We are back with another beauty trend that you may or may not have seen on your TikTok "For You" page. And this one involves our favorite Vitamin A derivative and...sandwiches? If you're raising an eyebrow, just wait. It may not be as crazy as it sounds, but what exactly is this viral skincare secret, and more importantly, does it really work? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Retinol Sandwiching?
Don't worry, contrary to what it may have you believe, this beauty hack doesn't involve spreading your Adapalene between two slices of bread and eating it for lunch. Instead, the Retinol Sandwich is a skincare technique that involves "sandwiching" your retinol between other products, and more specifically, moisturizer. In a nutshell, retinol sandwiching is when you apply your moisturizer before and after your retinoid to avoid skin irritation.
The Problems of Retinol for First-Time Users
Retinol is no new addition to the skincare routine, it's been around for quite some time—and for good reason, it works! However, while incredibly effective, it has its downsides, especially for new users. For instance, new retinol users experience negative side effects from its use, like being heavily irritating and also causing unwanted side effects like peeling and purging.
These are all normally temporary side effects that occur during a retinol ‘purge’ phase. This is due to old skin cells being sloughed off as a result of increased cell turnover and typically go away after continued use.
How Retinol Sandwiching Helps
While retinoids can cause skin irritation and dryness to new users, retinol sandwiching is here to save the day. The first layer of moisturizer helps reduce the dryness and irritation that retinol usually causes by adding slowing product absorption, while the second layer helps trap the product and ensure its efficacy.
Does Retinol Sandwiching Actually Work?
Dermatologists have given retinol sandwiching a stamp of approval, while other experts disagree. Debates exist, with some experts believing it is a good idea while others think it makes no sense.
While there are benefits to the technique, including less skin irritation and rapid absorption, many argue that the benefits are negligible.