This is a blog post that I didn’t originally plan on doing – a breakdown on a device I don’t own. But part of creating content is to educate and inform, particularly on topics that you all have questions on. I hope this post is informative and offers the answers you’re looking for on Droplette for those of you who wanted my perspective.
This breakdown will cover what Droplette is, the technology and how it works, the research, and whether my thoughts have changed. And then lastly a Q&A portion where the Droplette founders answer your submitted questions.
This intro will summarize what led up to this blog post so feel free to skip to the next section to get right into all things Droplette.
I stumbled across the Droplette device toward the end of last year and thought the technology was interesting enough to share with a few people. I appreciated the innovation but felt it lacked independent research so it didn’t fit in with my content at that time.
When it began to get some attention recently, many of you wanted to know if the hype was warranted. It was one of the top comments in a thread in my Facebook community asking what new and hyped up releases you all wanted my thoughts on. This results in its inclusion in my YouTube video inspired by Samantha March and her “Will I Buy It?” series on skincare devices.
The majority of commenters on that video understood my intention. Hype and marketing can really influence people and I just wanted to provide a counterpoint to that – so whether you buy or not, it’s an informed decision. My stance has always been that if you’re confident in your opinion, others disagreeing shouldn’t cause offense. And despite a few rude comments I had to remove, I stand by what I said and a lot of you expressed that it was helpful. Especially the reminder to not let hype influence spending.
What I didn’t expect was the amount of you that wanted to hear my full analysis on the Droplette. Around this time, the Droplette team also reached out to me. This left me in a strange position… how do you discuss a device you haven’t tried? I wasn’t going to buy it for the reasons explained in the video.
The Droplette team reached out to me so I felt it was important to use that opportunity to help answer your questions. Because this is a breakdown of the technology and research, I’ll be covering the positives as well but this is a not a review. I don’t buy products when I have reservations. Read to the end to see if my overall thoughts have changed and if I intend to buy.
The last thing I’ll say before we launch into the blog is that I have so much respect for any brand willing to reach out and have a productive, friendly discussion after seeing criticisms raised about their product. I found the Droplette team and founders Madhavi and Rathi to all be very kind and passionate about skincare science as well.
Some links may be affiliate and add no cost to you, the reader, while helping support the author and her content. This blog was not sponsored by Droplette and aside from the Q&A section, all opinions are my own and don’t represent Droplette. I’m not an affiliate of the brand and at this time have not accepted their very kind offer to send me the device.
What is the Droplette?
Droplette is a skincare device that enhances penetration of the ingredients in their capsules and increase skin hydration. The cost for the device alone is $299 without using any available codes.
It was originally designed for the medical field for easy, painless delivery of medications into the skin at an effective depth without needles. While going through the approval process, they decided to offer it as a cosmetic device as well.
You get three capsule options currently: Glycolic Acid, Collagen, and Retinol. They’re purchased through subscription only at 12 capsules for $39 a month or 30 capsules for $79 a month. At this time you can’t mix and match, if you want all the capsule types you need to add multiple subscriptions.
There’s also a Droplette app where you can pair your device, set up consultations with the Droplette team, contact support, and document your progress. It’s free but be aware the app is required to use your Droplette the first time and you must register your device. It’s one of the better device apps I’ve seen.
How Does It Work?
Their technology is what really sets them apart compared to their skincare treatments or tools that use an aerosol mist.
The Piezo aka piezoelectric transducer vibrates due to the frequency of the electric current they use. This, and the mesh, is what allows them to aesolize the capsules and create ultra fine droplets at about 4 microns in size.
The Membrane Pump is what truly sets the Droplette apart though from other options on the market that work via aerosolization. The air flow accelerates and concentrates the droplets so that they penetrate the skin at an increased velocity.
The air flow also causes slight disruption of the skin barrier to further enhance penetration. And in addition to help getting the capsule ingredients into the skin, the Droplette also offers lasting hydration.
For more on Droplette and how it works, check out their website.
Is the Droplette for You?
I can’t tell you whether you should buy the Droplette. You have to look at factors like budget, your skin, and what the device offers to decide that. I’m not making single a penny from this post and haven’t included affiliate links to other products, I’m putting this together by request to help provide the info so you can make an informed decision. I can list some of the pros and cons to further explain my own perspectiv and hopefully this will help you decide for yourselves.
- improves the penetration of skincare ingredients with minimal barrier disruption and gets ingredients 1600 microns deep without damaging cells (per Droplette, haven’t seen specific study myself)
- increases skin hydration and skin appears to retain this hydration per their tests
- can be used daily and with minimal time commitment
- innovative, interesting technology that’s unique in the market
- compared to competitors and other products that utilize an aerosol mist, the Droplette appears to be superior
- Droplette team has been very friendly and knowledgeable about their device in my interactions with them and their app is well designed
- brand funded study testing skin hydration and clinical trial on results of the device vs topical application has been performed (please note: wasn’t able to find the actual research, just the summary from the brand)
- the device and capsule subscriptions are expensive vs other penetration enhancing devices on the market
- you’re limited to what’s in the capsules as far as what ingredients you’re helping get into the skin
- hydration and penetration are the main benefits which can be a con if you’re looking for something proven to significantly target skin aging, etc
- there is no independent research performed and more research is needed
- not all ingredients need help getting into the skin and topicals like tretinoin and glycolic acid remain more proven so substituting the capsules could be a gamble
My Final Thoughts
My video was focused on why I wouldn’t be buying the Droplette and addressing some of the hype and misinformation circulating so I can see why it came across as critical. For that reason, I think this post will hopefully appeal to those wanting all the info. That being said, I do stand by the criticisms I raised and I don’t think criticism should be viewed as inherently negative. In fact, I think we should all be critical of the content we consume…. mine included.
I don’t doubt that the Droplette aids penetration and improves hydration whatsoever. As someone who has many devices that also serve that function though and also offer additional benefits to the skin (microcurrent, cosmetic microneedling, and mesotherapy for example), I do find the price of the Droplette a significant obstacle. When buying and testing products, I try to balance the cost vs similar technologies and other home treatments because I know many of you don’t have an unlimited budget for skincare.
But budget is also a factor that varies by the person. For that reason, if the cost is reasonable to you and you’re looking for a device that aids penetration and helps hydration then I think Droplette is worth trying out. And unlike superficial microneedling and even microcurrent, Droplette is very consumer friendly.
To be fair to the Droplette team too, some of my main frustrations were around information they did not put out themselves. As you’ll see in the final part of this post, they clarified that they make no claims to Droplette getting ingredients deeper than cosmetic microneedling needling and also clarified the depth that the ingredients were getting into. They’re also not necessarily responsible for many believing the device did more than advertised too.
You can read more on cell layers here but I did receive clarification that the “20 cell layers deep” wasn’t including the stratum corneum. The information on this has been conflicting and confused a lot of people and they offered a much better explanation that I think will help: Droplette gets ingredients 1600 microns deep from the surface of the skin. This was their clarification but I will say that 1.6 mm would reach the dermis per studies on skin thickness.
Okay, but I bet many are wondering: has my opinion changed and will I be buying the Droplette? And the answer is… not necessarily. I don’t feel comfortable suggest that someone ditch their tretinoin, backed by decades of research as the gold standard (along with sunscreen), for a retinol capsule. Same goes for using the glycolic acid capsule over glycolic acid peels. And if you’re already using those, the capsules would be redundant. Not everyone can use them though so I do see a good use for sensitive skin.
And the research just isn’t there for me at this point. I chatted with a dermatologist live in our group recently and something we covered is what to look for when analyzing research. Independent, double blind, controlled studies are important. As well as subject size, long term research, replicating that research with multiple studies, and how they analyze the results to determine what’s occurring in the skin. That may not be practical for a brand understandably but that’s something I have to reference as far as the research.
What I will close with is that my verdict is more of a “not yet.” More research and/or more capsule options could absolutely sway me into testing it out and your requests are always a factor in what I test too. Keep in mind too that as a content creator recommending products to others, I look at evidence before I even consider testing. The research is continuing though so again, I’ll be keeping an eye out.
If you don’t do other home treatments, you’re a skincare device junkie, and/or the capsules and better penetration and hydration appeal to you then you could absolutely love this and group members have shared positive experiences.
Thoughts on the pros and cons of the device aside, my opinion of the team behind the brand is purely positive. Which leads us into the Q&A portion.
Your Questions Answered by Droplette Team
I took all your submitted questions from the community and sat down with the Droplette team, mainly speaking with founder and CEO Madhavi. I really appreciated them taking the time.
This last section of the blog post is from the brand and I worked with them to make sure I had accurately summarized their responses. I do want to make it very clear that the rest of the blog post prior to this point doesn’t reflect Droplette and is purely my opinion. I just want to make sure there’s no confusion on that.
Why Droplette over other penetration enhancing tools?
Discussing the topic, the Droplette founders and I were in agreement that EMS requires a high voltage to create the temporary pores necessary for better ingredient delivery and most home devices don’t meet the necessary requirements. They also mentioned to me that with EMS, they worry about ingredient breakdown.
While they make no comparison between Droplette and microneedling (their position is that they’re different treatments entirely and while their penetration data speaks for itself, they don’t intend to focus on claims about depth v. cosmetic needling), they do mention that Droplette can be used daily and without any micro trauma where the latter is done less often.
Are there any plans to offer capsules without the subscription service at this time?
No. They want to ensure that everyone is receiving capsules fresh to order and their intention was for the product to be used regularly and over a long enough period of time to see the most benefit.
Currently you have to contact them to cancel the subscription and I did ask if there were plans to make it so you could cancel yourself on the website – they said yes.
Will this be available in other countries like Canada?
Yes, they’re working on the approval process to sell Droplette in other countries like Canada.
Will there be other capsule formulas?
Yes. I can’t share all the specifics of the conversation as nothing is official yet – but there may be some future releases focused on growth factors as well as skin concerns like melasma and rosacea. In the meantime, they recommend the glycolic acid capsules for those with hyper-pigmentation.
What about fragrance free options?
All three Droplette capsules currently being sold contain rose essential oil. I asked if any capsules without this were in the works and they stated that they include it since it’s beneficial to the formula and that they wouldn’t use irritating or phototoxic EOs. They are working on versions of the formulations that don’t contain the rose essential oil.
Their position is that the current rose oil is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and was not added for fragrance purposes.
Can you use your own serums in the Droplette capsules?
Not at this time nor is it in the works. The base of your serum and its viscosity likely won’t work with the device, which has been designed for their capsules. They also have safety concerns as many ingredients are not necessarily safe to drive into the skin.
What is the “slight disruption” to the skin barrier they mention when using the device?
Because this process occurs too quickly to easily observe, they have to hypothesize what is occurring when the Droplette’s mist breaches the skin barrier. They did test TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) and found none. TEWL is a good indicator of barrier impairment and makes a good diagnostic tool for that reason, telling us any disruption is minimal.
How does Droplette differ from Reduit or anything else that creates an aerosol mist?
It comes down to the Droplette technology, as covered in the first part of this post.
The Reduit is similar in regards to the ultrasonic Piezo, the atomizer that creates an extra fine aerosol mist. That being said, the Reduit uses a mist with a significantly larger droplet size & a slower flow rate relative to Droplette.
The membrane pump is entirely unique to Droplette and that’s what makes the droplets even smaller and also increases their velocity to help drive the actives into the skin.
Are they continuing research on the Droplette?
Yes, they are.
If the technology was originally for medical applications like drug delivery, why did they decide to sell it as a cosmetic device?
The FDA approval process for medical devices is lengthy and expensive. Per the team, it’s still in the works but they wanted to make use of the technology in the meantime and Droplette can help fund other important work.
Does the mist pose any safety risks as far as inhalation?
“We’ve done studies with cascade impaction where we have the system inhaled through the mouth for a full minute,” the company explained to Cosmetics & Toiletries. “Even then, we cannot detect above the 1.5% threshold in the lungs. Keep in mind, in this study the device is put into the mouth and the subject inhales. With intended usage, we ask users to actively not inhale and to close their mouths. Our technology is purely mechanical, so there are no propellants under high pressure like that seen in hairspray.”
What this helpful? Will you be picking up the Droplette? Comment down below with your thoughts!