Sensitive Skin? Try Encapsulated Retinol
While retinol is hailed as a powerful anti-aging ingredient that fights fine lines and discoloration, people with sensitive skin may experience irritation, dryness or flaking. Here’s the bright side, though: There’s a newer version of retinol called encapsulated retinol that works on a time-released basis to give you all the same benefits with fewer side effects. To find out more about how this vitamin A derivative works, we spoke with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Meghan Feely.
What Is Encapsulated Retinol?
According to Dr. Feely, encapsulated retinol is a version of retinol that envelops the ingredient in a protective barrier. “The objective is to increase the stability of retinol, enabling it to penetrate more deeply into the skin, while mitigating potential side effects,” she says. When applied onto the skin, encapsulated retinol travels through the skin’s layers in a delicate fashion, thanks to its moisturizing outer-coating, and time releases deposits of retinol.
Who Should Use Encapsulated Retinol?
Encapsulated retinol is best used for individuals who may experience a wide array of skin concerns. “These concerns include, but are not limited to, milia, acne, fine lines or an uneven skin-tone,” says Dr. Feely. All skin types can use encapsulated retinol, but if you want to tailor your routine, make sure to consult with your dermatologist.
Can You Use Encapsulated Retinol With Other Retinol Products?
Dr. Feely urges against using more than one retinol product. “Using two products containing retinol on the same body site will increase the risk of side effects like redness, photosensitivity and skin irritation,” she says.
How to Incorporate Encapsulated Retinol Into Your Routine
It’s best to use encapsulated retinol in your nighttime skin-care routine. “I generally advise using a pea-sized amount a few nights each week, building it up to every evening as your skin learns to tolerate it,” says Dr. Feely.
One of our go-to encapsulated retinol products is the CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum. It provides the traditional retinol benefits, like reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but its hydrating formula doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry or irritated.
It’s also extremely important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day because retinol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. “Also note that retinoids are not safe to use while pregnant and if you are having a laser or light-based procedure, be sure to take a break from using it during those times,” says Dr. Feely.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn