Beautyknot ~ My Skin Care Diary

Archive for the ‘Treatment/Serum/Essence’ Category

 

Disclaimer: This is complementary set sponsored by Ujene. However, Ujene didn’t demand anything from me. Therefore this review is solely my independent and honest opinion about the products and hopefully you will learn a little bit about their product here.

 

Ujène Puriste Collagen

 

Being the core range, Ujène Puriste Collagen aims for whitening, anti-aging, hydrating & soothing.

I received the steady-packed parcel by little surprise. To be more precise, personally I was impressed by their professional way in handling the parcel. First, I did not expect they will send me a full size product, all I asked was a trial set that can last for at least 1 week usage, so I can try and do a preliminary review. Each product was wrapped with bubble wrap, they were not only came with purchase accessories like brochure, sample sachets and shopping bag, but also compliance with custom rules by including product MSDS. I was pleased with the “virtual shopping” experience.

 

Ujène Puriste Collagen1

 

What Ujène Puriste Collagen says

Key active is OVILUXE™, finest grade, biocompatible, cell adhesive, 99% purity triple-helix collagen that acts as a moisture-magnet in skin, drawing and plumping up vital moisture within skin’s epidermis. Infused with finest grade botanicals, the PURISTE COLLAGEN range of products revitalizes and effortlessly plumps up skin’s collagen network to rediscover a sublimely youthful bounce in skin, reverse signs of finelines and reveal a healthy, natural glow in complexion. 

Free from – Phthalates, Parabens, Formaldehydes, Propylene Glycol, PEGs, Volatile Alcohols, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffin Wax, Synthetic Dyes, Synthetic Fragrance, Essential Oils, Cruelty

 

Product packaging. Among the three products, the serum is in elegant appearance with friendly button pump. It does have good amount of weight. The day cream comes in decent practical jar but the soft tube of eye gel looked rather substandard considered the steep price.

Generally I was looking forward to experiencing the eye gel most before I tried the products, expecting the serum to surprise me most and assuming the day cream to be mediocre most. After using for more than 3 months, my mind changed. The day cream served my current skin condition best, the serum touched my heart most and the eye gel disappointed me most.

 

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Ujene Eye Gel 1

Ujène Puriste Collagen Eye gel,  S56 / 15g

 

As I was constantly in searching of better eye care, I do hope meeting a lovely eye care product by chance. It doesn’t have to carry big international trademark but must show proven result – to treat fine lines and show visible improvement after a reasonable period. This eye gel has lightweight gel texture, non-irritating and feeling gentle. It worked fine when the climate is very humid here that my fine lines are hidden themselves perfectly without any skin care product. However, it failed to show any appreciable result when I used it after the fine lines shown, yet it highlighted the lines on the dehydrated area. Well, obviously it is not functioning as wrinkle filler. Talking about my puffy eye bag… I think that would depend on how much water I drink before sleep. I don’t have dark circle so I could not justify on that. However the freckles around my eye zone appeared lighter than the freckles on other areas, I would give the credit to all three products because I used them on eye zone all times. In a nutshell, it loads a bundle of goodies in a tube but I can go without this.

 

Ujene Eye Gel 2

Ujene Eye Gel 3

 

Ujène Puriste Collagen Eye gel ingredients:      

Rosa Centifolia Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Soluble Collagen, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Niacinamide, Panthenol, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Matricaria Flower Extract, Madecassoside, Asiaticasode, Allantoin, Betaine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

 

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Ujene serum 1

Ujène Puriste Collagen Serum ,    $105/30g

The Collagen Puriste Collagen serum on the other hand reminded me of Rojukiss Protox serum, a serum that I loved very much in the past. This serum has 10% OVILUXE with dewy consistency and easily absorbed into skin, instantly giving skin slightly “tightened” and “lifted” feel. Skin is feeling full, firm and bouncy though the skin is slightly sticky touch in first few minutes upon application in humid environment. I normally go with 1/3 of the pump for subtle hydrating effect. Nevertheless, the serum absorbed and dried on skin relatively fast with lower air humidity. Ingredient wise, it is certainly more premium than ordinary hydrating serum, it loads ton of hydrating goodies in a bottle. Overall, this acts as a good complimentary for dehydrated skin.

 

Ujene serum 2

Ujene serum 3

Ujène Puriste Serum Ingredients:

Aqua, Soluble Collagen, Butylene Glycol, Cabbage Rose (Rosa Centifolia) Water, Glycerin, Aloe Vera ( Barbadensis ) Leaf Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Niacinamide, Allantoin, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Hydroxide.

 

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Ujene cream 1

Ujène Puriste Collagen Day Cream,  $96/50g

When the serum left sticky film on skin in humid day, this Puriste Day Cream can immediately ease the stickiness. Well, I like rich moisturizer but afraid of pore pore-clogging and cause breakout, hence I always use rich facial oil which serves my skin wonderfully. It gives matte finish, melts into skin effortlessly, non-greasy, non-sticky, did not clog my pores, instead it made skin felt temporary “tightened” and “lifted”. The longer I use this day cream, my fondness for it deepen.

Although it is Day cream but it does not contain sunscreen ingredient so I actually use it day and night. I guess the lightweight cream texture is meant for day use. As the cream it very spreadable and it feels traceless on (dry) skin quickly, ideally use in morning particularly it saved my skin care time and serve as good base of makeup. For the amount used for each application, it lasts for 3-4 months.

 

Ujene cream 2

Ujene cream 3

Ujène Puriste Collagen Day cream Ingredients:

Aqua, Soluble Collagen, Cabbage Rose (Rosa Centifolia) Water, Glycerin, Glyceryl Syearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Grape Seed (Vits Vinifera) Oil, Apricot Kernel (Prunus Armeniaca) Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside, Hyaluronic Acid, Tocopherol Acetate, Tripeptide-1, Hydrolyzed Wheat (Triticum Vulgare) Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy (Glycine Soja) Protein, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Stearic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Chlorphenesin.

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Overall I have pleasant experience with the products. I did not suffer any adverse effect from these products despite sometimes it caused a little warmness to skin on application. If you purely ask for good ingredients with eco-friendly principle, these are nice try if you are fine with the price tag. If you are expecting luxury richness for its price, this might not satisfying you.

 

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My T-zone can be very oily while my U-zone can be very dry, so I thought of using specific product for different zones was smart approach? Indeed, specific zone care is encouraged by many beauty experts but I guess I had no luck with the product I tried – Tea tree Oil Out Balancing serum.

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Naruko has complete Tea Tree product range for acne-prone and oily combination skin. After using 2 bottles of this serum, honestly I was quite disappointed of its claim despite the ingredient list looked impressive. Cosmetics ads promote perfect theory but result truly varied for different skin type and affected by various factors. Nevertheless, though I found it under-delivered but I was still LOOKING FORWARD to using it every day.

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The serum is in gel consistency and it felt fairly slippery while spreading on skin. It has cool minty sensation upon application and skin would be slightly tacky until the serum fully dried on skin. It is refreshing, hydrating and absorbed by skin quickly.

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I used this serum diligently everyday on oily T-zone, my T-zone still shined and oily after few hours. I could not justify whether the oiliness was reduced after using this serum but the result definitely unimpressed.

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In spite of showing “zero” effect for my oily T-zone, its awaking scent was the only point I still enjoyed using it. If you have tried Naruko product, you probably would agree some of their products smell natural-liked, not over-powering, very soothing and calming. The fresh scent dissipated quickly and it will not interfere with other aromatherapy product. This is also the only point that comforts my guilty to splurge on this.

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Rating :  ….      So so.  Will not buy again.

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Ingredients:

Purified Water (Aqua), Kalanchoe Spathulata Extract *, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root extract*, Alpine Skullcap (Scutellaria Alpina) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract*, Masterwort (Pucedanum Ostruthium) Leaf Extract*, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract*, Alps Wormwood (Artemisia Umbelliformis) Extract*, Leontopodium Alpinum Extract*, Alpine Willowherb (Epilobium Fleischeri)Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Snow Fungus (Tremella Fuciformis) Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Seend Extract, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana) Extract, Gluconolactone, Glycolic Acid, Citrus Grandis Seed Extract, Tranexamic Acid, Alpha-aburtin, Vitamine B3 (Niacinamide), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Panthenol, Saccharide Isomerate, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Menthyl Lactate, Menthol, Ethyl Alcohol, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Sorbeth-60 Tetraoleate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Dimethicone, Sclerotium Gum, Piroctone Olamine, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Essential Oils of Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia), Orange (Citrus Nobilis), Spearmint (Mentha Viridis), Lemon (Citrus Limonum), Lime (Citrus Aurantifolia), Peppermint (Mentha Piperita), Grapefruit (Citrus Paradise), Niaouli (Melaleuca Viridiflora).

*Phytoferulin – consist of 11 plant extracts.

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To keep the intro short, this post will be sharing two samples I received as GWP, the Ja Saeng Essence and Jin Hae Yoon Sun Wrinkle from Korea The History of Whoo.

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.˛.*.★*。*★*。*★*。*★*。*★* c[]b *★*。*★*。*★*。*★*。*★.*.˛.  

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Bichup Ja Saeng Essence (KRW160000/45ml)

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Bichup Ja Saeng Essence is a signature serum of The History of Whoo, it has similar product position as Advanced Night Repair serum under Estee Lauder, targeting wrinkle improvement and enhancing skin self-healing ability. It contains three court secret compounds (Gongjinbidan, Kyungokbidan, Chungsimbidan) to enable skin self-strengthening against environmental damage.

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This is pricey, that would be great to get a sample first to see if it is what we like. The essence has gel and hydrating texture, feeling smooth and slick while spreading on skin, then conveyed to gel-sheen finish and a little bit sticky to touch. From its ingredient list, it contains various humectants and oriental plant extracts, though I could not vouch the effectiveness of those plant extracts in beauty product but it should be helpful to treat dryness because of those humectants. I was rather disappointed of its artificial fragrance since I was expecting natural scent or a non-fragranced essence. The pleasant floral scent was similar to the aroma of Whoo Gongjinhyang series but not identical. Overall it was a nice hydrating essence that able to iron out the fine line instantly (although temporary) but would still need moisturizer afterwards for complete moisturizing. My sensitive skin also experienced no irritation or breakout from testing it for a week.

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I did this test on whim on the other day, trying to have some ideas between serum and lotion but no useful conclusion is drawn. I post this test anyway just to give you all a small idea how moisturizing of this essence compared to the other three first-step products. Yes, it is most moisturizing among them and also the thickest.

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.˛.*.★*。*★*。*★*。*★*。*★* c[ ᵕ ᴥ ᵕ ]b *★*。*★*。*★*。*★*。*★.*.˛.

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Jin Hae Yoon Sun Wrinkle SPF46/PA++ (KRW55000/45ml)

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Gongjinhyang Jin Hae Yoon Sun Wrinkle is marketed as an anti-aging sun cream. As Gongjinhyang series is created for women from late 20s to 30s, that is no surprise to see an anti-wrinkle sun cream in the series. It said to improve wrinkles resulting from dryness aside the UV-blocking.

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This has pleasant floral scent too, something different from the scent of Gongjinhyang series. The finish is either radiant or shinny depending on the skin condition (dry/oily) but it leaves no unnatural white residue. I do think Korean sunscreens (eg: Rojukiss Protox day cream and Laneige Sensitive Mild UV protector) commonly have cream texture while Japanese sunscreen majority is appearing more lightweight, this probably because the climate in Korea is drier compared to Japan.

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For drier skin, this sun cream was feeling non-heavy and easily dried on skin in less humid day (humidity <50%). However, it was slightly rich for oilier skin and skin was tacky until the skin started excreting sebum, or applying any makeup foundation/powder can ease the tacky touch too. On the other hand, the compact powder caked on skin due to the tacky base. Referring to above test pictures, I tested this both to my face and hand, it seemed to be okay as makeup base when tested on hand, so I think the cakey finish probably due to my uneven facial skin texture (larger pores at least). Meanwhile, this is also water-proof, I definitely need proper makeup removal at the end of the day. I tried it four times only, no skin irritation had been noticed. In short I still love Japanese milky sunscreen, not to mention I do not believe in “anti-wrinkle” sunscreen.

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Image credit : Missha Korea

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Missha is a very popular budget cosmetics brand in Korea, their main targeted market is basically teenager and young adult. In past few years they started creating their premium oriental herbal Misa (美思) series for more mature group of woman. The  Misa Geum Seul series is Colorants-free, Paraben-free, Triclosan-free, Mineral oil-free, GMO-free and Dermatologist tested.

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Misa (美思) series is containing more than 80 selected medicinal herbs from Dongeuibogam (东医宝鉴,a standard of Korean medicine). The main ingredients of this Geum Seul (金雪) Series included 100% ginseng water, wild ginseng, deer antler, cordyceps, reishi mushroom and other plant extracts to nourish and vitalize skin, together with precious 99.9% pure gold for skin purification and balancing. It aims for wrinkle care and whitening, suitable for woman in 30s and above.

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Sequence of use : First essence booster -> Toner -> Essence -> Emulsion -> Cream

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This was the complimentary gift of my small Missha purchase but my Korea buyer helped me to get more free gifts since I am her big customer I guess. I do not have their English ingredient list because I was using a trial set. Missha Korea has listed their product full ingredient lists (Korean) on the web, a very long list that I was unable to translate it correctly into English. I used this series for about 3 weeks and the weather during the period was roughly 20-33°C, humidity 40-60%, cool breeze, warm & dry weather.

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The temperature during the trial period

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Misa Geum Sul First Care Essence Booster (KRW48000/100ml)

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Korea probably is the first country to introduce essence/serum as the first-step of skin care after cleansing. The concept is similar to using skin enhancer in Japan skincare and botanic face oil in western natural skincare regimen. This First care essence booster aims to soften the skin and restore skin balance after cleansing, hence increase the penetration of subsequent products.

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Enriched with 100% ginseng water, 5% wild ginseng extract, 5000㎍ pure gold/100ml and other plant extracts, it said to awaken tired skin and re-hydrated the dry skin with nutritious ginseng water. The lightweight gel-like essence was very hydrating and quenched the taut skin instantly without leaving sticky residue. The small gold flakes also dissolved easily on massaging. It was nice to use and I quite liked this.

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larger piece of gold flakes sometimes can be overlooked, needs extra finger massage to dissolve it.

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Misa Geum Sul Toner (KRW32000/145ml)

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Geum Seul toner has 100% ginseng water, 240㎍/145ml pure gold and 1% wild ginseng extract. The running liquid was a little bit gel-like feeling, absorbed into skin rapidly and feeling very hydrating. Besides, the toner has some tiny shinning particles which I think they were gold powders. As all product of Geum Seul contained pure gold, thus skin will look glowing after the application. Apparently the hydrating effect was alike to the First Care Essence Booster, when my skin was oilier and acne-prone especially the T-zone, I could just apply the booster and this toner only.

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Misa Geum Sul Rejuvenating Essence (KRW38000/40ml)

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This essence contained 4400㎍/40ml pure gold and 15% wild ginseng extract, you can see it was the most concentrated amid the Geum Seul line. However, I really do not favor rich and creamy essence, it seemed to be as rich as my eye cream. In humid season, I used it mostly on my neck since my combination-normal skin has already loaded enough the essence booster, toner and emulsion/cream. I had tried using the whole line together but my forehead was broke out like crazy in just few days. Nevertheless the whole line worked very well on my drier skin so I think it was best for dry skin. Except the booster and this essence has more floral scent, the rest of the products were herbal ginseng scented.

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Misa Geum Sul Emulsion (KRW32000/100ml)

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The emulsion was very moisturizing and creamy. It included 100% ginseng water, 170㎍/100ml pure gold and 1% wild ginseng extract. You may notice the toner and emulsion were less concentrated because they have more water content than other. This emulsion sometimes caused me clog pores that I would be careful with the use amount. When weather is more humid, I found it was difficult absorbed by skin together with the booster and toner. What I did is using cotton pad for application which really allowed the layers settled in skin quickly! Unfortunately the friction irritated my skin eventhough I had tried with different texture of cotton pads/ball, prompted me to give up the method after trying for two days. I think it was suitable for combination to normal skin type.

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Misa Geum Sul Rejuvenating Cream (KRW35000/50ml)

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This has 100% ginseng water, 1650㎍/50ml pure gold and 10% wild ginseng extract, said to create radiant glowing complexion and boost the skin elasticity. It was butter-like and being very creamy, I would either use this with the First care essence booster or the Geum Seul Toner only. Unlike some people using the dotting application method, I personally loved to warm and rub a rich cream in palms then massaged the skin in upward and lifting motion, starting from neck then proceed to face, forehead is last (from driest area to oiliest area). I could see my two neck lines were faded slightly in just first week! I must credited the result to the anti-gravity massage technique and rich texture of the cream, perhaps the ingredients also contribute to the improvement? Nonetheless, this was truly for dry skin only, else it caused comedogenic problem.

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I never fond of using gold in skin care but I must say this Misa Geum Seul series is comfortable to use for drier skin condition, I did not suffer any skin irritation from using the line too. My skin texture appeared smoother with tighten pores, moist and firm, and bare skin always glow healthily which I believed the great moisturizing factor played the main role of the improvement. On the other hand, I did not see my fine line faded and skin tone was not a shade lightened either, the emollient texture did give me some blackheads when skin is on oilier stage too. Overall it was still a nice surprise in 3-week trial. To be frankly I do not expect anything from this budget brand but Missha seemed to be serious in developing elegant quality skin care line with relatively affordable price, though it was overpriced outside Korea. I would be very happy to recommend this to my mum in her 60s.

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There is a while I really hooked with Hyaluronic Acid essence. Simple, scentless and effective to hydrate sensitive skin despite I realized later it didn’t do anything for parched skin in harsh climate. Admittedly, Hyaluronic Acid is always a very popular ingredient and can be easily found in many high-end and low-end cosmetics.

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In the past, I used to read a lot Taiwan beauty magazines (mostly Chinese edition of Japanese’s one) and this Dr.Wu Hydrating Serum is mentioned and raved in magazines many times (Due to conflict of interest, we know magazine beauty editor would never bad-mouth any product in magazine anyway). Dr.Wu is a skincare line founded by Dr. Wu Ying-Jun in Taiwan and this Intensive Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Acid is their all-time star product.

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The consistency is thick and gel-like, it felt sticky on skin and takes some time to become dry and matte on skin in humid day. Comparing with lightweight and watery Neogence Hyaluronic Acid Essence, I prefer this thicker consistency of Dr.Wu Hydrating Serum for better hydrating result. Moreover, I only need a pump for each application, keeping my skin very soft and firm in our tropical climate.

Does this Hydrating serum fill my fine lines as Neogence’s did? My answer is Yes, it works for fine line but definitely couldn’t help deeper line like wrinkle.

As I used it on and off, I can’t say how long the serum can last. This is a nice hydrating serum as a whole, best for irritated sensitive skin, perhaps a skincare supplement for dehydrated, dry, sensitive skin. In fact, it was raved as soothing agent of post laser treatment. The retail price NT800/15ml is however, beetle-browed for a drugstore product. I don’t think I will re-purchase for normal use but would remember it when my skin is ultra-sensitive.

Rating :  ….)))      Excellent. May buy again.

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Ingredients:

D.I.Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Seamollient, Butylene Glycol, Yeast Extract, Elastin Extract, Glycerine, Soluble Collagen, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Hydroxyethyl Cellulos, Allantoin, EDTA-2Na, Alpinia Galanga Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride.

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Being LG niche skincare, The History of Whoo is an oriental medicinal skincare based on secret royal court ingredients – Gongjinhyang (拱辰亨) with modern cosmetics technology. Seol (雪) literally means ‘Snow’, is Whoo’s whitening line. According to Whoo, Seol uses oriental herbs to treat the hidden speckles under the skin, producing internal glow from the depth of the skin. LG has revamped some of the product in Seol line in early 2011, adding new whitening ingredients Seolgamsan (雪感散) and Chilhyangmibaeksan (七香八白散)..

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I must admit the whitening line is immensely pricey! The most expensive whitening line that I have used to date. Seol has been received good reviews online and I was tempted to splurge! I had known places like Korea Gmarket is selling high-end Korea cosmetics samples at incredible cheap price but I didn’t buy from them at the end because I was unable to differentiate between authentic and the fake one, later my Korea counterpart told me that KBS had broadcasted the fake cosmetics crackdown program on TV (source), which involved both high-end and popular Korean cosmetics. Anyway, I finally purchased a gift set in Korea with normal retail price because the gift set was not available at the duty free.

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These were the whitening products I used – Whitening Pure Essence (5ml), Whitening Lotion (20ml), Whitening Skin Balancer (20ml), Whitening Soft Toner (100ml), Brightening Cleansing Foam (40ml), Whitening Intensive (20ml) and Whitening Cream (10ml).

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This is going to be a long post, so please bear me some patience (“v). I will do a separate review for full-size Whitening Intensive because I wanted to see its long term effect, so I would need another few months before I conclude my final thought on it. Therefore, please note this review is mainly based on trial set that enough for approximately 1.5 months (Sept – Nov) use. My skin was generally oily-combination in Sept to Oct and combination-normal-easily dehydrated in Nov, weather temperature averaging 28-30°C and humidity ~ 50-70%.

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Whitening Soft Toner ( 65,000/100ml )

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Having sensitive skin, I rarely use toner. I had only purchased three toners (Muji, Eucerin and Vichy) in past several years and they are all formulated for sensitive skin. Toner in my beauty lexicon is mainly meant for purifying and clarifying, which sometimes could be too harsh for my naturally sensitive skin especially my early years of skincare had proven the fact. I splurged this on whim and regretfully, it didn’t work for my skin either.

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This whitening soft toner said to tone the skin, creates a clear and smooth base, and helps increase absorption of herbal elements. The clear watery content is absorbed quickly into skin, it isn’t hydrating that I need to apply the skin balancer as soon as the toner dried on skin else the skin would feel tight. I only sensed the mild tingling skin on 2nd or 3rd day and thought this was the culprit since I didn’t start using all the Seol products together. Having said that, I do think toner is useful to help skincare ingredient absorption, you can read my review of Eucerin Skin Balancing Toner that I had performed a simple test to tell the difference. The problem is, this Seol whitening soft toner isn’t suitable for sensitive skin.

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Update @ December 2012 : Whoo Seol Soft Toner

Ever since I live in Malaysia, I notice my skin dryness has improved tremendously by itself. Thanks to the warm & humid weather here, I am going to save a lot on cosmetics. Considering of more balanced & stable skin here, I decided to give second chance to Seol Soft Toner, a whitening toner that irritated my sensitive skin before but too painful to discard it.

A little bit more about the packaging. The glass bottle is very heavy, I think it can be a very sturdy vase too, of course it can only hold a stalk of flower..haha. The spout allows precise dispense, though the opaque bottle has no way to tell how much it left.

The clear watery toner turned slight yellowish after storing in a very warm room for a period. However, I had not experienced any skin irritation this time, it hydrated my skin nicely and brightening effect was noticeable.

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Whitening Skin Balancer ( 55,000/130ml )

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You might notice most Korean skincare have non-watery consistency for their skincare “primer”, often called skin balancer or skin refiner. This is to be used after the whitening soft toner. In the pamphlet, it said to be used after using Cheongan Brightening Water, well, I couldn’t find a product called Cheongan Brightening Water in Whoo’s 2011 brochure and their website, it seemed that the product has been discontinued. (“ c)?

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What Whoo says about this, exotic oriental medicine-based chilhyang palbaeksan ingredients and gemguksu, a simmered and cold-processed wild chrysanthemum essence, are absorbed deep into skin to make the skin as clean and clear as a white gem. It enhances the effectiveness of skincare products used in subsequent steps. (So, this also helps absorption and the soft toner isn’t that important in the routine actually).

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As you can see, it’s a milky fluid. It’s very lightweight yet feeling moisturizing for my combination skin. I take a small amount on palm and apply with fingers, the milky fluid is absorbed into skin rapidly! It was quite moisturizing when my skin was on oily side but when my skin felt slightly taut after facial cleansing, this was very comfortable to soothe and hydrate. I really love this.

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Whitening Lotion ( 70,000/110ml )

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I think this whitening lotion and the whitening Skin Balancer are good combination for the combination skin. The emulsion has abundant tiny granules as shown in my below picture. I didn’t sense those granules upon applying as it just smoothed on like normal emulsion. I warm the lotion in palms prior to applying, then lightly press the palms on skin to facilitate absorption. My face is shiny and wet right after the application but it actually quickly dried on skin after several minutes, feeling non-oily and no stickiness, it just moisturized adequately although I still wake up with oily face next morning.

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When I first started the skincare routine with Seol, I only used the whitening skin balancer and this whitening lotion because the Seol line is completely new to me, by trying them step by step, it would be easier and helpful to identify which product has caused problem at later time. Totally surprise. I saw a radiant skin in the first week! The result was simply remarkable and I was so glad I have found another whitening skincare that delivered translucent skin tone other than the blue-bottle Kose Sekkisei. Most whitening products I have tried do give me radiant and even skin tone too, but not the type of translucent, soft illuminating, rosy skin tone that I always admire. Besides Kose Sekkisei is probably more irritating to sensitive skin, I love this Whoo basic care imparts glowing skin from within. Nice……

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Whitening Essence ( 140,000/45ml )

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I think this essence is the most emollient stuff among the Seol line although its consistency is lotion-like, it is too greasy for oilier skin. From the user manual, it should be applied after using the whitening skin balancer and before the whitening lotion. It said made by precious medicinal herbal and secrets from courts in ancient times, manages dark skin blemish and help to provide balanced and transparent skin tone.

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Like the whitening Lotion, it loaded with many soft granules and it does require quite a while to be fully absorbed for combination skin, skin also looked quite shiny. However when I tried it in early Nov, it absorbed more easily and didn’t look very shiny. In order to see its effect, I had tried both routines [ Skin Balancer + Lotion + (with or without Essence) ] and I did notice the skin glowed more intensely by adding the essence into the routine but I didn’t see appreciable lightened freckles. I was wondering if it was due to my lightened skin tone that reflected the freckles more obvious (??). Probably only an electronic skin analysis device can answer me.

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Whitening Cream ( 150,000/50ml )

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I actually bought the full size of this whitening cream first before I discovered the gift set. This whitening cream is the revamped 2011 formula. With new ingredients Seolgamsan (雪感散) and Chilhyang Palbaeksan (七香八白散), it said to enter deep inside the skin to create bright and clear skin like porcelain. It is advised to be used after the whitening lotion.
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The gel-cream is feeling lightweight and hydrating, it imparts cosmetically glowing skin as most gel-cream did. There is no greasy and sticky touch. In term of texture, I liked this more than the whitening lotion particularly when skin turned drier, however this most probably contains silicone ingredients that acne-prone skin might want to avoid. When my skin is oilier, using the entire Seol line caused me minor bumps on next morning eventhough I used a small amount of this whitening cream only. When the skin turned combination-normal and easily get dehydrated especially the dry season is approaching here in November, the whole line worked really great for me. After finished the whitening skin balancer and lotion, I used this whitening cream together with the Whitening Intensive (treatment),  they have been kept my skin moisturized adequately day & night. No tingling skin even I didn’t wear the Clinie mask in morning. However, it won’t be sufficient for very dry skin in harsh climate.

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Generally I’m highly satisfied with the whitening effect. In fact I’m amazed by the powerful effect of oriental formula. Whoo only lists the ingredient list in Korean in the pamphlet, nonetheless thanks to this blogger has posted the English ingredient lists here. The Seol line also contains alcohol. I understand from a cosmetic ingredient expert that certain oriental herbs need to be dissolved in alcohol but I wasn’t sure if this applies to Seol line too.

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As a whole I would say the Seol line lives up to its whitening claim, though skin texture seemed to remain unchanged. Sometimes skin was still experienced dullness especially when I was glued to chair long hours in the day but normally the skin returned to naturally glowing tone the next day. After seeing the beautiful whitening effect of Seol line, I was disappointed they performed limited to those stubborn freckles. Together with sun care, the freckles appeared slightly lightened after a month use but they are still quite visible in my eye, that is main reason of why I wanted to give the treatment – Whitening Intensive a longer try despite I already tested it on a dark spot of my hand and it had shown lightening effect. May be just my wishful dream to vanish the 22-year-old freckles, especially when clinical IPL treatment also did nothing much to my freckles.

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I recently replenished 4 bottles of this essence because it went out of stock when I wanted to purchase it on my last trip to Malaysia. To my disappointment, I never knew the formula had been revamped because the packaging and ingredient list are remained exactly same for both old and new versions, until I opened the essence and started using it for skin then only I realized it felt so different from my previous Neogence HA essence experience!

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Compared to the previous version I bought and reviewed here (which I believe is 2009 version), the current latest version at the time of writing is 2010 Sept version. In the beginning I wasn’t sure why the essence consistency and result were dissimilar with my previous experience, hence I wrote to Neogence and Dr.Hung replied me that this Hyaluronic Acid Essence actually had been revamped 4 times (2008, 2009, 2010) since the essence first released. The newer version contains smaller molecule Hyaluronic acid.

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The main reason I decided to write a new review of this essence (2010 version) instead of put an update remark at the bottom of previous review is because they are two different essences for me. I felt bad if I did not make it clear.

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…*-*… Comparison of 2009 version and 2010 version …*–*…

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● Consistency ●

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I immediately felt the consistency of 2010 version was more watery. When I took the blog picture in my previous review of 2009 version, I remembered vividly the essence was not runny on skin. This new version is watery and very runny on skin, you get the idea in above picture.

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● Application ●

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As the newer version is watery, thus it is easier to absorb into skin compared to older version. This essence still has kind of  light slippery gel texture when massaging onto skin but it absorbed by skin fairly quick and did not require extra massage liked what I did to the older version. The newer version also leaves non-sensible sticky touch after application, in fact it seemed to be fully sipped into skin without leaving a trace. The following is comparison of Neogence HA essence (2010) and Juju Aquamoist HA essence (new packaging).

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Neogence HA essence VS JUJU's HA essence

Do you think any difference here?

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● Result ●

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I had used up a full size 20ml of the 2010 version before I shared my thought here. Apparently I felt the hydrating power of this new version was weaker than the older version because it did not smooth out my expression lines under eyes instantly as the older version.  For optimal result, skin MUST be dampened by toner/lotion first and then sealed with moisturizer after applying this HA essence. Unlike previous version which was very versatile that can be used at anywhere anytime. Eventhough I applied generous amount on bare skin, it simply failed to hydrate the skin for more than 15 minutes for my combination, slightly dehydrated skin in normal room temperature in tropical climate!  (My skin felt tight and dry lines shown again in 15 minutes) In addition, it did not heal the minor flaky nose either.

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Despite it lacks of line-filling ability, it still gives me bouncy soft skin when using together with toner and moisturizer  (I used it with Neogence HA series or REN face oil) but less pronounced compared with the older version. I was not totally convinced by the instant result unfortunately, eventhough Neogence claimed the latest version can hold the moisture up to 12 hours.

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pill up a little bit when applied a light BB cream after applying the HA essence

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I understand the molecule of Hyaluronic Acid for skin care can be varied (Please note I’m not talking those used for plastics surgery), technically the larger the molecule the better it holds the moisture, imagine a larger sponge can hold more water. On the other hand, the smaller molecule can be absorbed by skin more easily and helps to retain moisture in the skin instead of trapping on upper skin only. As such, theoretically smaller molecule is actually more effective to improve dehydrated skin in gradual manner. Normally a good formulated hydrating product will include both small and large molecular humectants.

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Comparison of HA and oil

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I knew skin care is not only a superficial job because our skin aged from skin deep but still, I don’t think I will re-purchase this HA essence again because it is no longer giving what I expected — act as line-filler. I bought it because  I thought it  is still the same formula liked the one I used previously, which  is excellent for instant fix in emergency circumstances, particularly for the expression lines under eyes in day time  (I used Retinol eye care at night).

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This newer watery version (2010) only lasts me around a month where the older version (2009) can last for approximate two months due to its thicker consistency, hence more pricey per ml for newer version although the normal retail price is still remaining RM89/20ml. In summary, the revamp is suitable for oilier skin type in tropical climate and make it more compatible with other skin care product, hence it is ideal as a hydration booster instead of  instant line-filler that I expected.

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Rating:  ….)))     Satisfied. Will not buy again.

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Ingredients:

Aqua, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Allantoin, Chlorphenesin, Methylisothiazolinone.

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My apology

Hi, many things have been keeping my mind and time occupied these days, thus I need more time to response to all comments. Please bear with me, thank you.

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Sensitive, combination skin type, visible blood vessels, freckles, easily dehydrated, dry and having fine line undereye, occasional breakout, visible aging pores.

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