Tag Archives: Skincare

Brightening Skincare: Shiseido Haku Melanofocus 3D

Ladies and gents, I’ve realised that 2017 is the year of brightening skincare for me. I’m seriously going hard at all the sun spots. Today I’m going to review another product that I have given almost a year to test. (I popped it into the fridge immediately after getting it, and I forgot about it for a while フフフ)

Shiseido Haku Melanofocus 3D came to prominence around 10 years ago, and has gone through a number of reformulations. It claims to prevent the formation of melanin, improve uneven skin tone, fade freckles, acne marks and minimizes dark spots caused by sun exposure. It also claims to restore skin damage caused by UV, pollution or other environmental factors.

What is contains:

HAKU contains 2 active ingredients: 4MSK (potassium 4-methoxysalicylate) which is also used in other SHISEIDO brands. This includes SHISEIDO White Lucent range, Revital Whitening range and AUPRES range. It claims to work by diminishing the activity of enzyme tyrosinase to reduce melanin production. Another include Tranexamic acid is a well researched and effective skin brightening agent. (See the full ingredients list on CosDNA).

How I use it

I apply this day and night after cleansing and toning. It is a scentless, light cream gel which is thicker than most serums, but absorbs quickly into the skin. At night, I apply a second layer on my cheekbones where I have some sunspots and freckles.

It is a totally different breed from HABA White Lady (review) and SK-II GeneOptics Spot Essence (review), having different active ingredients, textures and all. But one thing is similar–you can barely notice any tingling or citrus smells commonly associated with brightening products. Also, the effect is barely noticeable in the short run, and most of the time they seem to do nothing at all. It is only with consistent use that one day, you wake up and notice glowing skin.

The one drawback that I notice is that it can get oily when used during the day, as the texture is thicker than most traditional serums. It has been relegated to only night time use.

Verdict

All in all, I am very pleased with the HAKU for overall brightening and to get glowing skin. But for spot fading, it has not done much at all (so far, nothing did. HAHA). At the hefty price tag of ~¥7,000 (US$70), I am not going to repurchase this anytime soon.

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Aug/Sep 2017 Empties and Repurchases

Ladies and gents (any out there)! I took a 2 week holiday in the Alps and now that I’m back, I’m paying for it by overtime everyday (๑′°︿°๑). Things have been crazy overwhelming this year with so much additional responsibilities and work load.

So this isn’t actually an update at all, more like a round up of what’s going on in terms of skincare for myself!


Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream (Review)

EMPTIED AND REPURCHASED! I cannot do without this buttery goodness. No matter how much I flirt around with the other ladies, imma still head home for my wifey BHG Cream.

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream (Review)

EMPTIED. After my initial review, I’m still not impressed. Sometimes we (consumers) think that if something is not working for us, it is somehow our fault, like:

  • We didn’t use it consistently
  • We applied too much / too little
  • We only used one jar and didn’t give the product enough time to prove itself

Please, if its good it should prove itself with the first use. For me BoJ cream embodies the case of a decent ingredients list but mediocre performance. Bye! 🙂

SKIN&LAB Dr. Color Effect Red Serum

EMPTIED. I bought it as certain sites / youtubers claimed that it is a dupe for Estée Lauder ANR (review), which is my longest cosmetic love. Seriously, so much of my money went to Estée Lauder over the years I can probably buy a hundred Melano CC Serums.

I don’t know what I feel about this serum… it definitely isn’t a dupe for the ANR. It doesn’t contain any skincare triggers, but aside from hydration, it did little for my skin. It has a healthy mix of plant extracts which makes the serum smell great, but hasn’t proven themselves otherwise.

I will not be repurchasing this, I’ll save the money in the piggy bank for the real thing… Which is exactly what i did next (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و

Estee Lauder ANR (Review)

EMPTIED AND REPURCHASED. I couldn’t resist as I was passing through Duty Free on my way home so I had to do it. This is my fifth 100ml bottle.

Brightening Skincare: SK-II Genoptics Spot Essence

Hey lovely friends, I have a very important review for you today.

I have always wished that there are more genuine reviews of high-end skincare products out there. If we are parting with a significant chunk of our money, we should be armed with better information than we have.

Many brands collaborate with bloggers for product launches or social media advertorials and endorsements, which can present as a conflict of interest. Many of these relationships are not clearly disclosed and we (consumers) may believe these blog posts, tweets, Instas to be independent statements without the necessary information. In many cases, it is abundantly clear that someone received a free sample for review or is paid to write about it (seriously, you know what I mean). But there are also those sneaky ones that eventually lead to court cases for misrepresentation.

Anyhow, I find myself very cynical when I see the same words on blogs that are straight out from the media kits. I gave up on searching for reviews on this batch of SK-II products before I bought them. If I want genuine reviews, I will do it myself. Here it is! 😉

Ingredients List

Water, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (i.e. Pitera), Butylene Glycole, Cyclopentasiloxane, Niacinamide, Triethylhexanoin, Glycerin,Pentylene Glycol, Nylon-12, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Inositol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Boron Nitride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Panthenol, PEG-20, Sorbitane Cocoate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimenthicone Crosspolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Polyacrylamide, Laureth-7, Benzyl Alcohol, Aminomethyl Propanol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Hexyldecanol, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Tocopherol, Zea Mays Oil/Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Methicone, CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 75130 (Beta-Carotene).

To assess the ingredients list, I looked at the first 15 ingredients as well as their function. Why the first 15? Well, ingredients are listed in descending order, starting with the largest amount in the product. If I look at more than 15, I’d have lost you, my readers and probably myself too.

Water

Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate – The star ingredient in all SK-II skincare. There is some research demonstrating that galactomyces ferment filtrate has a protective effect on the skin barrier, and helps to prevent damage to the integrity of the skin barrier.

Butylene Glycol – Commonly-used ingredient that has multiple functions in cosmetics, including as a texture enhancer. It’s similar to propylene glycol, but has a lighter texture.

Cyclopentasiloxane – Silicone based skin-conditioning agent

Niacinamide – Aka vitamin B3, helps to even skin tone, reduce fine lines and dullness. It is very high up in the list, which I am happy about.

Triethylhexanoin – Skin conditioning

Pentylene Glycol – Solvent and skin-replenishing agent, much like butylene glycol (above) and propylene glycol

Nylon-12 – absorbent, texture enhancer and mattifyer

Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate – Skin conditioning, occlusive

Inositol – A sugar (which are generally humectants)

Polymethylsilsesquioxane – I’ve no idea what this does.

Boron Nitride – Skin conditioning, oil absorbant

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – Skin-Conditioning Agent, occlusive

Panthenol – Alcohol form of the B vitamin pantothenic acid. Panthenol is used in skincare products as a humectant because of its ability to attract and hold moisture.

PEG-20 – Humectan, solvent

Of the first 15 ingredients, I only find pitera and niacinamide interesting. While I understand that a good formulation is more than just a smattering of actives, if I’m paying $200 for this 50 ml of essence, I want more bang for the buck.

Packaging and Texture

The Spot Essence comes in an elegant bottle. It is so beautiful that I put in more than the normal effort to give it a photoshoot to do it justice. The dropper is initially delightful as it dispenses the right amount for the whole face, but is absolute shit after a while. When I am halfway through the bottle, the dropper refused to pick up anything and I resorted to pouring out from the bottle or allow the Serum to drip down my palms from the sides of the dropper. It gets frustrating!

The serum itself is runny and milky. When applied, it leaves a matt finish (the mattifying effect of nylon-12 in action here). It works well under moisturisers and sunscreens, with no pilling observed for all combination of products.

DIS DROPPER DOESNT WORK

How I Use It

Toner > Fermented Essence > Serum > Oil > Moisturiser

I use it both day and night, as niacinamide, which appears to be the only active ingredient for brightening, is stable in heat and UV. I have not observed intense brightening that I have with the Rohto Melano CC Serum (review), but I did wake up to nicely moisturised and well-rested skin. This is especially on the days where I brought out the big guns and used the Spot Essence in conjunction with HABA Squalane (review), Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Cream (review) and Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalising Mask (review).

However, it is not as ground breaking as the first time that I’ve used Estee Lauder ANR (review).

After the initial period of testing, I am now using it solely in the mornings (and saving the Melano CC aka ascorbic acid for night time).

Who It Is For

Not me. One purchase for trying is great, but I don’t have that much money to burn regularly on pitera and niacinamide.

If you have the budget, by all means get it. It is a decent splurge and it looks gorgeous on your vanity. 😉

Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream: The Award Winner

Ladies and gents, after a long break, here is another addition to my family of Hanyul product reviews!

The Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream (50g) is a fairly new addition to the Seo Ri Tae line. At least, it wasn’t introduced as part of the original lineup back in 2014. Somewhere in between, it replaced the Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Anti-Aging Cream as the only moisturiser in the Seo Ri Tae Line. It claims to revitalise and moisturise skin, and is targeted to a younger audience than the Baek Hwa Goh line.

The Skin Refining Cream won the Singles Magazine 2017 Best Ingredient Award, which does seem like a recent thing, as I did not see it when I purchased it back in March 2017.

The award seem to award specific ingredients out of the whole list, rather than the entire concoction. In the short article written about the award, Singles justified awarding the product based on 2 ingredients: soybean extract and madecassoside. The rest of the ingredients are not mentioned at all.

However, props are given to the packaging of the product, which reflects a “dawn frost”, and it is such a romantic way of describing a packaging. (It is really fun to read the Google Translate of the web page, I’m sure some of it is lost in translation but really… “dawn frost”? I love it! XD)

The (Not Very Exciting) Ingredients List

Purified water, Shea butter, Dimethicone, Propanediol, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Caprylic / capric triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Hydrogenated Poly (C6-14 Olefin), Glyceryl Stearate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Madecassoside, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Natto Gum, Dextrin, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Adenosine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Palmitic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-100 Stearate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Flower Extract, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

  1. Soybean Extract is an antioxidant and improves uneven skin tone. It is the feature ingredient in the Innisfree Soybean Energy line
  2. Madecassoside I’m more familiar with, it is a proven antioxidant in its own right, and works well when combined with vitamin C.

I use it primarily as a day cream under sunscreen and it works beautifully. In fact, I was really surprised at how much I liked this cream given the boring ingredients list above.

My favourite part has to be the fluffy texture. The cream is super lightweight and fluffy like marshmallows. It is easy to spread and pat in. While it is a cream, it contains just the right amount of emollients for day use. Unlike the Beauty of Joseon Cream (review) which I found a little lacking in moisture retention, this is just enough to provide moisture, but not too much that my face becomes an oil field.

With the right amount used under sunscreen, I was spared the afternoon dehydration lines and tightening of the skin in hot weather. There is no added glow or dewiness, but it does appear healthier and more hydrated.

One thing that I’m not really a fan of: it smells like a mimosa perfume mixed with wheatgrass and avocado smoothie. I like these smells separately but not mixed together.

Overall, it is not mind-blowing, but I can see it being one of those staples that I can go back to consistently.

Verdict: 4.5 / 5.0

More Chifure! Their Fantastic Ingredients Lists & Essence W

Fantastic discovery made today! I have had trouble finding the ingredients list for my new Chifure Essence W and Chifure Essence VC, lugged from Japan courtesy of friend on work trip.

As I explored the Chifure Official website, I realised even the official website does not have the full ingredients list in the traditional sense, with ingredients arranged in order of concentration. The folks arranged the ingredients in a neat table by function (e.g. active ingredient > humectant > pH adjusting > solvent etc), and they listed the exact percentage for most ingredients! That’s even better than a regularly arranged ingredients list!

Ingredients list for Chifure Essence W, I ran it through Google Translate quite well Source: http://www.chifure.co.jp/products/essence/2478.html

Chifure Essence VC (JPY 800 30g)

Active ingredients: Ascorbyl Glucoside (2%)

Hydrating ingredients: Glycerin (8%), Butylene glycol (2.72%), Trehalose solution (0.03%), Sodium hyaluronate (0.05%)

The first star ingredient is ascorbyl glucoside, an ester of ascorbic acid. This the the first time I’ve come across this ingredient since I’ve started properly researching ingredients. It is definitely one of those derivatives that are less well researched than the standard ascorbic acid, and I cannot find a resource which looks at the effective concentration as well as its penetrative ability relative to other vitamin C derivatives.

I have not yet started using this, because I was drawn by its more expensive sister below.

Chifure Essence W (JPY 1,100 30g)

The Science Part

Active ingredients: Arbutin (3%), Ascorbyl glucoside (2%)

Hydrating ingredients: Glycerin (8%), Butylene glycol (2.02%), Sodium hyaluronate (0.05%), Trehalose solution (0.03%)

Chifure Essence W is the most expensive of all Chifure Essence formulations, and the major differences arises from the addition of 3% arbutin, an effective and less toxic derivative of hydroquinone (Source). Arbutin is definitely more familiar to me and it is found in many Taiwanese and Japanese skincare products. Think the entire Naruko Apple Seed & Tranexamic Acid Black Spots Line, which is built around alpha arbutin, tranexamic acid, niacinimide and vitamin C derivatives.

The Chifure website did not state the type of arbutin (alpha / beta), but it does seem to be formulated with the effective concentration. In fact, “SCCS decided in 2016 that this ingredient is not safe to use in finished products at a use rate greater than 3%.” (Source) The 3.0% concentration above is spot on.

I haven’t found studies about the penetration of arbutin, but if it is a cousin of hydroquinone, it should have wayy better penetration ability than vitamin C derivatives, which is known to fare poorly in terms of penetration.

How it Fared

Did the Chifure Essence W do anything for my skin? Kick the sunspots in the butt? Nah… In the month that I’ve been using this, didn’t make my skin look great, but its not significantly worse than than the time when I was using Melano CC (read review), which I do consider my gold standard.

I can’t be certain because I did not take a scientific approach to my use of products. No objective, no control and hurhur squinting at my sun spots in the mirror daily is a poor way of determining if the product is working.

Another factor in my lack of proper conclusion or thoughts for this product, is that I got through the bottle shockingly quickly. I don’t even think 30ml lasts me 1.5 months. Its just a blink of the eye and I’m down to the last 1/3 of the bottle.

I can say though, that in terms of texture, it is slightly tackier than the original Chifure Essence. For the nighttime, there is absolutely no problem with layering. For day time I’d have to be more careful. There were one day i piled on a little too much in the morning, and my sunscreen (Biore UV Perfect Milk) pilled, though granted it happened for many other products, like the COSRX Snaily Serum (read review) as well.

Another complaint is how difficult it is to get hold of Chifure products in the international market / online. All of the Chifure items I own, I bought (or my lovely friends / colleagues did) at the physical MatsuKiyo stores in Japan. Amazon Jp does carry it but it is not on Prime or eligible for international shipping. When I realised how quickly I’m using the serum up, I tried really hard to find viable shopping / shipping options, but there’re none. Darn you Japanese drugstores!!

All in all, this product is worth a try. Or two or three tries. I have another friend heading to Japan for vacation in September this year, so I think I’ll be able to get a few more refills to do a proper review.

 

Decent but still lacking: Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream

Hello! First off, why are there zero posts in May? That’s because I went off to take an exam, which thank dear Lord is over ( -̩̩̩͡˛ -̩̩̩͡ )  Preparing for examinations while working is nasty, so nope, no Instagram, no WordPress, no Facebook ( ᵒ̴̶̷̥́ _ᵒ̴̶̷̣̥̀ )

Now onward to my first post in a while. I bought the Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream very early on during the #MyABRideorDie challenge on Instagram back in April. I’ve seen it before on social media, but when people are claiming this is their rideordie, I’ve got to try it.

Ingredients List

The ingredients list is promising, with a nice range of humectants like the standard glycerin, butylene glycol as well as sodium hyaluronate and honey. I highlighted some ingredients that I like, but I don’t normally judge a product based on the formula alone. Head over to CosDNA for the list of possible trigger ingredients.

Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, naicinamide, dipentaerythritol hexa C5-9 acid esters, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, polyacrylate-13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, hydrogenated lecithin, C14-28 alkyl acid, stearyl alcohol, benenyl alcohol, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, dimethicone, adenosine, glyceryl stearate SE, cetearyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, stearic acid, tocopheryl acetate, sodium polyacrylate, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, centella asiatica extract, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil, human oligopeptide-1 (EGF), argania spinosa (argan) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter extract, ceramide 3, trehalose, calendula officinaalis flower extract, caprylhydroxamic acid, 1,2-hexanediol, raphanus sativus (radish) leaf extract, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, cucurbitaceae (gourd) extract, orchid extract, honey extract, panax ginseng root extract, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, shea butter, phytosphingosine, ceteareth-20, glyceryl citrate/lactate/linoleate/oleate, fragrance

My Skin Type and Concerns

Now before heading on to my thoughts about this product, bear in mind what I look out for may be totally different from you. If we’re skin sisters, GREAT! If we’re aren’t, you know to take things with a pinch of salt, right (○゜ε^○)

  • Normal skin type
  • Hardy for the most part, able to tolerate most ingredients such as a small quantity of alcohol in skincare
  • Hyper-pigmentation on spots where old blemishes healed
  • Dehydration lines on forehead and around nasolabial folds
  • Dark circles and visible veins in under-eye area
  • Occasional bouts of irritation, dryness and sensitivity

Now because of my normal skin type, theoretically I should be able to use creams and moisturisers of all textures with no problems, but over the years I have developed a liking to some textures over others. My favorite types of creams are stiff and buttery, sinks in quickly, and produces a satiny finish. (Like this and this)

The Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream is unlike anything that I’ve tried.

It is stringy, gooey, and if I didn’t know better I’d think that the main ingredient is 99% snail goo. The texture doesn’t really bother me but it takes some getting used to. Using a spatula to scoop out the cream is a MUST. Now despite the appearance, it spreads very easily and dries down quickly enough without a hint of heaviness afterwards. Because of its light texture, I experimented using it as a day cream under sunscreen and makeup as well as a night cream.

Annnd that’s when the problems come in. On the days that I wear the cream alone, the tightening feeling that accompanies dryness sets in within a few hours. The effect is not very pronounced in the daytime, but when used as a night cream, my skin literally shrivels up like a dehydrated peach the next morning, with none of the well resting morning glow that I look for.

It helps to apply this in two thick layers, which helps with the dehydration. Using a facial oil like HABA Squalane (read review) under the cream also does help. My favoured way of using it is as a sleeping pack, on top of my regular moisturiser. To put it simple, it’s not cutting it on its own.

I compared the ingredients list of a my current favourite cream with the Beauty of Joseon Cream, and that’s when I noticed a lot of difference.

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream (CosDNA):

Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, hydrogenated olive oil lauryl esters, squalane, diamethicone, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, butyrospermum parkii butter, diisostearyl malate, jojoba esters, cetearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, lentinus edodes extract, hydrolyzed ginseng saponins, panax ginseng root extract, aspergillus ferment, paeonia albiflora root extract, zingiber officinale root extract, cnidium officinale root extract, angelica acutiloba root extract, glyceryl stearate, cyclopentasiloxane, trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-100 stearate, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, hydroxyethyl acrylate/ sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, glyceryl caprylate, carbomer, tromethamine, ethylhexylglycerin, adenosine, theobroma cacao extract, dextrin, 1,2-hexanediol, hydrogenated lecithin, sodium polyaspartate, phytosphingosine, sodium methyl stearoyl taurate, disodium EDTA, fragrance

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream (CosDNA):

Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, naicinamide, dipentaerythritol hexa C5-9 acid esters, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, polyacrylate-13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, hydrogenated lecithin, C14-28 alkyl acid, stearyl alcohol, benenyl alcohol, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, dimethicone, adenosine, glyceryl stearate SE, cetearyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, stearic acid, tocopheryl acetate, sodium polyacrylate, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, centella asiatica extract, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil, human oligopeptide-1 (EGF), argania spinosa (argan) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter extract, ceramide 3, trehalose, calendula officinaalis flower extract, caprylhydroxamic acid, 1,2-hexanediol, raphanus sativus (radish) leaf extract, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, cucurbitaceae (gourd) extract, orchid extract, honey extract, panax ginseng root extract, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, shea butter, phytosphingosine, ceteareth-20, glyceryl citrate/lactate/linoleate/oleate, fragrance.

The bolded ingredients above are ingredients that act as emollients, which help to reduce rough and flaky skin. Many emollients also double as occlusive agents and help to retain moisture. In the Hanyul cream, there are a lot more emollient ingredients and they’re further up on the ingredients list, while in the Beauty of Joseon Cream, emollient ingredients are more dispersed throughout the list.

Now I’ve never really realised what is it that I like in a moisturiser, but now it is clear. Bring on the emollients and occlusives!

Verdict

The Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream is decent as a daytime moisturiser and a sleeping pack, but definitely lacking in emollient or oil properties to be a good nighttime moisturiser for my normal skin type.

Combination to oily skins can give it a try, but I doubt this will be enough for dry skins without pairing with facial oils or heavily layering with other skincare.

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream

When I learnt that Hanyul line is being revamped and the Rich Effect Cream is no more, I felt bereft. I held on to the hope that the reformulations are not much different from the original. (In SK-II, the RNA Power was rebranded from the Stempower line with a bit of reformulation). But soon I realised that in Hanyul seemed to be a total overhaul. The Rich Effect line was repackaged to Seo Ri Tae line, but the Cream is gone*.ヾ(;゚Д゚;)シ

And with that realisation came the bitterness, loads and loads of bitterness which lead me to step away from the brand for a while. (Alright, I promise that this will be the last time that I willl harp about my old HG.) But now, I’ve come back because life has to move on. And because the Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream looks like a great treat to the skin.

The claim to fame

The Baek Hwa Goh Cream claims to restore the skin’s vitality and elasticity, what ever that means. The star ingredient is the baek hwa goh extract i.e. extract from shiitake mushrooms. Using mushrooms in skincare is not unique to Asian products nor is it very exotic. The Dr. Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom line from Origins also relies on extracts from mushrooms.

I have used another cream with mushroom ingredients, the DHC Kakonjuka Cream, which I wrote about in my first ever post here on October 2013 (4 years ago OMG). I liked that cream but I didn’t repurchase because I didn’t have major skin concerns then. Its a whole different story now…

Ingredients

Head over to CosDNA for the full ingredients list. The key ingredient is the lentinus edodes extract: extract from shiitake mushrooms, which is shown to have both antioxidant and anti-irritant properties. Studies show shiitake mushrooms are rich in compounds that reduce redness and calm irritated skin with topical application: polysaccharides, triterpenes, proteins, lipids, phenols, and cerebrosides (Source) **.

Other ingredients include:

  • Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins are saponins derived from ginseng that are hydrolyzed by acid, enzyme or other method of hydrolysis
  • Panax Ginseng Root Extract – Which is the main ingredient in other star products like the Sulwhasoo Revitalizing Overnight
  • Aspergillus Ferment – Fermentation extract from a aspergillus, a type of mould.
  • Also high up on the ingredients list are glycerin and squalane, two well known humectants and antioxidants.

Not much help, but you can see the stiff texture of the cream here

How I incorporate this into my routine

I apply Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream as the last or second to last step in my skincare routine:

Toner > Fermented Essence > Serum > Hydrating Serum OR Sheet Mask > Moisturiser > Sleep Pack (Optional)

It is strictly for night time use only because I live in the tropics and it is humid all year round. If you live in a dryer climate, you can get away with using this in the day time.

I use a chickpea sized amount of the cream to cover my face. Most of it is absorbed immediately, but it leaves behind a thin, glossy sheen that is smooth but not sticky. From the first use, I can say it is very very similar to the Rich Effect Cream (NOT the Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream), and its got me almost shedding tears of joy. It has the exact same texture as the Rich Effect Cream, something like butter (don’t question me about my memory because I dream about my HG every night). It is thick and emollient, but absorbs splendidly, without the cloying feeling of dimethicones sitting on top of the skin.

Aside from the texture, I’m wild about the scent as well. I don’t catch any mushroom, but I can definitely place the ginseng. I love ginseng.

The next morning I wake up to really well rested skin, a little like the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing Mask (featured here). I have not had this kind of feeling from a cream for a very long time. The last one was actually SK-II Stempower, which cost me an arm and a leg (Hanyul cost me just an arm, thank you).

One last thing, please please bear in mind my skin type and my skin concerns when you read my review! What works for me may not work for you. You can head over to my Beauty Profile, but if you’re lazy to click, here you go:

  • Normal skin type
  • Hardy for the most part, able to tolerate most ingredients such as a small quantity of alcohol in skincare
  • Hyperpigmentation on spots where old blemishes healed
  • Dehydration lines on forehead and around nasolabial folds
  • Dark circles and visible veins in under-eye area
  • Occasional bouts of irritation, dryness and sensitivity

Verdict

This is a pure gushing post. I don’t see why this will not suit your skin, unless you don’t handle oils in your skincare well and you prefer a gel texture. Get it! Its is potential HG for me.

Why potential HG? Hurhurhur as I’m writing this, two more Hanyuls: Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream and Seo Ri Tae Firming Sleeping Pack are making its way to me from Korea. I have high hopes for the Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream, so I shan’t count my chickens for now~

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* The Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Anti-Aging Cream is not the old Hanyul Rich Effect Cream. Seriously, the texture is very different. Look at beautifulbun’s review and pics of it here.

** Studies on the benefits of mushroom derivatives on skin: Mushroom Cosmetics: The Present and Future (Link)