How to formulate with NovoRetin™

In April 2022, we launched NovoRetin™, a plant-based retinol alternative. This active ingredient enables the development of highly effective age-defying and skin perfection formulas without having to resort to conventional retinol. Due to it’s retinol-like activity, the mechanism of action is less irritating to the skin but achieves a comparable result.

Active ingredient cosmetic products are in most cases serums and fluids, but there are also many oil-based products. The idea behind this still stems from the Asian skincare routine, which is based on several steps and can include up to 10 products. Light formulations are also perfect for the summer. Especially with light cosmetic products, the focus is on moisture and efficacy. But beware, unfortunately not everything can be combined. Especially highly effective active ingredients can react sensitively.

NovoRetin™ contains "vectorized mastic". This means that the active ingredient is encapsulated. This is what makes NovoRetin™ so effective, but also somewhat more challenging to formulate than an aqueous or oil-based active ingredient.

Mastic is an aromatic resin that comes from a tree which exclusively grows on the Greek island of Chios. Find out more here.



How to formulate with NovoRetin™

The easiest way is an emulsion or even a fluid. This white, liquid active ingredient can be incorporated very well after the emulsification process, during the cooling phase. Either by homogenizing or by classic stirring, if one cannot or does not want to use high-speed processing. NovoRetin™ can also be cold processed very well. Temperatures up to 40°C have no influence on the stability of the encapsulation.

The most frequently asked question is "What breaks the encapsulation?". Generally, if the capsule is broken, the active ingredient is not broken at the same time. It is just no longer vectorized, but it is still active.

Formulations with

  • a high ethanol content (>20%),
  • bivalent ions (Mg2+, Ca2+, Cu2+, Zn2+),
  • carboxylic acids
  • processing at temperatures above 50°C

are rather problematic and can lead to instabilities.

In product development with NovoRetin™, and this also applies to our other encapsulated active ingredients and liposomes, we like to recommend sugar-based surfactants (APG), neutrally charged emulsifiers and gel formers, and lecithin.

As a little inspiration, we provide you with the formulation for the "Advanced Anti-Aging Sheet Mask" with NovoRetin™.

If you have any further questions about formulating NovoRetin™, I recommend you read the Formulation Guideline or send me an email with your formulation question to




Written by

Antje Düring