This Misting Tool Works Better Than Your Favorite Serum
Face mist is one product you'll never find in my skincare routine.
While I get the appeal of a hydrating mist as a mid-day treat, most of them don't really do much for your skin aside from smelling nice and leaving your face mildly soaked.
However, my philosophy about facial mists is the anthesis of Droplette, a skincare device created by Madhavi Gavini and Rathi Srinivas, two MIT-trained PhDs.
Droplette is a clinically-validated device that turns serums with dermatologist-vetted active ingredients, like retinol, glycolic acid, and collagen, into tiny droplets that move at a high velocity and penetrate the skin 20 times deeper than the average topical skincare product. And if that doesn't sound scientific enough, NASA provided Droplette with its first round of funding.
The Droplette team developed the technology after attending a rare disease conference where they learned about epidermolysis bullosa, a rare pediatric disease caused by a missing gene. Those with EB have skin that doesn't adhere to the muscle underneath, causing open wounds that are painful to treat with ointments and bandages.
A deeply penetrating mist infused with healing ingredients could treat EB patients without causing discomfort, but as the Droplette team began developing the tool, they realized the technology would be beneficial for the average skincare routine as well.
According to a study by the European Food Safety Authority, 90% of topical skincare products don't absorb below the surface of your skin. But Droplette's mist allows for molecules that are up to 10,000 larger than what can typically be topically absorbed into the skin, reaching up to 20 cell layers deep, to better target major skincare concerns such as firmness, uneven texture and tone, and brightness.
The brand offers three different capsules: 0.15% retinol for acne, fine lines, or wrinkles; 10% collagen for elasticity and hydration; and 8% glycolic acid for hyperpigmentation, uneven texture, and dullness.
All of the serum formulas have been tested by dermatologists and according to the brand, contain percentages of actives that are effective enough to deliver results with minimal risk of irritation despite being delivered deep in the skin. The serums are also vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic, and come with a pre-paid envelope to return to Droplette for recycling.
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This sounds way too good to be true, right? Well, that's why I reached out to Marisa Garshick, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City (who has no affiliation with the brand), to get her opinion on Droplette's technology.
"It is known that the skin barrier is good at protecting the skin and keeping things out. As such, even good ingredients can sometimes have a hard time getting through the skin, so a strong barrier may limit the ability of many of the ingredients we know are valuable to penetrate to get where they need to be to be most effective," she says. "As such, a delivery system that helps improve penetration of key ingredients, as found in Droplette, is definitely a great concept."
With that in mind, Dr. Garshik points out these active mists won't replace or guarantee the results of in-office treatments. "While it definitely looks fun to use, it is important to remember that it is not meant to replace in-office treatments such as chemical peels, lasers, and injectables, but it may provide a great option to incorporate ingredients that are traditionally harder to deliver to the skin," she explains.
Although I respect the innovation and technology behind at-home skincare devices, many of the ones I've tried feel like extra work instead of a treat yourself moment. But when I gave Droplette's collagen capsule a shot, I was surprised at how well the device integrated into the rest of my skincare routine.
To shop: $299; droplette.io.
Here's how to use it: After cleansing your skin, insert your choice of capsule into the device and turn it on. The mist emits 15 seconds on and 15 seconds off until the serum in the capsule runs out. As it's misting, you run the device over your face about half an inch away. (If you're using the glycolic acid capsule, Droplette recommends holding the device against your skin and closing your eyes and mouth while using it.) After you're done misting your face, finish your routine off with your favorite moisturizer.
The collagen capsule definitely gave my face some extra firmness without feeling tight (I did a few eyebrow raises to check). And since the mist really is that fine, my face didn't have that wet, damp feeling I dislike with face mists. When I was done, I was able to move on to the next skincare step without adding any extra time to my routine, and can totally see myself using Droplette a couple times a week or whenever my skin needs an extra boost.
So, I guess this officially makes me a face mist person — but only if it's micro droplets that penetrate 20 skin cell layers deep.