How do growth factors work for anti-ageing? 

Younger skin remains firm and keeps its elasticity. However, ageing causes the levels of growth factors to reduce, which means skin can find it harder to repair damage and signs of ageing will become more visible. 

As a result, skincare treatments containing growth factors will help to:

  • Stimulate cell repair and regeneration 
  • Promote the production of collagen and elastin 
  • Diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles 
  • Improve skin texture and elasticity

Growth factors stimulate the regeneration of cells that fight signs of ageing by prompting them to produce structural components that are responsible for the skin’s elasticity, firmness and bounce. This can help to prevent signs of ageing such as fine lines, crepiness, thinness and sagging. 

Growth factors and ALLSKIN | MED 

SCA PRO growth factor technology used within ALLSKIN | MED products is unique and clinically proven. It’s based on the purified extraction of the snail Cryptomphalus aspersa.

This powerful technology is rich in growth factors, glycosaminoglycans and anti-oxidants and is clinically proven to deliver targeted dermal rejuvenation by stimulating fibroblasts to create new collagen and elastin. It’s this powerful technology is unique to Cantabria Labs and is backed by years of research and development. SCA PRO growth factor technology works fantastically alongside clinic treatments, with significant data to show that is help to reduce redness immediately after treatment1, accelerate skin recovery2,3 and enhance the results of rejuvenating skin treatments. 2,3

References: 1. Sisto T, Bussoletti C, Celleno L. Half-face evaluation of regenerative and reparative properties of a serum containing the secret of Cryptomphalus aspersa 15% (SCA) versus placebo, in two groups of patients with acne and photoaging treated with chemical peeling. Esperienze dermatologiche-Dermatological experiences. 2013;15. 2. Truchuelo MT, et al. A cosmetic treatment based on the secretion of Cryptomphalus aspersa 40% improves the clinical results after the use of nonablative fractional laser in skin aging. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020;19(3):622-8. 3. Fernandez-Gonzalez P, Vitale M, Truchuelo MT. Early and maintained application of the secretion of Cryptomphalus aspersa (SCA) 40% improves cutaneous healing after ablative fractional laser in skin aging. J. Cosmet. Dermatol. 2020;00:1–6.

Fernblock and anti-ageing 

Fernblock is another key ingredient included within the ALLSKIN | MED range. In this section, we’ll explore this ingredient further to learn more about how it can help in anti-ageing products. 

What is Fernblock?

Fernblock is a patented ingredient developed by Cantabria Labs and included within the ALLSKIN | MED Mineral Fluid SPF50. It is derived from the tropical fern Polypodium leucotomos, which can be found in Central and South America. Over time, this plant developed powerful defence systems against solar radiation. 

How does Fernblock work for anti-ageing? 

Fernblock is a unique extract that contains powerful anti-oxidant and photoprotective properties that can improve the skin’s defences against four damaging types of radiation from the sun, not just the ones that cause sunburn. 

By protecting against the sun’s radiation, Fernblock can help to prevent the common signs of ageing that occur within the skin such as fine lines and wrinkles. Fernblock can also help to increase collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production in the skin which can help to prevent wrinkles from forming and to keep skin firm and looking youthful1,2,3. In addition, it is also proven to reduce sun spots4,5 and protect from further sun damage6,7.

Recurrent exposure to UV light is a key cause of skin ageing and protection from the sun from Fernblock is key to helping to prevent further damage in the future. Fernblock is also the key ingredient in Heliocare 360°, a leading range of evidence-based sun protection products, also developed by Cantabria Labs. 

References: 1. Alonso-Lebrero JL, et al. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2003;70(1):31-7. 2. Phillips N, et al. Arch Dermatol Res. 2009;301(7):487-95. 3. Zamarron A, et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 ;19(8). pii: E2250. 4. Goh CL, et al. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(3):14-9. 5. Mohammad TF, Lim HW et al. Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit. Presentations SOCS & Society of  Photomedicine, AAD 2016. 6. Middelkamp-Hup MA, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;51(6):910-8.  7. Zattra E, et al. Am J Pathol. 2009;175(5):1952-61.

EDAFENCE and anti-ageing  

EDAFENCE features within ALLSKIN | MED and is another ingredient developed exclusively by Cantabria Labs. 


EDAFENCE is derived from a hardy Antarctic grass (Deschampsia antarctica) which has evolved with the ability to protect itself from pollution, extreme temperatures and sunlight. ALLSKIN | MED harnesses this power to strengthen the skin’s barrier and protect it from external aggressors. The effects of EDAFENCE within anti-ageing skin products have been demonstrated by a number of different clinical trials. 

How does EDAFENCE work for anti-ageing? 

EDAFENCE is included within ALLSKIN | MED to prevent skin damage that is caused by pollution and to provide anti-oxidant activity. Its anti-pollution technology is used to prevent and repair the damage caused by environmental stressors such as oxidising agents, tobacco smoke, heavy metals and urban pollutants.

EDAFENCE works in a number of ways: 

  • Helps prevent hyperpigmentation and dark spots – the activation of the AhR receptor is the main cause of pollution-induced skin damage, including hyperpigmentation, inflammation and premature ageing. EDAFENCE has demonstrated that it can block this receptor which helps to prevent these common signs of ageing from worsening or from occurring in the future.1 
  • Improves skin barrier function – EDAFENCE has the ability to prevent the damage often caused by contaminants in the skin barrier which can help to prevent further damage to the skin.1 

Learn more about the brand and what it means to become an ALLSKIN | MED Partner

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References: 1. Zamarrón A, Morel E, Lucena SR, et al. Extract of Deschampsia antarctica (EDA) Prevents Dermal Cell Damage Induced by UV Radiation and2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(6):1356.


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