It's gonna get sappy up in here.
I kept trying to think of that one quote about dragons from Game of Thrones to start this article off with, but I just couldn’t figure it out. Then I realized it’s because it wasn’t Game of Thrones I was thinking of, it was RuPaul’s Drag Race. I always get those two shows confused. I do know that one of them involves dragons, though I’m still not sure which.
Anyway, dragons. Have you guys noticed all of these skincare products that have dragon’s blood listed as an active ingredient? At first I was like “Hmm cute” but then I started noticing so many that I had this moment like, “Wait, are dragons...actually...real?”
For a minute, I wasn't actually sure. It wouldn’t be the first time I mixed up fantasy and reality. Like, I didn't know that both passion fruit and star fruit were actually real, I thought they were just in fairytales. And up until recently I thought Rick Ross was a fictional character.
Well I am happy to confirm that dragons are, in fact, fictional. I was right all along. So what is this dragon’s blood, then?
Turns out dragon's blood is actually a resin derived from Croton lechleri trees, which are native to South America. The resin has been used to protect open wounds by forming a thin, flexible, almost skin-like seal when applied directly to the wound. Gross!
It’s also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which make it a great topical treatment for burns, stings, bites or abrasions of almost any kind. It also repairs collagen and stimulates collagen production in your skin, and is known to heal tissue.
Read between the lines: It makes for a great ingredient in skincare.
As we age, the collagen in our skin breaks down, which is a main factor in our skin’s aging. Skin loses elasticity causing fine lines, wrinkles and sagging, sallow skin. Dragon’s Blood stimulates and repairs collagen, which plumps skin, making it firmer over time, and helps it retain moisture, making it look hydrated and more alive. It’s a quick fix with long-term benefits if kept up with.
I wanted to see the results firsthand, so I called in three of the Dragon’s Blood products that kept catching my eye.
When I apply skincare, I usually go eye creams, serums, then moisturizers, so I’m going to stick with that order, k? K.
Wei Dragon Blood Eye Lifting Pads, $60 for 10 pads.
The Wei eye pads are basically a sheet mask, but for the eye area only. The mask itself is lightweight — somewhere between a paper and a gel mask, since it’s saturated with the eye serum.
Yank it out of the package, remove the guards on either side of the mask, and place over your eyes.
What I like most about this mask is that you can massage it against your skin and it will stay put, so you can go about your day without having to worry about the mask falling off into your coffee or onto your keyboard or whatever. You can still get shit done while wearing it. That's important! I hate sitting still.
The mask cools skin while you wear it, which helps to reduce puffiness while the serum soaks in, lifting and tightening around your eyes where your skin is the thinnest and shows signs of aging most drastically. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, remove, and massage any excess product into the skin. Follow with eye cream and moisturizer and you’ll be on your way.
After I use these, my skin feels hydrated and tighter, and I definitely look more awake, even if I don’t feel it.
Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Fix Serum, $19.95.
It makes sense that Dragon’s Blood would find its way into a serum, where ingredients are concentrated so you get high potency with just a little product.
This isn’t the consistency of your typical serum. If you told me it was a gel moisturizer, I wouldn’t ask any questions. That’s fine by me, though, because I prefer gels. One pump of this serum moisturizes, uses hyaluronic acid to brighten and refine texture, and uses the dragon’s blood to create a thin film over your face which seals in moisture and protects your skin from the environmental stressors that break down collagen in your skin.
The serum has a pretty noticeable smell that I can only describe as a pairing of gin and musk. If fragranced skincare is a turn-off for you, this might not be a dealbreaker, because the scent dissipates upon dry-down.
Dragon’s Blood Fix Serum sinks down into your skin quickly and plays nicely with your other skincare and makeup. It dries matte, so if your moisturizer has a dewy finish, this won’t compound that to make you shiny. I love serums, but you can always tell and feel which ones are gonna make you look oily.
Every benefit of dragon’s blood is most effectively put to use in Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel. Right on the jar, it explains that it works to “volumize and define facial contours.”
Isn’t it funny that, since contouring became a trend in beauty, we’re seeing skincare promising to contour your face as well? This isn’t the first. *SIPS TEA*
Like the serum before, it creates a subtle film over the face to protect, stimulate cell regeneration, calm, and reduce redness. By hydrating, calming and plumping the skin, fine lines are naturally reduced and skin looks more awake and more alive. It also dries down matte, with just a subtle glow that catches the light.
As a guy whose sleeping schedule is all sorts of messed up, I’m always looking for products to give me the illusion of well-rested skin, and I don’t want to have to rely on concealers to give it to me because, yo, sometimes I don’t have a lot of extra time to spare in the mornings.
I’ve been using these products for about two months now (the eye masks once or twice a week) and my skin looks brighter, and, though I don’t have many noticeable wrinkles because I am 14, my skin looks noticeably less sallow. That’s big when you’re not sleeping, or at least not getting good sleep due to the three bottles of whiskey coursing through your system at all times.
Are you familiar with dragon's blood? What do you think of it? What skincare products are you using right now? Tell me everything down below.
Tynan is not tweeting about Game of Thrones on Twitter @TynanBuck.