What Is the Retinol Sandwich Method, and Does It Work?



I’ve been an enormous fan of retinol and prescription retinoids since they got here on the scene for anti-aging within the early ’90s. Nevertheless, again then, the dearth of training and the supply of solely prescription retinoids meant that the unwanted side effects could possibly be fairly extreme. There was a restricted understanding of find out how to use them correctly to reduce these results, which sadly discouraged many individuals from making an attempt. Quick ahead to at present, and I’m not solely thrilled that retinol is now obtainable with out a prescription, however I’m additionally extremely excited in regards to the new methods we’ve found to make use of it. Introducing: the retinol sandwich methodology.

Having labored with vitamin A and retinoids for a very long time, it’s really thrilling to see what we will do with them now. So, what’s the truth behind this common approach?

What’s Retinol?

Let’s begin from the highest: What are retinol and retinoids? Derived from vitamin A, these are highly effective brokers that may tackle and reverse varied indicators of getting old. These indicators could embody advantageous strains, wrinkles, post-breakout marks, enlarged pores, and brown spots. Whether or not in prescription type (like tretinoin) or over-the-counter choices (equivalent to Advanced Resurfacing Serum), retinoids have the potential to considerably improve the pores and skin’s look, selling a younger, radiant-looking pores and skin over time.

Nevertheless, those that have used retinol or retinoids earlier than have probably skilled a interval of purging, in any other case generally known as “the retinol scaries.” This may be something from a rise in breakouts to dryness, flaking, or irritation. Happening virtually instantly, this course of occurs whereas pores and skin is adjusting to a rise in cell turnover. It’s due to this that lingering breakouts that may’ve taken weeks (and even months) to floor will all seem directly. Because of this, earlier than it will get higher, your breakouts can truly worsen.

Unsure if that is proper in your routine? Take a look at my beginner’s guide to retinol and retinoid usage!

What Is the Sandwich Technique for Retinol?

Whereas just lately trending on TikTok, the retinol sandwich methodology isn’t a brand new idea in skincare in any respect. Sprouting from the ever-popular ‘moisture sandwich’ methodology, which promotes layering your merchandise so as of viscosity, the thought of the retinol sandwich is to use your retinol serum in between two layers of moisturizer (i.e. the bread) in an try to reduce its potential unwanted side effects. It is a nice idea to check out in the event you’re somebody with delicate pores and skin, a compromised barrier, or are new to the ingredient.

How Do You Sandwich Retinol?

Making an attempt out this methodology is straightforward! Right here’s the approach I like to recommend:

  1. Within the PM, cleanse pores and skin completely
  2. Apply toner (or hydrating essence) and serum in your pores and skin sort
  3. Apply a light-weight, oil-free moisturizer to damp pores and skin
  4. Permit this to dry utterly
  5. Apply your retinol or retinoid
  6. Give your retinol time to absorb, then apply a second layer of the identical moisturizer

This system permits the primary layer of moisturizer to behave as a buffer between your pores and skin and the hard-hitting energetic ingredient, whereas the second layer locks all of it in. Should you’re in want of extra buffering, I counsel utilizing an essence, like Moisture Infusion Toner, alongside along with your toner and serum. Alcohol-free toners are great as a result of water acts as a service to ship components deep into your pores and skin, however on this case, that’s most likely not one thing you’re searching for. By including a serum-infused toner, or essence, you’re offering a bit of further buffering versus only a water-based toner.

Finest Practices

I at all times suggest utilizing a light-weight, non-greasy lotion in your skin type. Heavy lotions have a bigger molecule and, when utilized earlier than retinol or a prescription retinoid, stop the actives from penetrating the pores and skin. For this reason I like to recommend a lighter, oil-free lotion, like Skin Recovery Lotion, that may present a buffering layer of hydration with out blocking the vitamin A product from working. That’s the important thing— you don’t need to dilute it to the purpose that it doesn’t work, simply sufficient to take the sting off a bit of bit to handle a number of the unwanted side effects.

Does the Retinol Sandwich Technique Work?

This methodology might help mitigate irritation, dryness, and flaking whereas nonetheless offering youth-boosting advantages. When you have delicate pores and skin, need to concentrate on barrier safety, or are new to the ingredient, that is an efficient choice for limiting harsh unwanted side effects.

Does Sandwiching Retinol Between Moisturizer Make It Much less Efficient?

Briefly, no. When making use of a it, you’re placing a selected proportion, say .1%, in your face. The share used doesn’t change it doesn’t matter what you apply earlier than or after it, that means you aren’t making it much less efficient. Nevertheless, what may change is the power of the product to penetrate the pores and skin. Making use of moisturizer first doesn’t essentially dilute it, whereas mixing the 2 collectively would, nevertheless it does reduce the energetic’s means to penetrate the pores and skin.

All in all, utilizing a hydrating cream earlier than making use of retinol gained’t dilute its efficiency, it can simply mitigate a number of the damaging unwanted side effects.

What Are the Advantages of the Retinol Sandwich Technique?

By eliminating the standard unwanted side effects related to retinol, pores and skin will expertise elevated smoothness, hydration, and a brighter glow as a consequence of fewer opaque, lifeless pores and skin cells. By making a buffer, the pores and skin barrier is much less more likely to turn into compromised, leading to much less dehydration and sensitivity.

Moreover, retinol sandwiching is a good choice for these with acne-prone pores and skin. Since acne-prone pores and skin is already energetic and dealing with irritation, I typically advise towards utilizing a stimulating energetic ingredient, as it will probably add much more irritation. Nevertheless, the sandwich methodology could make retinol extra agreeable for pores and skin, permitting these with zits to nonetheless obtain anti-aging advantages

Ought to I Add It to My Routine?

Should you’ve determined it’s time to start using retinol, then deciding if you wish to add sandwiching to your routine is fairly easy: is it inflicting you undesirable dryness, redness, or irritation? Then give it a go! Even in the event you simply need to spot deal with significantly dry areas, equivalent to across the eyes, nostril, and mouth, you possibly can apply moisturizer to only these areas earlier than getting into with retinol.

Nevertheless, if you wish to reap the utmost results of retinol or retinoid and are okay with the standard unwanted side effects related to this serum, chances are you’ll need to choose out of sandwiching totally.

Finest Merchandise To Use With the Retinol Sandwich Technique

Should you’re keen to do this ingredient however are involved in regards to the doable setbacks, you can begin by sandwiching with any retinol or retinoid (here’s the distinction), however I like to recommend protecting an eye fixed out for one with these four things!

Nevertheless, in the event you’re seeking to skip the extra steps required for sandwiching, I like to recommend utilizing a retinol light sufficient {that a} sandwich or phase-in interval isn’t required, like Advanced Resurfacing Serum. Not all retinols are created equally as a consequence of various strengths and intensities, and this serum is formulated for delicate pores and skin and for these whose pores and skin has been unable to tolerate prescription retinoids. From right here you possibly can work your approach as much as a extra highly effective choice with out the extra steps or merchandise.

Experiencing the retinol scaries? Our new Rest Day Masque is a deeply moisturizing and reparative remedy that may immediately right parched pores and skin, tightness, and visual flaking typically brought on by actives equivalent to retinoids, exfoliating acids, or benzoyl peroxide.

What Are There Cons to Sandwiching Retinol?

Whereas sandwiching is a secure and efficient option to cut back irritation, these are some things you must take into account earlier than making an attempt it out your self.

  1. Slower outcomes: As a result of sandwiching reduces the absorption of product, it might take longer to see seen outcomes in comparison with utilizing retinol alone.
  2. Potential for irritation: Whereas sandwiching can cut back the probability of irritation, some individuals should expertise some, relying on the thickness of the moisturizer, focus of components, and sensitivity of pores and skin.
  3. Price and product utilization: Utilizing extra product (two layers of moisturizer) every time you apply retinol can result in quicker depletion of your merchandise and elevated price over time.

How Typically Ought to I Use This Method?

How typically you utilize this methodology may be similar to lifting weights. Somedays, chances are you’ll solely need to carry 5lbs, whereas different days chances are you’ll go for 20lbs if you understand you’re going to have some further downtime after. I actually imagine {that a} “no ache, no achieve” philosophy may be utilized to retinol utilization.

Should you’re a retinol newbie, I’d counsel utilizing this methodology 1-2 occasions per week, step by step growing the frequency as your pores and skin adjusts. Nevertheless, I do know that if I don’t have any particular events or a have to be filming anytime quickly, then I don’t thoughts my pores and skin peeling a bit of if meaning receiving extra noticeable outcomes. Additionally, oilier pores and skin sorts could not must sandwich as a lot as others since their oil acts as their very own built-in buffering methodology.

Bear in mind, retinol causes pores and skin to be extra vulnerable to sunburns so ensure you are solely utilizing it at night time (and don’t neglect sunscreen within the morning!).

In the end, the retinol sandwich methodology is a good approach to make the most of if you would like the anti-aging outcomes with out the drawbacks. Simply perceive that you could be not see outcomes as shortly in the event you aren’t pushing your pores and skin’s limits.


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