Hydro Relief Peptides & Amino Acids Cream

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Hydro Relief is perfect for hydrating dry, aging skin, especially during the winter and in arid climates.

Key Benefits: Deeply hydrating while strengthening skin barrier, won't clog pores, rich and creamy but non-greasy.

Key Ingredients: Soy peptides, rice amino acids, panthenol, niacinamide, jojoba esters, squalane, shea butter.

2.0 fl oz / 60 ml

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Hydro Relief

Meticulously crafted

Rich, creamy and so smooth. It glides on like a dream and sinks in without leaving any residue.

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100-day happiness guarantee

Returns within 100 days receive a full refund

Peptides are powerfully hydrating and plant-based lipids seal in moisture

Rice amino acids and soy peptides are naturally moisturizing, have anti-aging benefits, and can even skin tone. Squalane, shea butter, and jojoba esters seal in moisture as well as ‘slugging’ routines but without the greasiness.

The right supporting cast helps with redness and long-term skin barrier support

Panthenol (provitamin B5) and niacinamide (vitamin B3) are powerful anti-inflammatories and enhance the production of proteins and lipids that make up the skin barrier for long-term support. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory green tea and rosemary further calm skin.

Perfect texture so you'll want to use it everyday

A skin routine should be a relaxing ‘me’ moment. Hydro Relief’s texture is rich, creamy, and smooth. It doesn’t feel tacky or greasy. Nor does it clog pores.

When to use

Apply daily in the morning and/or evening to the entire face and neck.

How to use
  • Apply after serums to seal in and enhance hydration.
Key Ingredients

Soy peptides - natural moisturizing factors that are also anti-aging

Rice amino acids - natural moisturizing factors that attract and bind water

Panthenol (provitamin B5) - anti-inflammatory (can relieve redness) and also a humectant that holds water to improve hydration

Niacinamide (vitamin B3) - anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and stimulates natural production of ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier

Jojoba esters - plant-derived wax from Jojoba shrub that can prevent water loss from skin with performance on par with petroleum

Squalane - plant-derived version of a natural lipid found in skin that helps “water-proof” the skin so that it can retain moisture

Shea Butter - emollient occlusive from nut of African Shea tree can incorporate into the skin barrier and support it to improve moisture retention

Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran extract - natural moisturizing factors that are anti-aging and help even skin tone

Green Tea extract - anti-inflammatory and antioxidant

Rosemary extract - antioxidant and antimicrobial

Show all ingredients

For the Curious

We aimed to craft the perfect moisturizer, one that thrived in the driest climates and the most brutal winters, without the greasiness, stickiness, or pore-clogging drawbacks.

In formulating Hydro Relief, we chose amino acids and peptides from soy and rice, known for mimicking the skin's natural moisturizing factors, offering anti-aging and skin tone-evening benefits.

We combined these humectants with plant-based lipids like squalane, which replicates the skin's natural barrier lipids, and shea butter and jojoba esters, known for their occlusive properties that rival petroleum yet feel significantly better on the skin.

Furthermore, the cream is fortified with niacinamide and panthenol, vitamins that supercharge skin barrier repair for long-term hydration and health.

We also added anti-inflammatory and antioxidant botanical extracts like green tea and rosemary, enhancing the skin-calming and redness-reducing effects.

The result of this meticulous formulation is a texture so rich and creamy, yet remarkably smooth and non-greasy on the skin. It glides on effortlessly, absorbs easily, and forms a protective barrier that locks in moisture and shields against harsh elements.

Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins and peptides. Peptides are basically mini-proteins. To learn more about peptides, please see Peptide Squad pages (link here). Amino acids are peptide are natural moisturizing factors. Hydro Relief incorporates soy and rice peptides that in addition to having hydrating benefits, also provide anti-aging benefits and can even out skin tone.

Let’s dive deeper:

Amino acids and peptides are hygroscopic molecules (humectants) that play a role as natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) within corneocytes. Indeed, 50% of NMFs are amino acids (from the breakdown of protein filaggrin) while the remaining NMFs are salts such as lactates, urea, and electrolytes (Purnamawati et al. 2017). Inclusion of peptides and amino acids in serums and creams boost the levels of these natural moisturizers.

Additionally, soy and rice peptides are known as enzyme inhibitor peptides that have anti-aging activity. Studies show rice and soy peptides inhibit serine proteases such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that break up extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) (Schagen 2017, Ferreira 2020). Rice peptides additionally stimulate hyaluron synthase (hyaluronic acid is a GAG) as well as having anti-tyrosinase activity for hyperpigmentation to help even out skin tone (Schagen 2017). Rice oligos with Vitamin C in ampoules have also been tested in humans with positive findings (Escobar et al. 2020).

Particularly in East Asia, rice peptides have been used for thousands of years going back to ancient times when women in the royal court used rice water to maintain their skin. In modern times, due to these powerfully hydrating, skin tone evening, and anti-aging properties, soy and rice peptides have been widely used in skincare products in East Asia for decades.

In summer, humectants can draw in water from the surrounding humid environment, but in the winter when the air is dry, humectants mostly attract water from the underlying dermis which is supplied by blood vessels. Hence, they must be combined with emollients and occlusives so that the water attracted by the humectant does not evaporate but rather is held in by the water-proof barrier forming lipids. The lipids in Hydro Relief are plant-based emollients and occlusives with superior performance (Sethi et al. 2016).

Dry skin in the winter is a common complaint as humidity drops and the skin barrier is insufficient to prevent significant moisture loss. A recent trend called “slugging” uses petroleum jelly (vaseline) to combat winter dryness. However, it is greasy and environmentally unfriendly. Can plant-based lipids form as good a moisture barrier as petroleum based products but without these down-sides? The science says yes and shows plant based lipids can have other benefits as well.

Let’s dive deeper:

Shea butter, jojoba esters and squalane are favored to function as emollients and occlusives not only for their natural benefits and functionality but also for superior skin-feel.

Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii). 85-90% of the fatty acid composition of shea butter is stearic and oleic acids, and the rest is composed of linoleic, palmitic, and arachidic fatty acids. These naturally found long chain saturated fatty acids act not only as occlusives but as emollients, incorporating into the skin barrier and improving skin barrier repair and hydration. In addition to fatty acids, shea butter contains natural triterpenes that have anti-inflammatory action (Purnamawati et al. 2017).

Squalene is a natural component of sebum and one of the most common lipids produced by human skin cells. The amount of squalene produced naturally by the body decreases drastically after age 30 contributing to dry skin with aging. Squalane (with an ‘a’) is a saturated form of squalene derived from plants. Squalane mimics squalene and has the added advantage of being less susceptible to oxidation. This makes squalane an ideal choice for use in moisturizers. Further, it does not have an oily feel, is odorless, does not lead to acne, is antibacterial and is safe for sensitive skin (Sethi et al. 2016).

Jojoba is a shrub native to the Southwestern United States whose seeds contain a liquid wax oil that was first used for skin and hair conditioning and healing by Native Americans. This oil contains long straight-chain wax esters that are more similar in composition to whale oil than other vegetable oils making it a superior occlusive. In fact, in clinical studies, jojoba esters perform on par with petroleum based products at preventing trans-epidermal water loss making it an ideal plant-based alternative for petroleum (Oliphant et al. 2013).

Moisturizers generally provide hydration with humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Humectants attract and hold water, while emollients and occlusives provide lipids that incorporate into your existing skin barrier and also form a film on top of the skin for added water holding support. However, they may also function in a second, more long-term way by promoting the production of endogenous ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids that form your natural skin barrier. Vitamins, and in particular niacinamide (vitamin B3) and panthenol (provitamin B5) are two of the most proven ingredients that demonstrates this type of skin barrier supporting activity. They have been found to be particularly useful at supporting your skin barrier against winter dryness and reducing redness.

Let’s dive deeper:

Panthenol is not only an excellent humectant but it is also absorbed into the skin where it is converted into pantothenic acid which is hygroscopic. This is in part why panthenol is an excellent moisturizer. The other is that pantothenic acid is a constituent of coenzyme A which is a cofactor in the synthesis of fatty acids and sphingoplipids that strengthen the skin barrier (Proksh et al. 2017). It is one of the most time-tested ingredients in moisturizers shown in double-blind clinical trials conducted over several decades to be effective and safe at hydrating, repairing and restoring a damaged skin barrier (Proksch et al. 2017, Scott et al. 2022). It is also well tolerated in those with sensitive skin with winter xerosis (Nisbet et al. 2019). Along with niacinamide, panthenol was found to have anti-inflammatory action as well and significantly reduce facial redness due to winter xerosis in those with sensitive skin (Nisbet et al. 2019)

Niacinamide is one of the most well-studied and gold standard ingredients in moisturizers, and particularly in moisturizers that are anti-aging. It directly combats age-related declines in cofactors that are necessary for a strong skin barrier. In other words, it supports the long-term hydration of skin by helping kickstart the body’s natural skin barrier strengthening mechanisms that may have become faulty with aging (Matts et al. 2002). Niacinamide when applied to dry skin has been shown to increase levels of skin barrier lipids such as ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol and to decrease trans-epidermal water loss (Tanno et al. 2008). Niacinamide also increases protein levels for collagen, keratin, fillaggrin, and involucrin which also experience age-related declines (Gehring 2004, Bissett et al. 2006). This is why Niacinamide can also combat fine lines and wrinkles (Bisset et al. 2006).

In addition to its ability to increase skin hydration in older subjects, niacinamide has proven to be an effective and superior ingredient in combating skin dryness in eczema patients and in winter xerosis (dry and scaly skin brought on by dry, winter environments). For instance, in a head-to-head study against white petroleum in the treatment of dry skin in eczema patients, a niacinamide containing moisturizer but not petroleum led to long-term decreases in trans-epidermal water loss across 8 weeks. Further, while skin hydration improved similarly for both the niacinamide containing moisturizer and petroleum immediately after application, superior hydration was seen at 4 weeks and 8 weeks with niacinamide (Soma et al. 2005). Hence, with continued use, a niacinamide containing moisturizer was superior to white petroleum at strengthening the skin barrier and combatting skin dryness long-term. Niacinamide has also been shown to improve hydration and alleviate skin dryness specifically in patients with winter xerosis (Gehring 2004, Nisbet et al. 2019).

Panthenol and niacinamide have additional desirable properties as anti-inflammatories. Modern moisturizers further aim to include additional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as botanical extracts. Dry skin leads to a weakened skin barrier and hence, allergens and microbes can penetrate leading to free radical damage and inflammation. Inflamed and dry skin is therefore a common complaint. The addition of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients in moisturizers can aid in combating free radical damage and treating the inflammation. Botanical extracts from green tea and rosemary incorporate phytocompounds that have naturally antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action found to be beneficial for skin health (Prasanth et al. 2019, Pomi et al. 2023).

The journey of Hydro Relief began with Lisa, a friend of a Maelove team member living in Denver.

She struggled with dry, itchy, and red skin, a common plight in Denver's cold and dry winters. Her dermatologist's recommendation of petroleum jelly, while effective, was a greasy and pore-clogging nightmare for her.

That's when the idea struck us. We aimed to craft the perfect moisturizer, one that thrived in the driest climates and the most brutal winters, without the greasiness, stickiness, or pore-clogging drawbacks.

After extensive research and development, we struck gold. Our creation was rich and creamy, yet remarkably light and smooth on the skin. It glides on effortlessly, absorbs easily, and forms a protective barrier that locks in moisture and shields against harsh elements.

Plush Cream is recommended for those with normal to oily skin and use during warmer and humid climates. The texture is light and airy and absorbs almost instantly.

Hydro Relief is recommended for those with normal to dry skin and use during colder and dry climates. The texture is rich, creamy and smooth with a non-greasy, smooth finish.

Escobar S, Valois A, Nielsen M, Closs B, Kerob D (2021). “Effectiveness of a formulation containing peptides and vitamin C in treating signs of facial ageing: three clinical studies.” Int J Cosmetic Sci 43: 131-135.

Ferreira MS, Magalhaes MC, Sousa-Lobo JM, Almeida IF (2020). “Trending Anti-Aging Peptides.” Cosmetics 7: 91. Doi:10.3390/cosmetics7040091.

Purnamawati S, Indrastuti N, Danarti R, Saefudin T (2017). “The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review.” Clinical Medicine and Research 15(3-4): 75-87.

Schagen SK (2017). “Topical Peptide Treatments with Effective Anti-Aging Results.” Cosmetics 4: 16. Doi:10.3390/cosmetics4020016

Sethi A, Kaur T, Malhotra SK, Gambhir ML (2016). “Moisturizers: The Slippery Road.” Indian J Dermatol 61(3): 279-287.

Purnamawati S, Indrastuti N, Danarti R, Saefudin T (2017). “The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review.” Clinical Medicine and Research 15(3-4): 75-87.

Oliphant T. Harper R (2013). “Skin barrier protection with jojoba esters.” JAAD 68 (4) Supplement 1: AB37

Sethi A, Kaur T, Malhotra SK, Gambhir ML (2016). “Moisturizers: The Slippery Road.” Indian J Dermatol 61(3): 279-287.

Bissett DL, Oblong JE, Berge CA (2006). “Niacinamide: A B Vitamin that Improves Aging Facial Skin Appearance.” Dermatologic Surgery 31: 860-866

Gehring W (2004). “Nicotinic acid/ niacinamide and the skin.” J Cosmet Dermatol 3: 88-93.

Matts PJ, Oblong JE, Bissett DL (2002).“A review of the range of effects of niacinamide in human skin.” IFSCC5(4):285-289.

Nisbet SJ, Targett D, Rawlings AV, Qian K, Wang X, Lin CB, Thompson MA, Bulsara PA, Moore DJ (2019). “Clinical and in vitro evaluation of new anti-redness cosmetic products in subjects with winter xerosis and sensitive skin.’ Int J Cosmet Sci 41: 534-547.

Pomi FL, Papa V, Borgia F, Vaccaro M, Allegra A, Cicero N, Gangemi S (2023). “Rosmarinus officinalis and Skin: Antioxidant Activity and Possible Therapeutical Role in Cutaneous Diseases.” Antioxidants 12: 680.

Prasanth MI, Sivamaruthi BS, Chaiyasut C, Tencomnao T (2019). “A Review of the Role of Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) in Antiphotoaging, Stress Resistance, Neuroprotection, and Autophagy.” Nutrients 11: 474. Doi:10.3390/nu11020474.

Proksch E, de Bony R, Trapp S, Boudon S (2017). “Topical use of dexpanthenol: a 70th anniversary article.” J Dermatol Treatment 28(8): 766-773.

Scott LN, Fiume M, Bergfield WF, Belsito DV, Hill RA, Klaassen CD, Liebler DC, Marks Jr JG, Shank RC, Slaga TJ, Snyder PW, Heldreth B (2022). “Safety Assessment of Panthenol, Pantothenic Acid, and Derivatives as Used in Cosmetics.” Int J Toxicol 41(3_suppl): 77-128.

Soma Y, Kashima M, Imaizumi A, Takhama H, Kawakami T, Mizoguchi M (2005). “Moisturizing effects of topical nicotinamide on atopic dry skin.” Int J Dermatol 44: 197-202.

Tanno O, Ota Y, Kitamura N, Katsube T, Inoue S (2008). “Nicotinamide increases biosynthesis of ceramides as well as other stratum corneum lipids to improve the epidermal permeability barrier.” British J Dermatol 143(3): 524-531.

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