While you’ve already freed yourself from the prison of extra warm clothing layers, you’re also paring down your cold weather moisturizing schemes, which are probably too much overkill this time of year. The real rub is that even though it’s sweat-city outside, you still need to hydrate your skin. It feels so wrong but it’s definitely the right thing to do. And on top of that, your sudden switch to a wimpier moisturizer can get your sebaceous glands in an oil-pumping frenzy, leading to those tell-tale summer breakouts. There’s just no relief, is there?
Not so fast. It may seem weird but one skin ingredient that can very well keep you covered (literally) on those hydrating and repairing fronts is Dragon’s Blood. Here’s the thing—your skin in summer, while inundated with sweat and grease from the sunscreen you no doubt slather on daily, plus your pores leaking sweat from just taking a ten minute walk in the heat—is actually crying out for protection, not necessarily harsh drying products.
For a quick refresher, Dragon’s Blood isn’t blood at all but a plant-derived ingredient that comes from sap from a Dragon’s Blood tree (AKA Croton Lechleri). The dark red resin is prized for its healing, nourishing, hydrating and anti-inflammatory benefits. Best of all, it has well-known antibacterial and anti-viral properties—which are great for most any skin conditions (or minor wounds). Not exactly “trending,” Dragon’s Blood has been around since ancient times for its healing medicinal properties. It’s only now that skin care brands are catching on to how it can benefit your complexion. Just in case you’ve been addressing your skin concerns a la carte, Dragon’s Blood can take on several of them at once.
Acne. Remember how the philosophy goes wherein acne-riddled skin actually craves moisture and balance? Still true in the summer. Rodial‘s expert in New Product Development, Nikki Williams, explains that “Dragon’s Blood can aid in reducing inflammation and redness and help protect the skin from external irritants” which is great for acne, since as we all know, it’s mostly caused when bacteria gets into your pores, causing infection.
Acne scars. “Dragon’s Blood offers unique properties for repair and protection of the skin structure,” Williams states. “When applied, a ‘second skin’ protective shield is created, preventing environmental damage to the skin and motivating skin cell regeneration.” The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that Dragon’s Blood possesses works to stimulate the growth of skin’s fibroblasts, which aid in healing injured skin. Acne scarring is generally the result of repeat inflammations of a breakout, which never allow the skin to heal completely before wrecking it again. Constantly picking at acne doesn’t do anything to help this, so keep your hands off. When you start thinking of acne like a wound to heal instead of a blemish to remove, you’ll probably start treating it in a more effective way.
Anti-Aging. It may or may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, but the best way to put off aging is to take preventative measures now. Like wearing sunscreen all the time. Also, incorporating a protective measure that promotes cell renewal. Loaded with antioxidants, Dragon’s Blood wards off free radicals that can damage your skin cells, causing premature aging. When you consider how your skin is subjected to an onslaught of UV damage, environmental aggressors and whatever else you may slather on it on a regular basis, taking an approach to healing your skin prevents it from breaking down more quickly than it already is. Other than aiding in skin regeneration, Dragon’s Blood also boosts collagen production—which is something you’ll miss several years down the road when your skin loses elasticity and the firmness of youth.
You can find Dragon’s Blood as the star ingredient in serums, moisturizers, face masks and exfoliators. Rodial makes a Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturizer with SPF, which Williams says, “promotes skin renewal and is very hydrating, but still manages to be really lightweight so it’s perfect for summer.“
Kylie Jenner even swears by a Dragon’s Blood serum from Nip+Fab which is the anti-airplane fix for dehydrated skin. If you can’t trust a derm, you can trust a celeb whose selfie empire relies on having a flawless complexion. Wei East offers a Dragon Tree Dramatic Lift Face Concentrate as well as an eye treatment, both of which are meant to give your skin a mini-lift. Peter Thomas Roth even based a skin re-texturizing line around the ingredient which aims to re-surface your skin, shedding hyperpigmention, scarring, and dull texture.
We may instinctually reach for any acidic or alcohol-laced acne treatment product to zap our zits, but now that we can replace it with a renewing and repairing substance like Dragon’s Blood, our summer breakouts don’t stand a chance.