Category Archives: Korean Skin Care

Softest, Most Comforting Hydrating Mask: Dr. Grand+

Dr. Grand+ is considered a ‘derma-cosmetic’ brand creating skin care products that are clinical-grade with anti-aging and brightening solutions.  Sheet mask is always a great way to be introduced to a new brand.

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What intrigued me about these masks are two things:

(1) ‘4 Dimensional Facial Contouring’.  Based on my understanding, this is describing the 4D stretch design of the mask to perfectly cover the entire face with minimal creasing or gap, and thus seriously treat every aspect of the skin for a noticeably lifted look, along with firmer and smoother skin.  The mask has a stretchy texture when wet and literally touches every skin surface.

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(2) The unique mask material that makes this one of the softest, most highly absorbent, and most comforting sheet masks I’ve ever used!  Now that I’m trying to mask daily, I can really appreciate the differences in mask material and texture, and ultimately the way it feels and the result it has on my skin.  The characteristics of these mask are described to contain high quality cotton linter as material, using filaments mutual self-bonding features and non-woven.  This translates to masks that has high liquid absorption and retention compared to regular cotton.  The non-woven aspect allows the mask to be highly breathable.  When the mask is wet, it is a transparent sheet with the essence permeating the filament.  When mask is dry (picture below), the intricate filament is appreciated.  The mask is stretchy, and the high essence retention allows the mask to cling tightly to the face.

Here I put the Absolute Solution Masks to test: (1) Aloe and Madecassoside Soothing Mask, (2) VitaC and Glutathione brightening mask.

Aloe and Madecassoside Soothing Mask

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WHAT IT IS

  • A soothing and calming mask

WHAT IT DOES

  • Best for achieving hydrated, plump and translucent skin
  • Gives skin a boost of hydration
  • Skin soothing
  • Improve skin barrier
  • Wrinkle improvement

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • Aloe – promote skin healing, an anti-inflammatory
  • Madecassoside – anti-oxidant
  • Adenosine – anti-aging
  • Trehalose – hydration
  • G4D Active – Patent complex of active ingredients for anti-aging
    • ceramide
    • arginine
    • lysine polypeptide
    • N-actyl glucosamine
    • Sodium hyaluronate
    • Biossacaride Gum-1

RESULTS

I’ve already professed my love for the mask quality.  It literally clings like a second skin, and completely soaked with watery essence that has a mild floral scent.  I did not mind that there wasn’t any essence left in the package because I believe all the essence are effectively absorbed into the mask and slowly delivered into my skin over the ensuing 40 minutes.  The mask is still damp after 40 minutes!  I love aloe for its soothing and repairing effects and this mask does exactly as it claims: effectively hydrate the skin after one use, restore and boost moisture retention for a healthy glow.

Absolute Solution Mask: VitaC and Glutathione

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WHAT IT IS

  • A brightening mask

WHAT IT DOES

  •  ‘Tone up’ – Improve dullness and uneven texture
  • Whitening – lightening of dark spot
  • Brightens skin

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • Vitamin C – anti-oxidant, help lighten scar, spots; reduce blemishes
  • Glutathione – brighten skin tone
  • Niacinamide and Adenosine – reduce skin aging, boost healthy collagen synthesis

RESULTS

A powerful blend of antioxidants, glutathione, niacinamide visibly brighten skin to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentations.  My face soaked up all the goodness while resting under this superpower fabric of mask drenched in essence.  My skin instantly feel smoother, and looks hydrated, even toned and radiant.  I can judge that one application is enough to give me immediate brightening effect.  I definitely need to restock this one, as a few application may get the full benefit of the ingredients that help to minimize fine line and dark spots.

You can find these masks at http://www.drgrandplus.com.

 

Lapothicell – Keep Your Youth

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I’ve professed my love for this brand before.  Their sensitive skin care range is just perfect for my skin.  All of their products are hypoallergenic, mild and refreshing and literally have been transforming my skin.  Lapothicell was developed through all of technology and know-how accumulated by Kukje pharmaceutical researchers under the concept of “Real Derma-Cosmetic” over the past 57 years. Their products have been accomplishing remarkable achievements based on its quality and results in Korea and is expanding into the rest of Asia and now international.  They carry all the basic skin care products everyone should own, from cleansing water, to peeling booster to sun protector.  I’m so excited to incorporate some of their Keep Your Youth products, consists of gels, serums and creams which promise to give you tangible anti-aging results and to bring back the clarity of your skin.

Keep Your Youth Eye Contour Gel 

WHAT IT IS
  • Light-weight & refreshing gel eye gel
WHAT IT DOES
  • A solution for fine lines and wrinkles around the eye
KEY INGREDIENTS
  • Adenosine
    – Increase cell regeneration
  • Centella Asiatica
    – anti-inflammatory and calming effect. Brightens overall skin tone and age spots
  • Patented ingredient, ‘Syn®-Coll
    Syn®-Coll is a mixture of synthetic peptides designed to stimulate the skin’s natural mechanism to produce collagen
    – boost collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Houttuynia Cordata Extract
    – helps brighten skin and sebum control.
WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS
  • Clear lightly viscous gel; glides smoothly and easily patted in and absorbed
WHY I LIKE IT
This is my first eye product in a gel form.  The advantage of a gel product is that it is thinner, and as a result, the active ingredients can penetrate deeper.  My eye is always an area of concern for fine lines, so please penetrate away!  It contains the above ingredients as well as trusted hyaluronic acid for added firmness and rich peptide to help firm skin over time as well as instantly.  The product spreads out evenly and is fast absorbing, leaves no residue yet really lock in the moisture.  I actually leave this in the fridge and the coolness of the gel offers an immediate cooling boost to awaken and refresh and reduce under-eye puffiness.  This is great for those who want a fast absorbing product instead of heavy eye cream, and is perfect for day time use and summer time.

Keep Your Youth Daily Essence

WHAT IT IS

  • Anti-aging and balancing essence

WHAT IT DOES

  • To improve elasticity of skin and thus help minimize fine lines
  • To hydrate, repair and strengthen skin’s natural barrier.

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • Adenosine- Increase cell regeneration
  • Chia seed – A source of omega-3 fatty acid, which makes it an effective skin moisturizer and helps to hold onto hydration; Helps with hyperpigmentations, and act against inflammation
  • Centella Asiatica- anti-inflammatory and calming effect. Brightens overall skin tone and age spots.
  • Patented ingredient, ‘Syn®-Coll (Palmitoyl tripeptide-3)
    – boost stimulation collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Houttuynia Cordata Extract- helps brighten and clear skin and sebum control.

WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS

  • Clear water based essence, with concentrated oil capsules; visible oil bubbles that burst when massaged into face; no detectable scent; Glides smooth and absorbs fast

WHY I LIKE IT

This Lapothicell essence has earned a permanent place in my beauty arsenal.  Oil and water co-exist in harmony in the skin to help maintain its equilibrium of hydration and natural oil production, help to mimic and rebuild damaged skin hydrolipidic film.  It really contains the best of both world as an oil-in-water essence.  It’s non-greasy and lightweight as a water-based essence, yet formulated to travel deepest into the skin with the oil micro-capsules to deliver the finest cocktail of hydrating botanical oils and peptides.  The consistency is slightly thicker than most essence but still ultra-light and instantly glides onto the skin to provide a burst of powerful moisture that leaves my skin fresh, soft and supple, and moisture retained for the whole day.

Tone Up Serum

WHAT IT IS

  • A brightening serum

WHAT IT DOES

  • Highly moisturizing serum that penetrates deep inside giving silky finish.
  • It also brightens and restores your skin to healthier and natural glow looking.

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • Pearl Extract – Increase skin hydration to improve skin elasticity
  • TRANEXAMIC ACID – Prevent skin Melanin production
  • Adenosine – Increase cell regeneration
  • Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 – Boost Collage and increase skin elasticity
  • Niacinamide – Korea FDA approved ingredient for brighten skin tone

WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS

  • A milky light serum, feels refreshing on the skin, and has no discernible scent.

WHY I LIKE IT

I’m always on a quest for brightening serums, and it’s especially amazing when a product uses skin-safe ingredients to brighten complexion, as well as improve hyperpigmentation, dark spots and uneven skin tone; which are ALL of my concerns.  The serum is super light weight, yet so hydrating and simply feels decadent on the skin.  It boasts so many beneficial ingredients.  This has been in my daily routine for a while now and my skin is brighter, and acne scar is starting to lighten.  While it doesn’t aggressively reduce the appearance of dark spots, it does leave my skin looking brighter and more even.  I haven’t experienced any irritation and I haven’t felt the need to use any heavy coverage for scars.  I feel a good serum should be multi-functional and certainly this one not only brightens but it’s also enriched with niacinamide and adenosine that have skin firming benefits, and gives another layer of hydration to help plump and give a bouncy and elastic feel to the skin.  The price is reasonable for a multi-faceted product that provides anti-aging, skin brightening, spot correcting and moisturizing in one.

Keep Your Youth Daily Gel

WHAT IT IS

  • A lightweight daily moisturizing gel with anti-aging and skin brightening benefits

WHAT IT DOES

  • Improve dull skin, uneven skin tone
  • Softening fine lines
  • Protect and balance skin sebum

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • Pearl Extract- Increase skin hydration to improve skin elasticity
  • PhytoG-Honey Extract (from Jeju Island) – Implement skin hydration & keeps the moisture in.
  • Adenosine- Increase cell regeneration
  • Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4- Boost Collage and increase skin elasticity
  • Niacinamide-FDA approved ingredient to helps even skin tone and hydrate skin

WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS

Extremely lightweight and airy; feels like a thicker version of a serum, absorbs easy and no tacky feel

 

WHY I LIKE IT

It’s the summer, so for my combination skin, I seriously feel that a good gel moisturizer is the best way to get hydrated without overwhelming my pores.  My skin is the classic combination type, some areas are parched and flaky and t-zone completely opposite. This product does a superb job of balancing skin moisture without leaving my face feeling greasy.  The Daily Gel has a cooling effect when applied, and glides evenly and smoothly.   It literally feels like I am wearing nothing since it gets absorbed into the skin immediately but my skin feels sooo hydrated, firm and elastic.  Thanks to its nourishing ingredients (including niacinamide, honey, and pearl), it recharges and quenches my skin, even on the driest of complexion days.  I find it can be a great multi-tasker as well, especially if I leave it in the fridge and can easily use it as a cool de-puffing mask, or a soothing gel for sun burns.  Additionally it leaves my face with a dewy fresh-faced glow, easy for those no-makeup or lazy days.  A little bit goes a long way, and its convenient tube form is easy for travelling and hygiene.  I feel that this may be a product that can be used on my skin year-round.

 

There you go, it’s really quite obvious I am a big fan of Lapothicell products.  I have managed to create a skin-care regime using many of their products that simply produce the results I’m looking for: improve dullness, hydrate but non-clogging, improve skin complexion and texture, with added bonus of anti-aging effects.  I love experimenting but sometimes using skin care products from one brand can work synergistically together to get the outcome I want.  More importantly, find products that work and perform well for your skin.  Do you have a brand that you love?

You can find these products on Amazon or http://www.lapothicell.com

Benton Papaya-S Sun Cream SPF50+ / PA ++++

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Sunscreen helps lower skin cancer risks, and prevents dark sun spots and other UV-related skin damages, so YES PLEASE Benton, I will add another sunscreen to my collection.  Thank you for this opportunity to provide an honest review!

WHAT IT IS

  • A water-sweat resistant physical and chemical sunscreen

WHAT IT DOES

  • Offers the highest sun protection factor in Korea SPF50+/PA++++ against both UVA and UVB
  • Offers skin care benefits including sebum and pore control, hydration, and brightening

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • Physical Protectors: Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide
  • Chemical Protectors: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine
  • Skin Nourishing Ingredients:
    • Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Water(43%) / Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract –  Rich in vitamins and contains polyphenols, minerals, and papain, all important in keeping skin healthy and beautiful.
    • Carica Papaya Seed Oil – Extracted from the seed of the papaya, Papaya Seed Oil helps to make skin supple and smooth. Also, the oil helps skin to retain moisture
    • Papain – Papain is a protease obtained from the papaya. It is effective in pore care, controlling sebum and dead skin cells.
  • Skin Brightening Ingredients: 
    • Niacinamide and adenosine

HOW IT SMELLS/FEEL/LOOK

  • Lightweight, ivory milky cream texture
  • Water-in-oil emulsion, allowing easy spread
  • Has a small amount of temporary white cast which goes away when product is tapped or messaged; Hydrating and dewy finish
  • Scent of geranium (an essential oil)

REVIEW

The consistency resembles a light cream but not runny, so it did not run into my eyes (I can be a klutz at times).  Upon initial application, the product appears pasty and creamy but once I massage and tap gently a few times, the product gets completely absorbed into my skin quickly.  I do have fairer skin on my face, and the finish is neither thick nor sticky, neither shiny nor matte.  The papain ingredient is suppose to help in controlling and balancing oil as well as prevent pore clogging.  Overall it gave my face a bit of a brighter and dewy not greasy appearance.  However by midday, some of my natural oil is starting to seep through, and my t-zones needed a little bit of dabbing.  I do feel that this product has a better grip on my skin than my daily sunscreen.  Even when I’m in the water, I feel that the product has great staying power, which is fabulous.  It is a little bit heavier than what I would like to use as a daily sunscreen, however I will not hesitate to grab this on the weekend or days when I’m going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, be it in the water or exercising, as this product can last me longer through the sweat and the heat.

Benton has provided the product for review purpose.  All opinions are my own.

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Glow Giver: Lapothicell Tone Up and Cover Cushion

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WHAT IT IS

  • Light-medium coverage and long wearing B.B. cream in a portable compact

WHAT IT DOES

  • Skin brightening, Solution for wrinkles/fine lines, Sunscreen product (SPF50+ PA++++_

KEY INGREDIENTS

Sun Protection

  • Physical: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • Chemical: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

Skin Care

  • Niacinamide – a derivative of Vitamin B3, strengthen skin barrier to protect from external damages, hydrate skin and minimize pigment formation to encourage even skin tone; balance sebum production
  • Adenosine – boost collagen and elastin to help with skin firming; potent anti-inflammatory to help with managing red, irritated and sensitive skin
  • Bisabolol –  a derivative of chamomile, with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial properties
  • 5 White Flower Complex – deeply hydrates and nourishes, brightens and evens skin

SCENT/TEXTURE/FRAGRANCE

  • Creamy yet breathable, perfect for summer time
  • Light to Medium coverage
  • Natural finish

WHY I LIKE IT

It’s hot where I am every day.  I don’t remember the last time I wore foundation because I just can’t stand the heaviness of foundation.  Cushions are the way to go.  As one of my favorite cushion (Troiareuke Seoul Aesthetic Cushion) comes to a halting finish, I’m desperately trying to find its replacement.  The Lapothicell cushion provides a slightly lighter coverage but it is one of the most natural coverages I’ve ever seen.

The texture is creamy and the coverage is just heavy enough to hide my imperfections (scars, brown spots, redness) and light enough to feel weightless on the skin, giving it a bright, fresh looking skin.  I feel that this cushion provides a lot more brightening effect compared to others, and the finish is semi-matte with a glow-from-within finish rather than super dewy.  It’s not ashy or pale, just very complementing to my skin tone.   I find some makeup tend to fill in pores or settle into lines and dry spot, this one seems to provide a primer effect where the pores are smoothed and blended seamlessly; and provide moisture to dry patches so it doesn’t appear cakey.  The wear is fabulous on this cushion.  It lasts on me for at least 6-8 hours, and does not smudge.  Also there is definitely sebum control power here, as I don’t feel much oilness of my skin creeping up even towards the end of the day.

If you want that natural ‘no-makeup’ makeup LOOK and FEEL, I highly recommend this cushion.  It comes in two shades, 21 and 23, and I picked 21, which is an excellent match for my NC 15 skin tone.  The quality of the product is beyond my expectations:  Light weight formulation, comfortable on the skin, light to medium coverage, long wearability, and added skin care benefits.

You can find this on Amazon or http://www.lapothicell.com for $32.

Beautigenix – Stem Cell Facial Sheet Mask

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ABOUT BEAUTIGENIX

Beautigenix specializes in face masks formulated with an exclusive Human Stem Cell Culture™serum and  a special blend of all natural botanical ingredients with the power to brighten, hydrate, lift and soothe.  Beautigenix stem cells are harvested at the Seoul Stem Medical Center in South Korea.  Their masks are currently found in many professional spa and cosmetic clinics throughout the US.  They carry four varieties of the Stem Cell Sheet Masks for brightening, hydrating, soothing and toning/firming.  You can find these masks by visiting their website and locating a spa near you.

STEM CELL FACIALS

Now, have you heard of stem cell facials?  It sounds intriguing and so enticing and unfortunately oh-so-expensive as well.  When I heard about Beautigenix sheetmasks and their main ingredient is stem cells, I have to give it a try and create my own experience with a stem cell facial at home.  What is the hype about stem cells and skin care?

Stem cells are incredibly unique as they have the potential to transform into any cell types by stimulating growth of new cells and encourage production of fundamental building blocks of skin such as collagen and elastin, as well as repair of damaged cell.  Stem cells have been the heat of research for scientists and in medicine for these regenerative and reparative properties.   The philosophy behind stem cell facial is regeneration of skin cells.  Aging causes loss of collagen and elastin; sun and environment causes damages to cells result in laxity in skin, wrinkles, loss of radiance and formation of pigments, spots, scars and uneven skin tone.  It is hoped that with properly formulated stem cells, they can get incorporated into your skin, revitalize the skin’s building blocks, and help to stimulate epidermal stem cells to thicken the skin, which leads to tightening, firming and prevent wrinkle formation.

BEAUTIGENIX BRIGHTENING MASK

WHAT IT IS

  • A brightening, pigment reducing sheet mask

WHAT IT DOES

  • With state-of-the-art breakthrough stem cell technology, stem cells are blended with botanical extracts to help counteract visible signs of aging, including the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dehydration, dullness, and sagging.

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • Stem cells reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Niacinamide has multiple skin benefits including reducing appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness, and a weakened skin surface
  • Sodium hyaluronate smoothes and plumps the skin.
  • Trehalose hydrates the skin and gives your skin a youthful, supple glow.
  • Witch Hazel reduces swelling and blemish
  • Botanical extracts for skin brightening

Purified Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin,Glycereth-26, Adult Human Stem Cell Culture Media (330,000 ng), Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Fructan, Betaine, Trehalose, Hamamelis Virginiana, (Witch Hazel) Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Phenoxyethanol, Propanediol, Arginine, Carbomer, Portulaca Oleeracea Extract, Allantoin, Zizania Aquatica Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Chondrus Crisps (Carrageenan), Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol Acetate, Diptassium Glycyrrhizate, Niacinamide, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Rubus Coreanus Fruit Extract, Nelumbo Mucifera Flower Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Bisabolol, Fragrance.

TEXTURE/FRAGRANCE/FIT

  • Soft and breathable mask, saturated with the stem cell rejuvenating serum
  • No detectable scent
  • Adheres to the face very well and thus making it easy for me to multitask; comfortable on the skin
  • Small-medium fit

WHY I LIKE IT

Beautigenix recommend that these sheet masks be used regularly two to three times weekly to get the most benefits.  I have been using these mask right after I do an at-home chemical peel, and these are the perfect skin soother to help heal and repair after the treatment.  These masks feel heavy because the material is simply supercharged with the serum, slowly delivered into the skin over the course of 20-30 minutes.  I feel that masks that are highly absorptive often contours to the face better, and really enhances moisture retention.

My favourite part of this sheet mask is massaging the serum onto my face after the mask is removed.  The serum is like a lightweight oil blending serum (perhaps due to castor oil) that really contribute to a luxury experience.  I can just see and feel that the serum has penetrated the skin, and provides instant replenishing the skin with essential moisture and create a moisture barrier for skin brightening.  It feels so light on the skin, and absorbs quickly without leaving sticky or greasy feel, which makes it a perfect mask treatment for daytime look – even under makeup or sunscreen.

I do feel that this mask produces results above and beyond what I usually expect of a facial mask.  It is of professional quality, after all!   It is unbelievably good at boosting the moisture levels in my skin, and the result is the longest lasting effect of all the masks I’ve used, while maintaining a stable skincare routine.  I feel like I just had a proper facial, with skin feeling consistently soft, plump, and looking more radiant for days.  The mask packs hydrating, plumping, and brightening punch that I feel is above its price tag with its hero ingredient: stem cell.  I can definitely see myself using this mask on a regular basis.

You can find this on Amazon ($28/single, or $220/tens) or by locating a spa near you at http://www.beautigenix.com.

Lapothicell Sensitive Skin Line

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Some of my favorite things come in blue, including these Lapothicell Sensitive Line products (Cleansing Water, Peeling Booster and Ceramide Hydra Fluid). I am seriously in love with everything about this brand.  These three products cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate with a moisturizing punch — AND the magic is that it still manages to feel light.
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I have ultra-sensitive combination skin.  It’s not uncommon that when I try new product that my skin becomes red, itchy, and sometimes dry with irritation.  Since I have used a few Lapothicell products in the past, I am so comfortable and confident in their ingredients that are designed to be gentle on the skin – yet powerful enough to get results.  I did a full Cosdna analysis of the ingredients of their Sensitive product line and no ingredients were identified as irritating or comedogenic!  The company uses fine quality, highest performing botanical ingredients backed by clinical testing that yield desired results.  Here are my review of their Sensitive Skin Range of products including: Cleansing Water, AC Daily Peeling Booster and Ceramide Hydra Fluid.   These game-changing products are the ones that deserve a permanent place in my getting-ready routine.

Lapothicell Sensitive Cleansing Water

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Price: $23 / 200mL

WHAT IT IS

Multi-tasking toner and cleansing water

WHAT IT DOES

The cleansing water removes all makeup and impurities without irritation while it helps maintain healthy skin.

KEY INGREDIENTS

Tears-C – unique component which derives from human tear provide deep cleansing to remove makeup and impurities without irritation

Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract – exfoliate by lifting impurities and dead skin cells, smooth and improves skin texture

Pantenol– cleanses and moisturizes

Centella extract – also known as Gotu Kola, well known herb that has anti-inflammatory effects and is rich in saponins that stimulate skin repair and strengthen and strength skin and minimize imperfections

WHY I LIKE IT

This is not just your typical cleansing water.  Not only does it remove makeup, dirt, oil and cleanse residue, it also mildly exfoliates with dioscorea japonica root extract to help sweeps away dead skin cells, while other botanicals prep and hydrate the skin, revealing brighter skin tone and texture.  My skin has literally never felt clearer, fresher and totally moisturized after using this sensitive water.  Previously I was using a witch hazel toner which has irritated my skin in the past.  This product has not caused any sensitivities at all.  It is absolutely true that this is designed for sensitive skin!  The formulation makes this ‘water’ safer and gentle than the water that comes from my tap and it is sooo convenient.   Some mornings, all I do is a quick swipe of the cleansing water, followed by my other skin care products.  Other ways I have used this are as a midday refresher, or at night after cleansing to whisk away any remaining impurities.

Lapothicell A.C Daily Calming Peeling Booster

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PRICE: $20 / 200ml

WHAT IT IS

  • A gentle exfoliant, which requires no rinsing
  • Specially formulated for the sensitive normal to dry skins
  • Clinically tested on improvement for blemish, blackheads, whiteheads, dead skin cells and  skin smoothness.It allows your makeup to go on easier and longer.

WHAT IT DOES

Effective removes dead skin cells and boost the efficacy of your skin care.  Also help to normalize skin’s sebum and remove dead skin cells, and impurities

KEY INGREDIENTS

Glycolic acid

Wintergreen leaf extract – high in salicylic acid helps with skin blemishes

Tea tree extract – antiseptic effect and improve skin conditions

Aloe vera leaf – heals and sooths damaged and irritated skin

Allantoin – boosts up new cell growth and can be used for sensitive skin

WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS

Clear watery formula, mild floral scent; apply with pad

WHY I LIKE IT

The benefits of exfoliation – clearer, brighter skin and an even skin tone – are obvious.  Face exfoliation products can be risky business for super reactive skin, so finding one that is calming while still does the job is like a dream come true.  Lapothicell AC Daily Peeling Booster feels like a balancing and exfoliating toner without the harsh astringent feel.   Plus, it is gentle enough to remain on skin so you don’t even need to wash it off.   I apply this twice daily after cleansing.  The aloe vera in this provide a cooling effect and plan extracts help to clean and nourish skin.  The results are immediately obvious: Skin feels bouncy, smoother and simply less dull.  It also help to regulate sebum production and preps my skin for other useful products, and even makeup application is smoother.  For delicate skin like mine, I am so glad to have found this Peeling Booster which can be used everyday for the gentlest yet effective exfoliation to soft and more glowy skin.

Lapothicell Ceramide Hydra Fluid

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PRICE: $31 / 125 mL

WHAT IT IS

All-IN-ONE lotion (toner, essence and lotion) that contains 95% Ceramide and Hyaluronic acid 

A deeply moisturizing fluid that combats signs of aging to improve skin tone and texture.

WHAT IT DOES

To provide intense skin hydration, strengthen and protect skin barrier from water loss.  Specially formulated for the sensitive normal to dry skins

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

Ceramide – acts as time-release moisture, enhance skin barrier

Hyaluronic acid – transforms rough and dehydrated skin into a hydrated, healthy glow.

Botanicals for added hydration shields:  (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Disodium EDTA,Panthenol, Pelargonium Graveolens

WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS

A natural pleasant light floral fragrance, in lightly viscous milky emulsion/lotion form and spreads easy

WHY I LIKE IT

A great product can do a world of good in one bottle.  I have been loving every product in the Lapothicell Sensitive Skin Line, and this is my favorite!  When I have sensitive skin (guilty of over exfoliation at times), I am still able to use this product, and it does not sting at all; yet calms and nourishes my skin.  This is actually my first products that is formulated with such a high concentrate of ceramide, and I feel that ceramides just works for my skin.  It is super lightweight, yet super luxe lotion that leaves me with baby soft, dewy-drenched skin.  What I absolutely love about this product is that it absorbs so quickly but the amount of hydration I feel on my skin is seriously incredible; resembles that after a good sheet mask session.  It helps to alleviate any area of my skin that seems to be stressed, dried or dull,  and all the while creating a protective barrier on its surface.  I feel that overall my skin is healthier, less ‘tired’ and hydrated when I use it.  It is just such a powerful product that quenches my skin without greasiness, and just perfect for layering under makeup.  The humectant power is long lasting, and naturally fortify my skin and plump fine lines to give a dewy, youthful glow.  The bottle is substantial in size! This is such bang-for-your buck for a highly potent and concentrated ceramide and hyaluronic acid treatment!

You can find Lapothicell products on the company website: http://lapothicell.com/, Amazon, and Ebay

FULL INGREDIENT LIST

COSDNA:

Cleansing Water

Water, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Butylene Glycol, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tropolone, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Disodium EDTA, Urea, Trehalose, Panthenol, Potassium Phosphate, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract,Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Propylene Glycol, Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract,1,2-Hexanediol,Centella Asiatica Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate.

AC Daily Peeling Booster

Water, Glycerin, Alcohol, Propanediol, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Sodium Citrate, Gaultheria Procumbens(Wintergreen) Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Portulaca Oleracea Extract,Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil,Disodium EDTA, Allantoin,1,2- Hexanediol,Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Glycolic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Water, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Propylene Glycol, Carica Papaya(Papaya) Fruit Water, Phenoxyethanol

Ceramide Hydra Fluid

Water, Alcohol, Triethylhexanoin, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Glycereth-26, Isododecane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propanediol, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20,1,2-Hexanediol, Trehalose, Dimethicone, Sodium Lactate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot)Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Disodium EDTA, Panthenol, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Ceramide NP(50ppm), Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Biosaccharide Gum- 1,Sucrose Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin,Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Beta-Glucan

You may find Lapothicell products through their company website http://www.lapothicell.com and on Amazon.

Troiareuke GPS Mask

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I’ve recently reviewed Troiareuke’s Seoul Aesthetic Cushion and UV Essence Sunscreen, which has become my daily essentials.  Troiareuke is a house-name brand in Korea professional and spa-settings with their customized skin care treatment, especially suitable for sensitive skin.  Now that they are making their skincare products available for at-home use.  I’m so excited to share with you my experience with this GPS mask, the first of its kind on the market.

What IS A GPS Mask?  

This is a Bio-cellulose mask, which claims to be able to restore skin and identifies the areas of skin that needs moisture and nutrition.  I mean, seriously the idea behind it is ingenious and fabulous.  Apparently this has been a Korean flight attendants favorite.  Like all of Troiareuke skin care products, this mask is free of paraben and can be used for sensitive skin after chemical peels or laser treatments or sunburns.

Price: $45 for a box of 5 at www.kbeautybay.com

First Step:  O2 Mask Cleanser

Key Ingredients: Green tea extract, lemon extract, orange extract, papaya

Review: This is a revitalizing gel-to-foam cleanser that delivers oxygen and skin essentials while using natural surfactant agents to cleanse the skin.  Oxygen treatment is a relatively new innovative concept, and has been made popular in many spas for years to help breath new life into a lackluster complexion.  Oxygen is vital to our life and unfortunately levels of it diminishes in the facial tissue with age due to worsened blood circulation.  It only makes sense that restoring oxygen to the skin will be beneficial to the health of the skin, and is designed to help the penetration of other ingredients to rejuvenate skin’s appearance and create a more radiant look.  This cleanser is also enhanced with Vitamin C &E (green tea and orange extracts), two of the most effective treatment for the skin.  Vitamin C is photo-protective and Vitamin E is considered the most important oil soluble vitamin and a free radical scavenger.  Papaya extract contains papain and chymonpapain with exfoliating properties, while lemon extract (rich fruit acid) can help to absorb oil and cleanse the pores without stripping the skin of its natural oil balance, and lighten age spots and clear facial discoloration.

I used about a dime-size of translucent gel and massaged into the skin with circular movement using fingertips.  The cleanser started to turn white, formed oxygen bubbles within about 10-15 seconds.   At this point, the product is easily manipulated into every surfaces of the face.  It feels cool and refreshing.  At the time when I used this, my face was dull and needed some serious treatment.  I liked this cleanser for a number of reasons.  It felt extremely gentle and pure, yet deeply cleansed and melted away makeup and oil.  It also delivered delightful ingredients to my skin.  The foam is a soothing texture and easily rinses clean without any residue feeling.  There is no intoxicating scent.  The difference is immediately obvious.  I feel that it left my skin feeling squeaky clean, brightened, soft and energized.  Overall it provided balance to my skin, and replenished the right amount of moisture.   I wish they would sell this cleanser in a bottle because I can definitely add an oxygen ritual to my skin every day to feel refresh and awake.

Second step: Bio Cellulose GPS Mask

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Key Ingredients: Gold extract, allantoin, witch hazel extract, squalene, lavender oil, tea tree leaf oil

The mask itself is an ultra fine bio cellulose mask which comes with two protective layers.  One layer to be peeled off immediately after removal from packaging; then apply the mask with the middle layer in contact with the skin, lastly peel the third layer off after mask is in place.   It looks, feels and attaches like a second skin.  I don’t think I have ever used a mask that had such a perfect fit and contact with the skin.  The size is a great fit for my face, more so on the smaller side.  The specialty high-tech upgrade is the GPS technology, which to my knowledge is the first and one and only GPS mask on the market.  I’m not sure how this technology is formulated into the mask but I can tell you what I felt when using this mask.  I noticed that areas of my face which tends to be drier or irritated (chin, around my lips, as well as a few spots on the cheeks) felt cooler than the rest of the face.  We all know that a quick chill in sheet mask is calming, and delivers de-puffing, and anti-redness benefit in a truly cool guise.  These must be the areas of my face that needed extra blessing.  The mask has a minimal floral scent and ingredients are beauty lover’ (including myself) favorites: gold extract (anti-aging, anti-inflammation, and lighten pigmentation), squalene (moisture retaining and anti-oxidant), and witch hazel and lavender oil (calming and anti-microbial).  It is so intensely nourishing that it fully saturated my face with hydration.  The effect is undeniable – a plumped-up deep nourishment, skin texture felt firmer and supple, skin tone evened and calmed and that made my skin look well better into the next day.

Third step: Cell Energy Cream

Key Ingredients: galactomyces, bifido extract, olive, apricot stone oil, ginseng extract; no mineral oil

Finally the last step, an energizing cream that helped to seal in all the moisture.  The scent is slightly herbal.  The cream is silky soft and is easy to spread and melts into the skin, leaving it moisturized but not feeling heavy.  For my combination skin, I feel that this cream is great to wear during the daytime because it absorbs quickly without any greasy feel.  My skin felt more soft and bouncy immediately after.  I used this 3-step mask at night and I usually prefer to use a thicker layer of cream on my face at bedtime.  Regardless, it made my skin feels super soft and provided enough hydration lasting into the next morning.  I feel that all skin types can benefit from this cream.  It dries matte yet hydrating and it contains some great nourishing ingredients that makes the skin feel and look great.

 

Final Thoughts:

This is such a great mask.  Even after one application, I am amazed at how soft and positively hydrated my face feels.  It certainly belongs in the luxury mask category with each step diligently formulated and deliberately designed to get your skin looking healthy and beautiful.   It also comes at a luxury price.  It is ideal for the busy modern person, for traveling, a long flight or if you are looking for a all-in-one 3 step treatment that works fast and delivers spa-like results in no time.

4 in 1 Skincare: Edenic One Step Gel

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I won’t lie, I love layering and loading my skin with facial toners, lotions, emulsions, serums and creams.  With the right combination, my skin feels fabulous!  However, some days, my skin feels sensitive and congested, and I need to take a step back, and look for a product that is light yet moisturizing, and does not overload my skin.

I discovered Edenic One Step Gel, an all-in-one skincare solution that functions as a toner, lotion, essence and cream, 4-in-1.

WHY IS THIS ATTRACTIVE TO ME?

  • Hassle-free skincare routine for time-constrained consumers like myself
  • Claims to be 4-in-1 product for all your skincare needs
  • Developed jointly with pharmaceutical company
  • Free from preservatives, alcohols, fragrances, mineral oils etc. Unnecessary substances on the skin are completely absent so it is suitable for sensitive skin!
  • Price benefits

How I Use It?

  • Apply the product directly onto the skin after cleansing the face.  Gentle massage to spread the gel into an even layer, and then lightly pat the product in until it completely absorbs.  According to Edenic, there is no need for any other skin care product since this is enough to attain beautiful hydrated radiant skin!

Review:

For me, multifunctional products make sense.  Juggling a career, family and social life takes so much of my time, I need something that works wonders and hopefully saves me in terms of time and money.  Thus Edenic One Step Gel certainly is attractive.  The product comes in a jar with a spatula tucked underneath the lid.  It’s not my favourite type of packaging for skin care products but I have many in this particularly jar form, and am learning to work with the spatula for hygiene and remember to close the lid tightly for long terms storage.

I feel that the product is fabulously designed for summer skin treatment, as it is light-weight and is a water-based gel.  For someone with oily to combination skin, anything thicker than this would fast-track me to clogged pores when mixed in with sweat and oil.   This gel quickly turns into a watery texture that allows the product to glide and spread easily.  However the product does linger on the skin for a few minutes prior to absorption, so pat away! Once it does sink into skin, it feels matte and does not leave behind an oily sheen.  I really don’t even feel the product at all, and yet my skin feels plump, and elastic.  It does not contain fragrance, so it is suitable for people with sensitive skin.

The ingredients are design to provide a variety of functions which are attractive to me: ceramide for moisture and fortify the skin’s natural barrier, arrowroot for oils/sebum absorption, and retinoic acid and platinum for anti-aging.  When testing, I used the product consistently for about four weeks, I would say it can replace maybe two to three out of my four steps for toner, essence, serum, and moisturizer.  I still use my own toners before this product, as I need an AHA/BHA product that exfoliates (Previously reviewed: Neogen BioPeel, Lapothicell AC Daily Calming Peeling Booster, Yoon Dermaline Marine Complex Exfoliator).  My essences, serums and moisturizers are usually targeted towards hydration, brightening and anti-aging, so I feel that this product contains adequate ingredients for these functions.  Occasionally I will still add another layer of moisturizer (the Pyunkang Yul Gel is so perfect to seal it in).  Edenic One Step Gel is suitable for my skin conditions during the summer but may not be adequate for those with winter weathers where skin needs a little more long-lasting hydration.  We all need a vacation, and so our skin deserves a ‘break’ every once in a while too!  So this product works wonders when I feel that my skin is overwhelmed, or congested, or when my skin needs a ‘break’ from the big guns.

Have you tried any 4-in-1 products like this?  What are your thoughts?

***This product was provided for review purposes.  Opinions are my own.

 

Another Troiareuke Obsession: Acsen U.V Protector Essence

tri-sun I’ve previously professed my love about Troiareuke Seoul Aesthetic Cushion, with its perfect blend of skincare and makeup formulation. Now I’m falling in love again with Troiareuke Ascen SUN ESSENCE. ACSEN is Troiareuke special line designed with solutions for acne and sensitive skin (ACne + SENsitive). It provides customized skincare prescription for every step of your skin care. If you read my blog, you probably know that versatility in product is something I talk about often. This product boasts so many functions that I can easily incorporate into my skin care routine and busy life. Here’s the details on the perks of this Sunscreen essence -the ultimate sunscreen multitasker.

#1. It’s beneficial for all skin types
Although Acsen is designed with sensitive and acne skin in mind, the ingredients truly can benefit each skin types. It contains powerful botanical extracts such as protulaca oleracea, clove flower and sophora with soothing and moisturizing ingredients for dry skin and sensitive skin. Anti-inflammatory ingredients include d-biotin are specifically designed with sensitive skin in mind. The light weight essence-like texture of this sunscreen is perfect for oily and combination skin who desires a lighter product for protection.

#2. It has powerful anti-aging benefits
– Centella Asiatica is rich in amino acids, beta carotene, fatty acids and phytochemicals; provides skin regeneration, soothing and strengthening of the skin barrier
– Selemix serum – this is actually one of Troiareuke’s serum that features Selemix-an, a powerful complex of fermented bean and magnolia tree bark extract, known as the “DNA code finer’.  This serum contains ingredients that guide the skin cells to regenerate, and rebuild the matrix that is the foundation of supple, firm and strong skin and tightened pores. It also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties, to calm and strengthen skin.

#3. It’s a chemical and physical sunscreen

Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate – a chemical sunscreen agent that absorb and break down UV ray.
Ethylhexyl salicylate – a chemical UVA filter (UVA causes brown spots and skin cancers)
Titanium dioxide – a physical mineral sunscreen ingredient. This deflect the rays away from the skin; better suited for sensitive skin.
Biosaccharide gum-4 – It turns out that sun’s harmful UV aren’t the only thing to blame for premature signs of skin aging. Another factor is pollution.  Biosaccharide gum-4 is used for its ability to form a strong matrix on the skin surface that protect skin from harmful environmental pollutants, dust, pollens that contributes to aging of skin

#4. It’s portable and perfect for use on-the-go
I was initially disappointed at such as small bottle. However at 50mL for the tube, this is perfect for carry in your purse or beach bag, or better yet, travel-friendly for carry-on bags.

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I absolutely loves the feel and the look of it on my skin.  It’s watery but not runny, and it just melts into the skin with gentle massage. I have NEVER used any sunscreen with this dreamy light essence-like consistency before. There is no white-cast what-so-ever. It looks so natural on my skin and left my skin feeling hydrated and smooth like a moisturizer sunscreen! My skin is combination so I am always worried about the greasy t-zone after applying sunscreen for a few hours. You do not have to worry about it with this product. There is absolutely no stickiness or greasiness at all. THE SPF protection contains effective combination of chemical AND physical UV filter which leaves me confident that I am protected from the UVB that can cause tanning and sunburn and UVA that contributes to premature aging and skin cancer. I have been using this product for a few weeks and will be so sad when this runs out. It has not caused any breakouts and actually act as a great makeup base, and extended the wear of my makeup.

One down side is that it does contain alcohol, which is used to help the product dry quickly and to reduce any tackiness. But I did not feel that it dried out my skin. I found this at Kbeautybay, a authorized North America distributor for Troiareuke. Although the price is slightly high, but I have yet to find a comparable sunscreen that feels as luxury in application like a skincare product as this one. This is one heck of a best sunscreen in my game.

Troiareuke Acsen U.V Protector Essence
Price: $55.00 / 50mL
http://www.kbeautybay.com

Back to Basics: Pyunkang Yul

py1When your skin, or mind is overwhelmed by the abundance of super products promising complexion transformation, there is ‘too much of a good thing’. A few selected beauty brands are making it easy to get back to basics, including Pyunkang Yul. The company is paring it down to the essentials, using natural ingredients at the right concentration, and with a minimalist approach to skin. I’ve seen their products popping up on many social media feeds. When StyleKorean Style Blog editor Stella introduced it on their social media and website, I knew I had to give it a try.

Why  stylekorean_logo
StyleKorean is killing it in the beauty retail game, whether you are looking for products for hair, lifestyle, hard to find sheet mask, natural or organic K beauty. What makes them stand out? the online experience is superb with hundreds of candid product reviews and exclusive deals ALL THE TIME. They have a global mindset, as the website is available in English, Chinese and Japanese to enhance the comfort of their shoppers. More than a retailer, StyleKorean is packed with makeup tutorials, colour trend reports, get-the-makeup look tips and product recommendations. It has a strong editorial component (Style Blog), and the style editor Stella is on point with new picks and product reviews. Their social media editor must have a really good understanding of online behavior because they update daily makeup videos and tutorials showing off their best sellers and products. It’s hard not to pay a visit to their website after seeing these posts. If you can deal with waiting for a few weeks for shipping, the wide selection and good prices more than make up for it. Shipping cost is calculated by weight and differs depending on the shipping method and destination country.

Okay, now About Pyunkang Yul
Pyunkang Yul is the brand launched by the renowned Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic in Korea, an institution well-known for treating all types of skin disorders. What attracted me is not only their natural and minimalist approach to skin care, but their overall holistic approach. This has always resonated with my belief pertaining to skin care: skin cannot be treated as a separate entity from the rest of the body. Pyunkang embraces this inside-out approach: good skin requires good mind, body, emotions, lifestyle and of course, good product choices. Their ultimate goal is to encourage people to achieve a proper balance in life and thus finding your skin’s balance and resting point. Carrying through this philosophy into their brand, they have removed all unnecessary chemical substances and only the most gentle, safest, yet effective and active natural ingredients are used to help find the optimum balance for your skin.

I have combination skin, and the following products are recommended to be the most suitable for my skin type.

Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner

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Price: $17.75/ 200mL
Ingredients: Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Arginine

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Just six months ago, I was debating: do toners play a critical role in a skincare regimen, or are they an unnecessary extra time/extra step? Now I cannot imagine my routine without a toner. It is such an essential step because a good toner not only helps to restore skin’s natural pH balance but also allows all the other products to absorb nicely.  This toner is an essence-like toner which means it is enriched with nourishing and moisturizing ingredients to help balance and prep the skin.  There is no water in this toner, as it is formulated with 91.3% Milk Vetch Root Extract (astragalus), full of skin-beneficial vitamins and minerals, antioxidant and and phytochemical (isoflavonoids and flavonoids) with effects to re-energize and replenish the skin.  The texture is super light and so smooth and just glides on the skin.  I like to apply my toners with my hands, and simply pat this in and let the formula absorb on its own.  Once it gets absorbed, my skin feels so hydrated and refreshed.  The key to finding the right toner is to identify your skin type and your main skin needs.  If you’re looking for a gentle, alcohol-free toner that adds a fine layer of moisture to the skin while refreshing, calming, and healing, this is the ideal choice.

Moisture Serum


Price: $25.22/100mL
Ingredients: Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Arginine, Dimethicone
While a 10 step routine is not for me everyday, the step of ‘serum’ is so critical as it offers me targeted results with potent formulation and customization options.  For the summer time, I’m looking for a lighter product that can help me to battle the heat and the oil yet still keep my skin hydrated, and provide my thirty-something skin with anti-aging benefits.  Dare I say, this Pyunkang Yul serum is a perfect summer serum.  I would describe the texture as a silky and lotion-like, making it spread and absorbs quickly.  The secret in this fabulous texture is in just the right combination of star ingredients, including coptis japonica root extract and olive oil.  The oil component helps to prevent water moisture from evaporation,  while extracts of Coptis Japonica Root helps to cool and calm the skin to help find the optimal balance between moisture and oil.  It also has anti-inflammatory and phytoprotective effects against UV induced oxidative damage in the skin.  I feel that the serum is beautifully hydrating yet mattifying and provides sebum balance, and helps to sooth redness, truly making it perfect for balancing variety of skin types.

Moisture Ampoule


Price: $26.16/100mL
Ingredient: Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Polysorbate 80, PEG-150 Distearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polysorbate 20, Glyceryl Caprylate

This Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule contains only 6 ingredients designed to calm and hydrate the skin.  Like most Korean ampoules, this one is formulated with a combination of natural extract (coptis japonica root),  and a few skin-friendly stabilizers.  The product is potent containing 90% of its main ingredient, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, and is specifically designed for combination to oily skin. The root extract is a powerful skin calming and hydrating ingredient.  Pyunkang Yul recommend using the ampoule as the last step of the routine after a moisturizer, and this will help to seal all the moisture in the skin and keep the skin cool.  The texture is a little bit thicker than most ampoules I’ve used.  It has a bit of a gelatinous feel, bouncy and moist. I feel that product with gel consistency are great for the summer time because it’s provides the lightest layer of hydration without any oils and thus least likely to be pore-clogging.  I would recommend to follow the instruction by applying this after a moisturizer, because it is meant to help hold the moisture in.  I will admit to having skipped using moisturizer a few times, and a few dry patches where my skin had previously been irritated, did not seem to maintain as hydrated.  Therefore this product is true to its description, in that it is designed for those with combination or oily skin.  If your skin does not tend to produce enough oil on its own, then the Balancing Gel may be more appropriate.  Lastly I love products that are dispensed in a dropper form, because I can have precise control of the amount of product to be dispensed. and makes application that much easier.  For this ampoule, two drops are enough to cover my whole face.

Balancing Gel

Price: $29.90 / 100mL
Ingredients: Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract, Polysorbate 80, PEG-150 Distearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polysorbate 20, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Caprylate

The 7 premium ingredients contain 90% Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract, a powerful anti-ager, and Jojoba Seed Oil that helps to moisturize and nourish the skin.  Astragalus is a heart root, and in Chinese medicine, this root replenishes ‘chi’ or ‘vital life energy’ by improving circulation to the skin, helps to get rid of toxins and transports vital nutrients to the skin.  It also helps to regenerate skin cells.  Jojoba oil is unique in that it closely resembles sebum, a waxy substance produced by our skin gland, so it is readily accepted and tolerated.  Our own sebaceous glands then respond to it by down regulating sebum production.
‘Balance oil and moisture’ has been a consistent theme in all of Pyunkang Yul’s products.  The Balancing Gel comes in a jar with a clear plastic spatula.  When you apply this product, it looks and feels like honey, that stretches and helps it to adhere onto the surfaces of the skin.  Gentle massage of the product allows it to melt into the skin for a smooth, soft and bouncy finish.  Because jojoba oil is a ‘waxy’ substance, it means that the product can seal in the moisture like an oil, without the greasy feel.  This Gel definitely feels ‘thicker’ than its ampoule counterpart and thus is designed for those with dry skin.  It is also recommended to be applied at the end of the routine after a moisturizer, so it can seal in all the other product goodness while creating an effective barrier to external elements.  I use this Balancing Gel as my last step of routine at night.

Final Thoughts

I feel like all the Pyunkang Yul products I tried are perfect additions to a summer routine.  They are all super lightweight, apply smooth and absorb quickly, perfect for warmer weathers, when I like things light and fresh, without compromising the hydration factor.  Not only are the ingredients minimalist in number, they are also very skin-friendly, hypoallergenic, paraben free and fragrance free.  Pyunkang Yul designed their products with only the most gentle and safe ingredients, yet tailored the texture and products with different skin types in mind.  The apothecary packaging allows you to be able to see the product and they really pack them to the rim! Nothing short of a perfect harmony between simplicity, innovation and sophistication.

You can find these products at StyleKorean http://www.stylekorean.com/