Think about how easy detergent pods have made doing the laundry or using the dishwasher: You just pop one in and it’s good to go. There’s no having to worry about if you’ve used too much or too little product—you can feel confident that it’s just the right amount for optimal cleansing. The same idea has now made its way into the beauty world with single dose skincare capsules and, turns out, it’s more than just a marketing gimmick.
“These individual doses are beneficial as they help to keep ingredients stabilized, potent, and fresher than the last drop of a bottle would be,” explains Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. “Factors such as UV rays and bacteria from dipping your hands into jars can compromise the shelf life and efficacy of formulas, whereas individual packaging can help protect ingredients from these external factors.”
Dermatologist Evan Rieder, MD, agrees. “Capsules prevent light from degrading the potency of ingredients such as antioxidants and retinols,” says Rieder. “The protection from air and light also helps keep the products potent for longer.” External elements can also easily alter sensitive ingredients. “Take vitamin C for example—exposure to light, heat and oxygen can decrease its stability, rendering it less beneficial,” says Nussbaum. “Yet encapsulated vitamin C allows it to be delivered to the skin while it’s most potent.”
Another benefit of single use products is that you get the perfect dose every time. “Active ingredients like retinol can cause irritation if it’s overused,” says Nussbaum. “These take the guesswork out of it so you know you’re applying the optimal amount every time.” The only downside to single-use products is that they can cause more waste. Look for ones that come in biodegradable capsules or that use a recycling program like the ones below.
Frequent flyer? The TSA will be your new best friend when you pack these nickel-sized packets.