From the FutureDerm website:
How Our Retinol 0.5 is Different
A concentrated retinol formula, FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 contains 0.5% microencapsulated retinol in a lightweight gel formula that is perfect for use together with your other favorite moisturizers. Most retinoid creams are thicker, taking up to 30 minutes to absorb into the skin. Ours feels like it absorbs in under a second, so you don’t have to wait before applying other moisturizers.
Our formula is designed to optimize the retinol activation process within the skin. Retinol must be converted to isotretinoin by enzymes called retinyl ester hydrolases in order to become active within the skin. Our formulation is designed to increase the efficiency of this process with an optimized delivery system and conditions.
Our retinol is also microencapsulated, targeting retinoid receptors in the skin for a full eight hours. This makes FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 ideal for nighttime use.
I have been waiting to write this review because my skin was all over the place with this product. I did what I was supposed to do. I stopped using BHA’s and AHA’s before I started using the FutureDerm - which was tough for me because I have always relied on salicylic acid to keep my congested skin at bay. Not that it was working - my skin, while not actively broken out, was a bumpy, uneven mess with a large amount of closed comedomes.
For the first week or so, everything was great. I used it nightly after washing my face, and if I remembered, to top it off with a moisturizer. In the beginning, I could go without following it up with a moisturizer, but that soon changed. As the retinol did its work on my skin, boosting cell turnover, I got a little bit of flakey skin, mostly on my cheeks. So I grabbed my most recently skincare acquisition, Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer. It sounded harmless! Did I read the ingredients? No. After using it for two days following the FutureDerm my skin was on fire. A red, irritated mess that actually hurt even without me touching it. So I went to the Sephora website, and right there in the ingredients list was Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Even though it is considered a gentle acid it wreaked havoc on my face in conjunction with the retinol. So I needed to try something else to moisturize my face following the retinol. I turned to an old standby, Argan Oil. I had a mini bottle of Josie Maran Argan Oil I had received in a gift set from Sephora. Unfortunately, the Argan Oil did nothing to alleviate the redness I was now covered in. Then I remembered something I used to use whenever my eczema was out of control - ShiKai Borage Therapy (which I picked up at Whole Foods). Ahh, relief!
My skin is know back to what I consider “normal. Even though my skin had been flaky and dry, it had never been smoother than when I used Futurederm Time Release Retinol 0.5. I know use it approximately every two days. On the nights that I use it I top it off with my beloved AmorePacific Moisture Bound Vitalizing Masque, ensuring that my skin does not dry out overnight. I use it only where needed - my t-zone, and I know have happy, clear, non-flaky skin!