Table of Contents
This article contains affiliate links* Capsule treatments are all the rage in Korea right now! The WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule treatments are what started the hype in 2019, and so of course I had to try out this freeze-dried hyaluronic acid serum with a DIY twist!
I don’t remember when exactly I started noticing freeze-dried hyaluronic acid capsules trending on social media. It must have been in mid to late 2019 when those little packets in blue and green, sometimes black and gold, kept appearing on my Instagram feed and in K-beauty skinfluencer Youtube videos. With more and more of these tiny white capsules and intriguing, coloured serums springing up around me, I realised that this trend was here to stay for 2020, which is why I talked about it extensively in my trend forecast episode of The K-Beauty Podcast.
WELLAGE was the first Korean beauty brand to popularise the freeze-dried hyaluronic acid tablet treatments with the launch of their Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule Kits in mid 2019. Given that the brand was launched by HUGEL, a pharmaceutical company that specialises in botox injections and hyaluronic acid fillers, you can expect them to know their HA!
Let me first explain to you a bit more about the reasoning for using freeze-dried technology to preserve the hyaluronic acid. Then I’ll introduce you to the two WELLAGE one day kits I’ve tried out. Lastly, I’ll show you how to use the Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule & Blue Solution One Day Kit, because it can be a tad tricky to mix up!
What’s the Deal with Freeze-Dried Hyaluronic Acid in K-Beauty?
Alright, listen – I’m not one to fall for a skincare gimmick that easily. Sure, I am drawn to kits, mix-it-yourself treatments and funky-coloured packaging, and I’m always ready to try the latest trend. But, ultimately, the skeptic in me will want to at least understand why the heck something is being sold in separate, to be assembled parts for a suspiciously high price.
Thus, the first question I asked myself when being faced with tablets made from hyaluronic acid meant to be dissolved into a skincare serum instead of swallowed was: “So, what’s the point of freeze-drying HA?”
It wasn’t easy to find any information about this that I could understand, given that I sadly cannot read or speak Korean, but luckily Korean beauty influencer Beautycloud UNA did a (sponsored) video about the WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule treatments with English subtitles, and she explains the reasoning behind the new technology very eloquently:
Basically, by freeze-drying the hyaluronic acid, you remove the excess water usually needed in hyaluronic acid serums and ampoules, creating a hyper potent pill of HA. Usually, hyaluronic acid for skincare is created by mixing HA powder with water, so you are diluting it with a medium that doesn’t really do much for the skin.
The content of hyaluronic acid in water is measured as ppm, meaning “parts per million”, or more precisely: one milligram of something per litre of water. You have probably seen the more ingredient- and science-focused derma brands from Korea use this measurement to advertise the high percentages of their main ingredients.
The WELLAGE freeze-dried hyaluronic capsules contain (according to the brand) 900,000 ppm, so 900,000 parts per a million, which means 90% hyaluronic acid content. This is absurdly high and not really achievable within a watery solution, because you need a lot of other watery ingredients (mostly water itself, really) to dissolve the HA powder. For comparison, the Cosrx Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence* contains 4,000ppm!
Now, I cannot really say whether or not this improves the quality of the hyaluronic acid for skin absorption. Part of me doubts the “science speak” here, since you basically dilute back the HA by adding a watery serum from the kit. Doesn’t that make it exactly the same concentration again as other HA serums? What mostly attracted me to the WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule Kits was the idea of mixing up a fresh batch of serum, and of course the fact that Beautycloud UNA claimed instant, amazing results for the skin! Yes, I am that shallow and easy to manipulate into buying a new skincare gimmick… Though if I were a smart blogger, I’d claim it was all just for you guys, to test it out so that you know if it’s worth the hype!
WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule Kits: An Overview
Anyway, back to the WELLAGE kits. There are four in total: the blue serum one – meant to hydrate and soothe, the cica one with a green serum said to help with redness and blemishes, a gold one that seems extra gimmicky to me given that I don’t really find gold in skincare very useful (it’s supposed to have anti-ageing properties), and one version for toning and brightening. From what I can tell, the blue and green versions are generally the most popular ones.
You can buy the kits as a single use version or a full 10 day kit. The one day kit is what you usually see on social media, and they are also the ones I got.
Since I cannot read Hangul, I unfortunately cannot give you a full ingredient list for the Real Cica Clear One Day Kit, as there isn’t one out yet in English from what I could find. The WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule & Blue Solution One Day Kit contains the following ingredients:
“(Hyaluronic Bio Capsule) Sodium Hyaluronate, Algin, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, (Blue Solution) Water, Propanediol, Dipropylene, Glycol, Methylpropanediol, Glycereth-26, Glycerin, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Pentylene Glycol, C12-14 Pareth-12, Chia Seed Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Houttuynia Cordata (Tsi) Extract, Sodium Citrate, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Adenosine, Coccinia Indica (Ivy Gourd) Fruit Extract, Disodium EDTA, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylic/Capirc Triglyceride, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Glycosyl Trehalose, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Corallina Officialis Extract, Melatonin, Acetyl Glutamine, Sodium PCA, Oleic Acid, Serine, Glycine, Ceramide NP.”
The WELLAGE Real Cica Clear One Day Kit contains centella asiatica extract, both in the green serum as well as the HA capsule, while the Collagen Gold version is enriched with (you may guess it already) collagen and tiny gold specks. It is also the thickest and richest of the serums from what I can tell. Now, as for the white version, the Real Vitamin Toning One Day Kit, the main ingredients apparently are “vitamins” (I’m guessing vitamin C) and glutathione, said to promote skin brightening.
WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule Treatments – How to Use Guide
Mixing up the WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsules with the serum is a bit finicky, but really simple. You’ll just have to remember to keep your hands steady while mixing up the two components of the treatment, since the flimsy plastic packaging is a bit unstable.
Take out both parts of the treatment, the freeze-dried hyaluronic acid pill and the coloured serum. I’ve taken some images of my first time using the WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule & Blue Solution One Day Kit to demonstrate what it looks like. I also uploaded a video to Instagram (swipe right to see!) showing you how to use the capsules, so you can check that one out too!
Leave the hyaluronic acid capsule in its little round plastic container, make sure it stands steadily on an even plane. Open the serum packaging – careful, it’s a watery texture, so it easily spills out! Gently pour the serum into the container with your HA pill. The pill instantly dissolves in the solution, no stirring necessary, though I did use a little spatula to make sure it fully combines.
Both the blue and the green solution gave off a slightly herbal odour, stronger for the blue version. The serum remains watery once mixed together. It’s quite tricky to apply because you have to pour it into your hands from the wobbly container. It’s best to pour the mixture into the palm of one hand and then rub it between both palms, using them to transfer the serum unto the skin via a pressing motion. Basically, apply it like you would a first treatment essence or toner without a cotton pad.
WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsules – So, What’s My Verdict?
Ok, so I’ve kind of been putting off writing this review because I just don’t know how to feel about the WELLAGE capsule kits. I’ve seen other bloggers rave about them, swearing that they give them instant “wow” results, making their skin look magically more youthful within mere minutes. Most people who love these kits will tell you that they replace a sheet mask for them.
For me, they just… kind of didn’t do much? I love me a good hyaluronic acid serum, and these little kits sure do work well when it comes to hydrating my skin. But given the price point and the somewhat elaborate way to get the serum ready, I guess I just expected a whole lot more. I definitely don’t see the same type of instant improvement that I get after a good sheet mask. You know, that moment when you take the mask off and your skin just glows! None of that happened after using either the blue or the green kit.
I did like the WELLAGE Real Cica Green Complex Capsule more than the blue solution one, since cica/centella asiatica just always does wonders for my skin. It calmed my skin down noticeably and seemed to soothe my redness issues a bit. As a hydrating serum, both of these work well, but as a replacement for a mask treatment – which is how they are being advertised – they didn’t live up to the hype in my eyes.
So, final verdict on the WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule Kits: fun to play with and mix up, fine as a hydrating serum treatment, but I won’t let go of my sheet masks for these any time soon!
If you are keen to try these yourself, you can buy both the Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule & Blue Solution* and the green Real Cica Clear* One Day Kits at Yesstyle for between 3 and 6$, as well as the Gold Collagen* and brightening Real Vitamin Toning One Day Kit* for around the same price point. Yesstyle also occasionally sells the 10 day kits, so look out for those!
Let me know in the comments: Have you tried the WELLAGE Real Hyaluronic Bio Capsule serums yet? Is the freeze-dried HA capsule trend something for you or do you prefer less gimmicky skincare?
Take care guys!
*Affiliate Links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the link to purchase an item. This does not raise the purchase price for you, and it helps me and my blog to grow – so, thank you for supporting me in this way!