Q&A With Our Founder
Rathi Srinivas, the co-founder and CTO of Droplette answered some burning questions about Droplette’s technology and formulations, and how to integrate them into your skincare routine.
What makes the Droplette device different than a regular cream or serum topical?
Our core technology is engineered with unique components configured to make delivery of formulations significantly more effective than other products on the market.
First, you pop a capsule into the device (just like you would a Nespresso pod or a K-Cup). The capsule is filled with a liquid formulation that gets turned into a mist when it enters the device using a component called the piezoelectric transducer.
Next, the mist passes through a pump system, which is our “secret sauce.” The pump creates airflow that enhances delivery of the formulation by concentrating the ingredients inside each droplet, propelling it faster towards the skin, and reducing droplet size by about 50 times as the mist splashes onto skin’s surface. Compared to a regular aerosol product, the Droplette mist is 50-2000X smaller by the time it hits the skin barrier, and much more powerful. Learn more about how the Droplette device is more than a facial mister.
What serum should I use? What are the highlight properties of each formulation?
There are 5 different formulations right now that are named after their hero ingredient: Collagen, Retinol, Glycolic Acid, and we recently launched Tranexamic Acid and Growth Factors.
The 10% Collagen formulation has a cocktail of peptides as well as collagen. The peptides are all fragments from proteins involved in skin cell turnover and maintaining elasticity. This is the mildest Droplette formula and is suitable for all skin types. I love using it to hydrate and refresh my skin.
The 0.15% Retinol formulation features Arbutin, a safe and effective ingredient that targets dark spots along with the retinol by inhibiting melanin synthesis. Many products out there use an ingredient called hydroquinone, which has negative side effects on the skin and is even associated with cancer. Arbutin is actually a naturally occurring derivative of hydroquinone – it’s much safer and gentler but can produce the same results with less concerns about hyperpigmentation.
Also, although retinol can be drying or irritating to some people, Droplette’s skincare technology delivers more water into the skin than a topical ever could, which helps to alleviate those drying effects.
The 8% Glycolic formulation features 3 major ingredients: an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)-glycolic acid 8%, beta-hydroxy acid (BHA)-salicylic acid, and a polyhydroxy acid (PHA) gluconolactone (a milder acid that works well with the other two). We chose an 8% concentration as a happy medium that’s safe for daily use. Believe it or not, some OTC products go as high as 30% AHAs and can really damage the skin. An 8% concentration can achieve the same efficacy with no harmful side effects. We’ve also balanced the formulation by including some peptides, niacinamide, and aloe extract.
Droplette serum formulation has some other ingredients that are integral to their use. What are they?
The Collagen formula also has a type of Vitamin C called sodium ascorbyl phosphate, which adds a brightening effect that the user can see both initially and over time. Ascorbyl phosphate is water soluble but much more stable than Vitamin C, which is notorious for degrading over time.
We also use rose oil in both our Collagen and Retinol serum formulations. We were seeking something anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and soothing. We did a lot of consumer testing with every possible essential oil, and people felt that both the benefits and scent of rose oil really enhanced these formulations. We’ve even had some users tell us that the formulas with rose oil help with their blemishes or acne!
Many people don’t like extraneous synthetic fragrances in their cosmetics (myself included), but since this is a functional ingredient that’s fairly mild, it resonated well with most people. Fun fact: On a trip to Morocco, I had the opportunity to visit a rose oil distillery where the oil is harvested and extracted, and it was an incredible process to see and learn from.
Finally, the 8% Glycolic formulation also features niacinamide, which is anti-inflammatory and can help with blemishes and scarring.
How does each serum fit into a skincare routine?
The Collagen formula is great any time of day, and can even be used twice a day. It’s our mildest formula and pairs well with the others. It delivers a nice hydrating boost, immediately plumps skin, and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time.
One thing to note is that if you use the Glycolic at the same time of day as the Collagen, be sure to let the first formula fully absorb before applying the other. The Vitamin C in the collagen and the glycolic acid can neutralize each other if they’re used at the same time.
The Retinol formulation is effective in addressing signs of aging (such as wrinkles and fine lines) and dark spots in a gentler way than the average retinol formulations. However, it is best used at night as it makes your skin sensitive to the sun and should be used along with a sunscreen.
The Glycolic formulation is perfect for resurfacing and blemish treatment. It provides soothing exfoliation that makes it perfect for everyday use.
When setting up your skincare routine, the Collagen formulation can pair with either the Retinol or Glycolic formulations. However, the Retinol and Glycolic formulations are both more intensive, and we recommend starting out by using them once every 2-3 days until you’re sure your skin can handle them daily. Choose from our Prescriptive Regimen skincare routine sets to help eliminate the guesswork.
What is unique about these specific ingredient cocktails compared to other products on the market?
In addition to the innovative delivery of the formulations, each features soothing ingredients that complement the function of the main ingredients. For the Collagen and Retinol, it’s the rose oil and for the Glycolic, it’s the extra peptides. The additional hydration from Droplette’s delivery system also helps to make the formulas really unique, painless, and effective.
If you had to pick one serum to bring with you on a deserted island (assuming you had a cleanser and moisturizer), which would you choose?
I would choose the Glycolic formula. It’s the one I use the most at home and I can immediately tell the difference in the texture and softness of my skin the next day. One thing to note is that even though it does contain additional skin-soothing ingredients, the Glycolic should still be used with something hydrating. I think it pairs really well with the Collagen formula.
What’s next for Droplette? Any new formulations in the works that customers can look forward to?
In the near future, we are hoping to take the secondary ingredients present in our current formulations and spin them off into formulas where they’re the featured ingredient. We’ve got formulations in production that make niacinamide, various vitamins, and other proteins or peptides the stars, which we’re really excited about!