Woman applying encapsulated retinol. | Source: Shutterstock
Woman applying encapsulated retinol. | Source: Shutterstock

Why Encapsulated Retinol Is Said to Be More Beneficial than Pure Retinol

Manuela Cardiga
Feb 03, 2023
02:15 P.M.
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Dermatologists are evaluating the use of encapsulated retinol versus pure retinol. The debate hinges on the outcome of skin care and the prevention of aging.


Retinol has many applications in skin care, from preventing aging to treating hyperpigmentation, scars, and acne. There are many forms of retinol, and encapsulated retinol has recently become popular.

The benefits of retinol are not in question, but is encapsulated retinol the best form of product delivery? Dermatologists have been investigating and debating and have come to some conclusions.

Woman applying a skin-care product. | Source: Getty Images

Woman applying a skin-care product. | Source: Getty Images

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that is highly effective in promoting skin rejuvenation and is available in a series of presentations, namely: creams, gels, lotions, and serums.

As an over-the-counter treatment, retinol is highly effective for treating acne and reducing acne scars, skin discoloration, and stretch marks. It also has anti-aging effects, increasing skin cell regeneration and collagen production.


Despite all its recommendations, retinol can have undesirable side effects for those with sensitive skin. As a vitamin derivative, retinol is also subject to degradation when subjected to sunlight -- and that doesn't mean it makes your skin photosensitive.

The product itself loses properties and stability over time. To guarantee a more stable and effective substance resistant to deterioration, a new form of retinol is now available: encapsulated retinol.

The best results from retinol are obtained when the product is applied to the skin at night, which diminishes its deterioration and increases its efficacy.

Skincare serum. ! Source: Getty Images

Skincare serum. ! Source: Getty Images

What Is Encapsulated Retinol?


So what is encapsulated retinol, and how does it differ from other forms of retinol? The product is enveloped in a microscopic protective barrier with moisturizing properties in encapsulated retinol formulas. Dermatologist Dr. Azadeh Shirazi explained:

"Similar to how you would wrap glass in bubble wrap to ensure it wouldn't break when you are transporting it, encapsulated retinols are wrapped for protection during delivery to the skin. This increases the stability of the compound and also increases tolerance."

The encapsulated retinol penetrates the skin barrier, and the rejuvenating substance is time-released. In contrast, the encapsulating barrier of the delivery system becomes a protective layer preventing moisture loss on the skin's surface.

What Makes Encapsulated Retinol a Better Choice?

Encapsulated retinol isn't just more stable and effective; it is also better tolerated by sensitive skins, which tend to become dry and inflamed when exposed to traditional forms of retinol.

Skincare serum. ! Source: Getty Images

Skincare serum. ! Source: Getty Images


Encapsulated retinol is a better choice because the active substance's properties are protected, and its stability is maintained. Cosmetic chemist Krupa Koestline explained:

"Retinol is extremely unstable and tends to destabilize in the presence of oxygen, light, and even at certain pH formulas."

Therefore, encapsulated retinol retains all of the pure retinol's desirable qualities in a better delivery system that protects the efficacy of the substance. If pure retinol is subject to loss of effectiveness retinol skincare, encapsulated retinol is protected by its formulation.

Despite the encapsulation, the new form of retinol should still be sold in opaque packaging to prevent any exposure to sunlight. Cosmetic chemist Krupa Koestline said:

"There are several versions of encapsulation available, including silicone, esters, liposomes, and agar microspheres."


The encapsulations will protect the retinol and increase its stability by protecting it from light, air, and heat, but the user should also keep their product in a cool place away from sunlight.

The best results from retinol are obtained when the product is applied to the skin at night, which diminishes its deterioration and increases its efficacy. Before buying or using any retinol formula, check the ingredients list.

Reactions to the encapsulating substances are rare but have been recorded. Reap all the benefits and miraculous effects of retinol without the drawbacks. On the whole, encapsulated retinol offers additional benefits and better results.


The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on WomanlyLive.com, or available through WomanlyLive.com is for general information purposes only. WomanlyLive.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

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