[REVIEW] Joseon Dynasty Cream

The Multi Functional Hanbang Cream

Here is a gummy cream moisturizer I’ve seen talked about for literally years but it wasn’t until the ‘discontinue’ scare that I finally tried it. From what I have gathered from many reddit posts and searching was that the cream was discontinued and memebox said they could not get the manufacturer to make anymore. But then, somehow magically they came back! Some people said this was just a last run, but then my like new favorite website find crystalcovebeauty.com stated in an instagram post they “have not heard that this is a last run production or that the cream has been discontinued.” So great news!

joseon dynasty cream

I love this packaging, unfortunately my box came damaged so I cannot share a great photo of it.

What it is: gel-cream-like Hanbang (korean natural medicine) multifunctional moisturizer. To help break down the benefits this cream delivers here are a few of them broken down:

Niacinamide(conditioning, balance oil:water, brightening), Hyaluronic Acid(humectant), Centella Asiatica Extract(soothing, good for acne, rosacea, eczema), Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil(Sea Buckthorn)(anti-aging/moisturizing antioxidant and omega rich), Human Oligopeptide-1(EpidermicGrowthFactor)(conditioning/restoring), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil(Argan Oil), Ceramide 3(moisturizing, protective), Trehalose(Hydrating), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract(smoothing), Honey Extract(moisturizing, antibacterial), Panax Ginseng Root Extract(conditioning, hydrating, stimulating)

*bolded ingredients are some of my favorite key ingredients I find in products.

What I don’t like about it: There are a few acne triggers you can see in the CosDNA posting and I do believe it is the culprit for a few weeks of breakouts on my forehead which is very acne prone. However it was fine on the rest of my face, including other acne prone areas but my forehead has always proven to be the hardest to please. It is also ever so slightly tacky, In my routine this moisturizer isn’t the last step before SPF or BB Cream(day) or Sleeping Pack(night) so this feeling goes away for me.

What I like about it: For starters the packaging is pretty damn beautiful. The scent isn’t overpowering but it is a pleasant scent. I feel like my skin has been a little bit more luminous since starting this moisturizer and I get this nice temporary immediate glow too which I’m sure is from the higher Niacinamide content (it’s the 3rd ingredient after all).

UPDATE 1/27/17: I’ve now almost finished the entire jar. I’ve used the cream almost every day and every night. There’s something about the cream that keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s the gorgeous scent, or packaging. It could be how cool and refreshed my skin feels after. Or it may be I get thinking about all those great ingredients and feel like slathering it on. Anyways.

[REVIEW] Tony Moly Mango Mild Sun Block SPF50+ PA+++

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(It’s wearin sunglasses bc it knows it’s cool AF) 

After a trip back home to the Bay Area I may have spent substantially more money than anticipated on skin care in Japantown. But this was my favorite purchase so it gets reviewed first! However, I purchased it for WAY more than I needed to! At the time of this post, Amazon is selling it for ~$10, I purchased it from an official Tony Moly reseller called K-Beauty for ~$21 (the same on Tony Moly USA’s website).

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My partner is pretty finicky about what he puts on his face. Not quite in the same way I am though, I can live with a product I don’t like the feeling/smell of as long as it’s a good product. He however…. is more concerned about feeling and smell. We’ve had a couple everyday sunscreens he’s tried: Drunk Elephant’s Umbra Defense (20% Zinc Oxide mineral based sunscreen) and Supergoop!’s City Serum Sunscreen (lightweight chemical filter sunscreen) and while the Supergoop wasn’t a total bust the ‘sunscreen’ smell lost him. It’s safe to say he is in love with this as much as I am. 

What about it: This magical mango sunscreen is over 60% a hydrating base which leaves an incredible supple feeling without feeling too greasy or matting down too much. It uses chemical filter sunscreens that instead of bouncing harmful UV(B)urn and UV(A)ging rays it filters these rays out and actually causes a chemical reaction that changes them into heat which is then released from the skin. There are a ton of different chemical sunscreens and they all work differently from each other, some instead of absorbing the rays will actually scatter the light. For more information on the differences of sunscreens I highly recommend this chart by skinacea It’s designed to be a super universal non-oily/fluid lightweight sunscreen, using chemical filter sunscreens means this product won’t give you a white cast, or a ‘penny smell’ like some physical sunscreens. It can be worn alone or under makeup without disturbing application.

What I like about it: It f*cking smells like MANGO. Like I mean to each their own but if I catch a whiff of mango while walkin to the store on a sunday in sweatpants I’m not complaining. The smell is pretty prevalent however it does dissipate especially with makeup application. I also love the protection without sacrificing comfortability SPF 50+ (This is rating protection against UVB rays, remember B for burn, these are the ones that leave us pink and sore after a day at the beach) and PA+++ (Rating UVA protection, out of a possible quadruple plus ratting, however most sunscreens today offer 1-3 pluses. These rays are responsible for (UV)Aging our skin.) Holy parenthesis batman. It leaves me feeling fresh all day, something sunscreens have a problem with delivering and I can put on a full face, light bb cream or just some concealer and not run into any problems. 

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(leaves a slight dewy finish as you can see immediately after application)

Overall take: Lightweight, smells great, full sun protection I can’t ask for much more. However I would love to see more good for you ingredients but reiterating the price point of under $10 I’m not going to say it’s a deal breaker whatsoever. 

What’s found in fortified bread, but also in skincare?

Vitamin B-3! Well specifically we’re talking about Niacinamide, like a lot of ‘actives’ in skincare are a form of a Vitamin (Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, Vitamin C we all know and love). Vitamin B3 is found present in all cells, like we’re literally made up of this stuff. It helps specifically with the cell reproduction and has incredible anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it effective for acne and can even show signs of improvement in cases of rosacea, keratosis pilaris, and psoriasis. But Niacinamide doesn’t quit with just helping 4 common skin conditions it’s also a great anti-ager as well as hydrator. With the increased skin cell turnover helping reveal brighter, healthier skin Niacinamide also helps stimulate production of ceramides, a lipid our skin produces to protect against aggressors and maintain moisture. So this is why it’s been a major skin care ingredient in Asian beauty for so long. It’s results can be great and it’s suitable for sensitive skin so it’s kinda a no brainer ingredient.

Some bomb products I personally love that contain effective amounts of Niacinamide:

Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Pack

This lil’ fella smells very very similar to LUSH’s Twilight Bath Bomb if you’ve ever had a chance to smell it. It’s key ingredients are Niacinamide and White Mulberry to deliver a bright glowy complexion in the mornin’. It’s also packed with Trehalose, Hyaluronic and Glycerin; all three powerful humectants to keep your skin pulling in humidity for serious hydration. 

(as you can see, I need to repurchase soon)

CosRx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence

While Galactomyces may be the power player in this product the assistance of Niacinamide really pushes this product into Holy Grail status. Read my full review of this here! 

J.One Hana Cream

This cream does it all and it was designed to! J.One is founded by famous Korean actress Jiwon Ha is a capsulated cream packed with macademia nut oil, ceramides, and other powerful moisturizers and hydrators while it works to firm, lift, (Peptides) brighten & smooth (Niacinamide, Salicylic acid) and protect (Fullerene, Centella, B5)

AB SKINCARE 201: Essences

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What is an Essence? Essence is an ambiguous word. Like most names for things in skincare. A good example of this is how many products are called a ‘lotion’ we know (some of us may not and it’s very okay) that a lotion basically means any sort of topical product with a low viscosity. Ask Wikipedia she knows. But if we look at some different products that say lotion they can be complete opposites. Like SK-II’s Clear lotion is similar to a cleansing toner with a watery texture. Clinique’s oh-so famous Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer. So before someone gets their panties in a bunch saying I am talking about some different types of products in this, well I am! But also take a step back from thinking there one way to do things and it has to be perfect. It’s a mindset I sometimes start to develop when researching products.

We’ll start with the DEFINITIVE points of an essence. Essence is usually your first step of treatment. (What about toner) Yes! Nowadays toner is usually a treatment step and could be considered an essence. It will provide a pre-moisturizing effect on the skin and help product absorption of whatever we are applying on top! Thats about as concrete Essences get.

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First Treatment Essence (or FTE) is usually a yeast dominate product. Some containing as much as 97% yeast ferment. These are also usually watery essences feeling a lot like toner. They usually have some sort of humectant ingredient as well to help the product actually adhere and soak in (remember our skin is naturally hydrophobic!). Why yeast? Yeast ferment is loaded with b-vitamins and as they are amazing with supporting cell function inside of the body they are also pretty fantastic at it on the skin as well! We see a promotion of skin cell turnover with yeast ferments so it can help in correcting many issues. This is a reason why they’re so popular in the skincare world. Kinda like how retinol can help with sun damage, acne scarring, acne, wrinkles, etc by helping our skin turn skin cells over faster.

My favorite has to be SK-II’s First Treatment Essence. It’s the first of the first. Containing 90% yeast ferment, this ferment was discovered by accident in a Sake brewery quite some time ago! It’s also what Cate Blanchett says she owes her skin’s perfect aging too! It’s been heard she’s scared flight attendance wearing SK-II’s Facial Treatment masks (containing a concentrated version of their FTE) on flights. (Which is a totally awesome idea if I wouldn’t get questioned and looked at funny on a regular flight). Even though other FTE have been shown to do similar if not the same because they come from similar yeast ferments like SK-IIs Pitera. That’s the name of the yeast ferment if you were wondering. But I do also enjoy MISSHA’s FTE as well! Containing 80% yeast 10% skin friendly ingredients like niacinamide for brightening, licorice root for soothing. You can find the whole list of them on MISSHA’s website. Most opt for something like MISSHA’s because it has other ingredients that are super helpful as well as it not costing $99 for 2.5oz up to $290 for their jumbo 11ozer. (The bottles above are the regular MISSHA size of FTE and SK-II’s 2.5oz, I also paid 36 dollars for MISSHA’s on sale and I wouldn’t own SK-II’s period if it wasn’t a gift.)

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Essence(?)

Majority of essences that do not fall under the FTE category have a gel consistency and all have different key ingredients for different concerns. My personal favorite is Maycoop’s Raw Sauce. With a high content of maple water and a nice watery gel consistency you’re skin feels super dewy and hydrated with this guy alone. Some will use it as a light moisturizer because of it’s amazing hydrating properties.

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Treatment Toner/Lotion

Most of these will fall somewhere in-between the feeling of what would be just called a plain old ‘essence’ and FTE. This name definitely has more consistencies than others because it’s a more common american name, and americans do whatever the hell they want. Fresh’s Black Tea Instant Infusion Treatment Toner is actually loaded with a yeast ferment as well as some other goodies like Polysaccharides to help with smoothing the skin and Hyaluronic acid to help soak and seal the product in. Kenzoki’s Melt-In Moisturizing Lotion is technically a gel moisturizer with very little hydration but I love it as a essence since its glycerin heavy, a humectant like hylauronic to help it soak in (and whatever we put on top!) 

Some things to remember when looking at purchasing an essence:

  • Don’t look at the type of product it describes it as, it can make it more confusing. Look for something that sounds like it would benefit your concerns and needs in your skincare!
  • No it’s not necessary! But can give you that boost you’ve been looking for!
  • Pat/lightly slap/press/knead into the skin. Products with a lighter consistency can need a little extra help getting into the skin. Clarins’ website is actually loaded with how to’s on applying products and they’re very accurate and similar to what I do at home! http://int.clarins.com/en/why-clarins-expertise-advice/application-methods.html