When it comes to achieving dewy, hydrated skin, few ingredients deliver results the way hyaluronic acid does. Commonly found in your favorite sheet masks, serums, and moisturizers, the buzzy ingredient naturally occurs within skin and holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. When applied to the complexion topically, it gives off that dewy, plumping effect.
Usually, you find hyaluronic acid in liquid form, but Rael has freeze-dried it into a solid (think: astronaut food for your face) in the Moisture Melt Snowball Hyaluronic Acid Concentrate ($24). Each of the spheres is individually packaged, and on first touch, have a packing-peanut-type texture. While some brands can be guilty of doing anything to stand out in a saturated market, this new invention straight out of South Korea, is no gimmick.
This topical freeze-dried globe dissolves in your hand with the addition of any serum before it’s applied to clean skin. It feels like a kitschy glow-getting DIY science project, but using technology, the potent concentrated dose deeply hydrates skin. Sorah Park, chief marketing officer of Rael says that “most skin-care products contain about one to two and a half percent hyaluronic acid in an entire bottle.”
However, using this technique allows the brand to offer up a more potent product. “Freeze-drying allows us to preserve the ingredient in its purest form, without using many of the popular chemical preservatives, additives, or fillers.” One three-fourth inch Snowball contains almost 91 percent pure hyaluronic acid. Because there isn’t water within the actual product, the freeze-dried hyaluronic acid doesn’t need high concentrations of preservatives.
According to the brand, removing the water also shrinks the molecular weight of the hyaluronic acid, which means that it sinks deeper within the skin and works to plump complexions at a deeper level. Park tells us Rael’s Snowball concentrate “is made with three weights of hyaluronic acid that deeply penetrate into the skin’s multiple layers.”
After I get over the initial fascination with the Snowball’s texture and concept, I crack open a single pod. Cradling the globe in my palm, I pump my usual dosage of serum right over the top. Instantly it begins to melt, but I massage the pill into the serum to evenly distribute the hyaluronic acid. The texture becomes thicker, almost jelly-like. I apply it to clean, toned skin, pressing it in to help with absorption as I move down to my neck.
Immediately, I notice a bouncy, dewy glow on my skin. Even without the steam or exfoliation of typical spas, I feel the same deep hydration I got from my last oxygen facial. Park says when used with the brand’s Good Chemistry Advanced Antioxidant Serum ($38), “hydration levels improve by almost 70 percent even after 24 hours after application.” I obviously didn’t have the means to measure hydration levels before and after, but I can vouch that my skin felt deeply hydrated (even without a moisturizer) well into the next morning after cleansing. Rael recommends using the Snowball two to three times a week as an intensive hydrating at-home treatment.
Rael also recently released their Moisture Melt Snowball Intense freeze-dried formula, which contains a blend of five percent aloe vera extract and a slightly reduced amount of hyaluronic acid. With two freeze-dried ingredients under their belt, there’s no doubt the brand is onto something. I have a strong feeling we’re at the cusp of a shift in the skin-care industry. If I had to guess, there are plenty of other brands currently experimenting with a slew of freeze-dried ingredients, and it’s only a matter of time before our entire skin-care routines come in topical pill form. Welcome, my friends, to the future of skin care.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the benefits of hyaluronic acid, straight from a dermatologist.
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