So, you want to up your retinol dose but are scared of irritation?
I hear ya. Retinol is an anti aging superhero but use too much too soon and your skin will react with a bad case of irritation and flakiness. Ugh.
The fix? Go for microencapsulated, time-released products, like Medik8 Retinol 6 TR.
Have no clue what I’m talking about? Here’s the lowdown on this microencapsulated, time-released business:
Microencapsulated + Time Released Technology
When you hear an active ingredient (in this case, retinol) is microencapsulated, it means it’s surrounded by some kind of coating. This clever little technology does two things:
- Protects retinol: it keeps your retinol stable so light and air won’t degrade it every time you open and close the packaging.
- Makes retinol gentler: instead than hitting your skin all at once, retinol is delivered over the course of several hours, greatly reducing the risk of irritations.
Time-released is the technology that controls the delivery system for the gradual release of retinol.
In plain English, microencapsulated, time-released retinol is way gentler for your skin. It means you can use a higher concentration without worrying about side effects. Usually, it’s suitable for sensitive skin too (I say usually because a small minority of people with very sensitive skin may not be able to use retinol at all).
But why should you use retinol in the first place?
Retinol is my fave anti aging superstar. One of the very few things proven to reduce the wrinkles you already have and prevent new ones from forming.
- It destroys the free radicals that cause premature aging before they can give you wrinkles
- It speeds up cellular turnover, i.e., the skin’s natural exfoliation process, to give you smoother and brighter skin
- It boosts the production of collagen to keep your skin firm and elastic
By the way, keeping your skin young isn’t all retinol does. It’s a precious alley against acne too.
Medik8 Retinol 6 TR contains a whooping 0.6% retinol.
I know what you’re thinking. Gio must be sarcastic here. 0.6% is nothing. Shouldn’t an active be present at 10% or something at the top of the ingredient list to work?
Most of the time, yes. But every rule has its exception. Retinol is the exception here.
Retinol is so powerful, it works even at tiny concentrations. In fact 1% retinol is considered HUGE. That’s only for the pros who’ve been using retinol for years and years.
0.6% is for those in between. Not strong enough for the pros but not suitable for beginners either. Like I told you at the beginning of this post, it’s for those who are ready to up their retinol dose but without going all the way up just yet.
Safflower Seed Oil
I don’t need to tell you where safflower seed oil comes from, right? Yep, from the seeds of the small orange safflower plant.
Safflower oil makes up the base of Medik8 Retinol 6 TR. This oil is rich in linoleic acid, a fatty acid with many superpowers. It helps moisturise skin, reduces irritations and even helps treat acne.
How To Use Medik8 Retinol 6 TR
The retinol here may be time-released and microencapsulated but that doesn’t mean you can use it every day.
Whenever you’re upping your retinol dose, you need to train your skin to put up with it. That means using it only twice a week for the first week. Every other day for the second week. And, if your skin’s happy, you can use it every single night after that.
FYI, I still use it every other day because I like to alternate my retinol with glycolic acid. If you use a gentler exfoliant or exfoliate less often, you can get away with using it every day.
One more thing: retinol makes skin more susceptible to sun damage (ironic, as it helps treat it!). Use it at night only and pile up the sunscreen in the morning.
Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion
First things first: Medik8 Retinol 6 TR contains only 15 ml of product so you’ll have to repurchase often. The small size has its perks, though. It’s easy to travel with and you can actually finish it (come on, how many half-used retinol serums do you have in your stash?).
Medik8 says to use 4 drops but I use 3. I find this is enough to cover my entire face and lets the serum sinks in even faster. If you have oily skin, using one less drop may be best for you, too.
The texture is indeed oily but fairly lightweight and doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind. After a couple of applications, I can already see a difference. My skin is smoother and my pores look tighter.
Did I see a reduction in wrinkles? Not straight away. You didn’t get those wrinkles and fine lines in a week so they won’t go away in a week. But with regular use, yes, they do get a little smaller.
And nope, from the first use, I didn’t experience any irritation or flaking at all. My skin’s kinda used to retinol so keep that in mind too. 🙂
SHOP THE POST
Ingredients: Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclopentasiloxane, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Retinol, Topcopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, BHT
Have you tried micro encapsulated, time-delivered retinol? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
PR Sample. Affiliate links.
Take The Guesswork Out Of Skincare Shopping
Get access to the “Pro Skincare Library” for exclusive skincare routine “cheat sheets” and tricks to help you navigate the beauty aisles jungle like a pro and immediately know what to pick off the shelves to achieve the gorgeous skin of your dreams - even when you’re drowning in an endless sea of skincare products.