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How Much Do You Weigh? Questions we SHOULD ask our Ingredients.

It's never polite to ask about weight, except in the case of skincare. Molecular weight is an overlooked, but hugely important, feature of skincare ingredients. If the molecules are too large, you are applying expensive formulas just to wipe or sweat them off later.

By Thea ∙ April 23, 2020

Skincare ingredient listings are overwhelming. Not only do they traditionally include unpronounceable, unidentifiable chemicals that look more detrimental than beneficial, but also ingredient trade names are usually different from familiar names used in marketing, so there is a lot to digest.

One of the features of ingredients that matters the most, however, is molecular weight. This detail is often overlooked, and INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) names on skincare labeling don’t give us any clues. (Case in point: Hyaluronic Acid ranges from High Molecular Weight >500 kDa to Ultra-Low <50 kDA, but all versions are listed as simply “Sodium Hyaluronate” in ingredient lists.) So if molecular weight isn’t an important distinguishing factor for the Personal Care Products Council, responsible for internationally-recognized INCI names, why should you care?

At Droplette, molecular weight is a major focus. Ingredient size (or “weight”) determines whether molecules will absorb into skin, or simply sit on the surface until we wipe, wash, or sweat them off. Remember – your skin is an excellent barrier, and keeps substances out brilliantly. This effect is compounded when ingredients are so large that they don’t stand a chance of sinking between pores. So, when needles aren’t involved, making ingredients smaller is the first step to ensuring any type of skincare success.

But even when ingredients are small, a significant level of force is required to push ingredients beyond the skin’s surface. This is the logic of popular medical and medical spa procedures such as microinfusion and the Hydrafacial, but the tech isn’t very sophisticated. Force matters because even low molecular weight molecules “coalesce,” or fuse together, making them pool on the skin’s surface. When the right amount of force is applied, these molecules separate and penetrate skin more effectively.

The Droplette delivery difference is this combination: making ingredients drops tiny (even those classified as high molecular weight), and delivering them with painless but effective force, so they stay separated while moving at a high velocity. This has never been achieved before, and makes Droplette the skincare tool we’ve needed but haven’t had.