For many of us, our skin requires a little bit of magic from time to time; something out of the ordinary to rescue, rebuild and rejuvenate our complexions! So what about a Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Mask? Yes, it does sound like it might have come straight out of a Hogwarts potions lab, but it’s actually part of a Rodial product series based around the red sap of the Amazonian sangre de drago tree. It aims to deeply hydrate, reduce redness, smooth imperfections and tighten wrinkles – let’s see if this product really is the fairy-tale fix it sounds like!

The Science Behind the Bottle

Sangre de drago sap used in Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Mask is produced by Croton lechleri trees in South America, and has long been used by indigenous tribes for its wound-healing capabilities. The sap contains taspine, a cicatrizant molecule. Cicatrizant molecules work to promote healing through accelerating the formation of scar tissue to repair broken skin. This is not only a very useful property if you’ve cut yourself while fumbling through the rainforest, but also acts as an astringent in this product to tighten up skin cells and give skin a smoother appearance – sounds like the product should live up to the brand’s claims so far!

The ‘dragon’s blood’ sap also contains polyphenols in a number of guises: proanthocyanidins and catechin, to name just a couple. Polyphenols are renowned in the beauty world for their anti-oxidant properties. Avid BBTG readers should know how anti-oxidants work by now, but if you’re a newbie, here’s a reminder: they scavenge reactive oxygen species (free radicals) that have the potential to cause the cellular damage that is thought to be responsible for the dreaded development of wrinkles and other visible signs of ageing. Fewer free radicals, fewer wrinkles? We hope so!

Plant extracts seem to be the go-to in skincare, often chosen as fragrances. This mask contains geraniol, an essential oil that can be derived from a number of botanical sources, like roses, geraniums and lemons! Sadly Rodial doesn’t tell us where they got theirs, which makes the ingredient tricky to scrutinise in great detail. The research available is mixed: geraniol-rich essential oils have been shown to be effective anti-microbial agents, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. Sounds like a great addition to a mask that aims to reduce redness, right? Other studies have actually linked it to sensitivity, which could cause contact dermatitis: an allergic condition similar to eczema, resulting in an itchy rash. The actual amount of geraniol in a particular product is likely to influence this heavily, and the skin’s ability to absorb geraniol differs between people so it is likely to have this effect in a minority of cases. It’s certainly worth bearing in mind if you suffer with a temperamental complexion.

A clever niche exploited by skincare is often to replenish or increase the stocks of molecules already present in our bodies. Rodial seem to have done this with hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate), which they’re included in the Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Mask. In our skin, hyaluronic acid is very good at holding onto water, keeping our skin springy and moisturised, and levels of this molecule in the epidermis are known to decline with age. There is a lot of research out there investigating the effects of this compound and when it comes to skincare, the results are very positive! It has been shown to ‘significantly improve skin hydration and elasticity’ and there are results to suggest it could potentially reduce the depth of wrinkles too.

It also looks like hyaluronic acid might also be one ingredient to tone down any angry red flare-ups in our skin. There are a lot of reasons our skin can become inflamed from time to time, but sometimes it is due to an overproduction of cytokines. Cytokines are usually helpful little molecules in our immune system, stimulating inflammation to help ‘clean up’ tissues in cases of infection. However, in some situations (including if we’re stressed out -deadlines, deadlines, deadlines!) they can be overproduced and this can lead to redness and inflammation where we don’t need it! Hyaluronic acid has been shown in studies to reduce the amount of inflammatory cytokines being released into skin cells, and so should therefore reduce the redness associated. The science behind hyaluronic acid suggests it could be a pretty comprehensive skin saviour!

The Verdict

With its mystical, attention-grabbing name, it was easy to assume that Rodial were going for the quick gimmicky sale. We were pleasantly surprised to see how well the science stood up to Beauty Geek scrutiny, as it does seem that the bold claims can be met with the cleverly chosen ingredients. Mixing tried-and-tested hyaluronic acid with the unusual sangre de drago sap looks like a recipe for success, and the bloggers over at BuyNowBlogLater and Fash-Ling agree! At £35, it’s a pricey investment but at least it looks like it will do the job! Plus the name does make us feel like we’ve been shopping in Diagon Alley – a bonus!

To get your hands on yours, click HERE!

AQUA (WATER), GLYCERIN, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, POLYSILICONE-11, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, DIMETHICONE, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRAETHYLHEXANOATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, HYDROXYETHYL ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, TRIETHANOLAMINE, SQUALANE, SUCROSE PALMITATE, GALACTOARABINAN, GLYCERYL LINOLEATE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, DISODIUM EDTA, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, POLYSORBATE 60, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), LIMONENE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, SORBITAN ISOSTEARATE, GERANIOL, LINALOOL, CROTON LECHLERI RESIN EXTRACT.