22 Mar 2016

The Vitality of Sprout Energy: A Brand Overview and Reviews of 21 Primera Products Part 1


Today, I'll be introducing you guys to another natural skincare brand called Primera. Unlike Belif which utilizes herbs, Innisfree with its Jeju secrets or Whamisa with its double fermentation, Primera is unique in the way that it utilizes the sprout energy of germination - the vital energy released the moment seed grows into sprout.


As the name suggests, Primera is a combination of "prime" and "era", signaling the critical moment when a seed releases all its energy, breaks through barriers and soils, before growing into a beautiful plant. If you've seen sprouting or birth-giving, you'll be touched by the moment when new life is brought into the world - growth.


Basically,  Primera is an eco brand like Whamisa, Belif and Innisfree. It is Amore Pacific's version of the LG's Belif, which targets individuals in their late 20s and 30s. The brand itself is very pure, suitable even for pregnant women, with only health and personal care products. They even have a CC cushion for babies! How cool is that?

Primera has not landed in Malaysia yet, maybe it takes some time as the brand is still relatively new in Korea with only a handful outlets, but I am hoping that they will come here soon with of course good price tags like Innisfree.


Since Primera has not made its way to Malaysia yet, I got most of my Primera products through Korean online retailers like Testerkorea, Koreadepart and Gmarket. Althea Korea is also carrying some, so as some 11street sellers.

Full list of products discussed below:

  • Primera Miracle Seed Essence
  • Primera Facial Mild Peeling
  • Primera Seed Energy Cleansing Oil
  • Primera Super Sprout Serum
  • Primera Super Sprout Cream
  • Primera Alpine Berry Watery Cream
  • Primera Watery Oil-Free Gel Cream
  • Primera Organience Water
  • Primera Organience Emulsion
  • Primera Organience Cure Eye Cream
  • Primera Skin Relief UV Protector SPF50+ PA+++

Primera Miracle Seed Essence 150ml


The Miracle Seed Essence was the product that brought me into Primera. I was so crazy about treatment essences back then and this beautiful thing was released around the time when my passion was at its peak.

For you guys who are not familiar with treatment essences, it is basically a pre-serum or liquid essence to replace your normal toner. It is more hydrating and potent than your normal toner but with the properties of a toner. It hydrates, gentle exfoliates, brightens, anti-oxidizes, tones, and balances skin's pH. Individuals who practice double cleansing or do not wear a lot of makeup can definitely use this to replace toner.

The Miracle Seed Essence has really gorgeous packaging. It comes in a heavy glass bottle with a twisted-open cap and a small hole on top for non-messy application. The texture is really smooth and runny, although a little bit “thicker” than Secretkey and Nature Republic, but is not sticky and can be well absorbed into the skin. All skin types can use this, even sensitive skin and pregnant ladies.

One bottle of this can last you 2-3 months using it mainly on your hands. Normally, I use this right after cleansing and before a serum, although I sometimes layer a hydrating toner to give an extra boost in hydration. There is no set and stone way to use this product, you can experiment it a bit to find out the best way to apply it on your skin. For me, a treatment essence is a watery multitasking miracle product to condense toning, hydrating, boosting, prepping, pH-adjusting, gentle-exfoliating, and anti-oxidizing into one. If you feel that you don’t need these functions, you can of course shift back to just toner.

After using this for about 2 months, I notice that my skin is notably brighter, smoother and plumper. I feel that this is much more hydrating than Secretkey and Nature Republic, although Nature Republic does a slightly better job at brightening. Secretkey, on the other hand, provides a more refreshing and cooling sensation than Primera and Nature Republic.

Primera Facial Mild Peeling 150ml



This peeling gel is the best-selling and awards-winning item in Primera. It's made of broccoli sprout extract, a plant rated among the ten superfoods in Time Magazine as an efficacious skin purifying and replenishing agent, which makes this a peeling-and-replenishing 2-in-1 product.

The texture of this peeling gel is really special, which is in the form of finely grained vegetables that can be spread easily on my face without drying or irritating. However, despite it works great to eliminate deal skin cells, it is not very effective at removing sebaceous filaments. Individuals with big pores and oily skin concerns might not find this helpful, although those with drier and sensitive skins will be delighted at how well this cleanses and replenishes your skin.

I might be getting a full size of this since I love the texture and scent of it, but is still hesitating since it's 5 times more expensive than my another favourite Skinfood Rice Mask.


Primera Seed Energy Cleansing Oil 150ml


One of the best oil-type makeup remover I've ever used! But I must be very honest with you guys that I've not tried a lot of cleansing oil before, only Innisfree Apple Juice Cleansing Oil and Hadalabo Hydrating Makeup Remover, both of which I don’t like. There are also a lot that I’ve tried over the counters, but didn’t end up liking any of them. This primera one thus stands out as the only cleansing oil that I like so far.

I got this Primera Seed Energy Cleansing Oil as a complimentary gift from purchasing the Primera Miracle Seed Essence. One bottle of this (10ml) lasts me 2 weeks for frequent uses. The thing I really like about this cleansing oil is the texture. As you can see in the picture above, the oil is actually quite slippery. It gets spread on my skin smoothly (see the edges of the liquid) without being greasy or “gooey” in an uncomfortable way, which is really saying something about its particles size. This gives me a really light-weighted, slippery and refreshing cleansing experience no other cleansing oil has ever given.

I have tried using this on all sort of makeups, from mascara, lipstick to eyeliner but this cleanses them all well, although I still think that you’ll need points-makeup remover for waterproof mascara and tinted makeup. This is much more convenient than Banila Co Clean it Zero since it comes in a pump but is less-travel friendly than the Banila Co. It depends very much on your personal preference and need.

For individuals concern about the types of oil used here, this cleansing oil is formulated with natural oils, like grape oil, olive oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, raspberry oil, cranberry oil and so on. No synthetic dyes and mineral oils are used, which makes it a great cleansing oil for sensitive and oily skins.

I think I'll buy a full size product of this once I'm done with other heavy makeup removers.

Primera Super Sprout Serum 50ml


This is another well-formulated, much-raved and numerous awards-winning item from Primera – the Super Sprout Serum. Illustrated is just a travel set I got from purchasing the Primera Miracle Seed Essence. I have already bought two full sizes as backups!

I must admit that, this is one of the best oil-in-serum products I’ve ever used. Despite my aversion to most facial oil or oil-type serum, I love this a lot. This serum is made of “super sprout” – seed essences of black rice, black sesame and black bean. We all know that “black plants” lead the health trend right now, and now we see they got incorporated into beauty products! The major purposes of this serum is to revitalize, nourish and protect the skin from environment aggressors, sort of like an anti-aging powerhouse. Although it is designed for more mature skin types, I believe that those in their mid-20s can use this to kick start their anti-aging regime already.

As you can see, the texture of this serum is kind of rich, very creamy and “oily-like”. Luckily though, it is totally non-greasy, and can be absorbed really quickly. For those who have oilier skin types, you can try mixing this serum with some other essences or serums, or even in a lighter cream to avoid overpowering your skin with something “oily”. I have normal skin and lives in a hot climate, but this serum works perfectly for me without being overwhelming or heavy. It provides the right dose of protection, care and nourishment my skin needs.

Comparison-wise, this is richer than Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, but will do a better job at moisturizing, nourishing and protecting your skin than Innisfree. I think it penetrates better than Aromatica Absolute First Serum without the uncomfortable oily finish the Aromatica one gives. When mixed with A.H.C Collagen Ampoule, this provides an extremely moisturizing and nourishing feeling that deems moisturizers unnecessary without the tackiness when applying this Primera Super Sprout Serum alone. If you have tried Belif Peat Miracle Serum Concentrate, I think the Belif one is much lighter and penetrates better but this works better to provide an instant boost in nourishment. This is also less “oil-like” and more “gellish” compared to Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate with similar skincare benefits. I think it all boils down to your personal preference and skin types.

Drier skin types will flourish with this; but oilier skin type is advised to get a sample size before buying the full size bottle.


Primera Super Sprout Cream 50ml


Although I love the Super Sprout Serum, I don't like the cream version of it.

Just like the serum, this cream also contains the essences from the "super black seeds" to add transparency, elasticity, hydration and vitality to skin. However, since this cream is infused with one more thing - squalane, it is much richer and nourishing than the serum.

Although it claims to rebalance oil-moisture in skin, I feel that this cream makes my skin so imbalanced towards the oilier side. I can take a lot of water into my skin, but not oil. This super creamy occlusive is so nourishing that it makes my skin super oily even if I just apply a little. I think this works best for those living in the harsh winter climates, or those sleeping in air-conditioned room or/and with extremely dry skin. I wouldn't recommend this to any normal or oilier skin types, although I feel that this is a really well-made nourishing cream to serve drier skin types.

Primera Alpine Berry Watery Cream 50ml


This is another best-seller from Primera and a highly-raved moisturizing cream among the Korean community. A vlogger even rates this as her ultimate must-have moisturizer. But, if you ask me, this is just my “good to go” nighttime moisturizing cream that is neither impressive or disappointing - due to its texture. I always prefer moisturizer that gets absorbed really fast, light-weighted, watery and non-gooey. The emulsification of water and lipids inside an emulsion or cream must be good enough that the product penetrates effortless with both water and lipids. This primera alpine berry watery cream is not such product that I would rate as “well-emulsified”, since it will still feel greasy (the oil separates from the water content) on my skin. It is highly spreadable, smooth but is a bit on the gooey side.

Recently, I've been applying this before going to bed, which offers the right amount of nourishment I need for my skin. This cream smells exactly like other Primera products - something earthy, herby and planty. This is a more watery and lighter version of the Belif Moisturizing Bomb, which offers great nourishment for oilier skin types living in cold weather, but not for the hot Malaysian climate.

Although not liking its texture a lot, I enjoy the skincare benefits offered by the papaya extract and alpine berries here. The vitamin C enriched alpine berries extract offers added brightening properties without compromising on its moisturizing power. My aunty who uses this reported brighter complexion with reduced pigmentation concern.

I still have a jar of this and a couple miniatures. Guess it will take a long time for me to decide whether or not I will make a repurchase.

Primera Watery Oil-Free Gel Cream 50ml



This is less popular than the water cream, perhaps due to the cold weather in Korea, but I still somehow prefer this over the water cream.

The ingredients, scent, and function of this are pretty much similar to the water cream. But, texture-wise, this oil-free gel cream is much lighter and refreshing compared to the water cream. You might feel a little bit greasy from applying the water cream but not this. This will sink right into your skin, hydrating and pampering it with weightless moisture. I think this oil-free gel cream suits the Malaysian weather better, although the water cream is more suitable for nighttime use. This oil-free gel cream is also much lighter than Kiehl's Oil Free Gel Cream for anyone who wants something lighter than the famous Kiehl's blue jar, both of which are great for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

I just bought a full size product of this and will write a full review once I'm done with it.

Primera Organience Water-Emulsion 180+150ml


Both the organience water and emulsion are really unique products. I have never tried any other Korean toners-emulsions like this. They are light-weighted but surprisingly hydrating for that texture.

As you can see, the toner is just like water, or some pleasant-smelling brown cough syrup. It gets absorbed into the skin almost immediately, leaving a hydrated and slightly dewy finish. The emulsion, on the other hand, is also extremely light-weighted yet hydrating. It comes in a non-sticky and non-gooey thick water texture that I love for an emulsion, which gets absorbed easily with light patting. This adds more dewiness into the toner with a silky soft finish.

Both the organience water and emulsion has skin suppressing effect, which means they soothe and purify skin for clearer and suppler complexion. Another good thing about them is that they are both certified organic, which is great for skincare vegens and of course pregnant ladies.

I think I'll give them a try once I'm finished with my other toner-emulsion sets.

Primera Organience Cure Eye Cream 30ml


This may not be my favourite eye cream (my favourite one is Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream), but definitely a highly recommended moisturizing and antioxidizing eye creams for most skin types.

The organience eye cream is made of shea butter, germinated black rice, cocoa butter and extra virgin olive oil for luxurious treat around your eyes area. It's relatively light-weighted, non-overwhelming, and moisturizing compared to most other eye creams I've tried in the market. It also smells really great with organic chamomile, lavender and witch hazel extracts to soothe and pamper sensitive skin around the eyes. In short, this is a revitalizing, moisturizing and nourishing eye cream for sensitive and combination-to-dry skin types.

Primera Skin Relief UV Protector SPF50+ PA+++ 50ml


Guess what, this might be the only heavy-duty sunscreen that I like the best so far. I've tried a lot of heavy-duty sunscreens, from The Face Shop, It's Skin, Neogence, Nano WhiteNature Republic, to 3W Clinic etc., and this would be the only sunscreens that I don't hate everytime I pick it up from the dressing table.

As you can see, despite quite rich and moisturizing, this sunscreen is actually highly spreadable. That gives it a pleasant-moist, despite quite-sticky-finish of this sunscreen. Although this claims to have powder particles to control sebum production, it is not-at-all drying like the Nature Republic and Innisfree ones. Furthermore, it is infused with sesame sprout extract to protect skin from dust and environmental aggressors, which makes it perfect for outdoor activities during the winter season as well.

In short, I think this sunscreen would be an excellent one for normal to drier skin types during the colder seasons. However, for oilier skin types especially those living in a hot climate, this may not be perfect for you. Busy individuals who can't wait for their sunscreens to get absorbed, wear a lot of makeup, put on heavy moisturizers or dislike having a layer of soft powdery finish on your skin should also think twice before buying.

You can check here out for full review of it!

Primera Free & Free 150ml


Here comes the last thing from Primera that I would like to share with you guys. This "free & free" is essentially a non-foaming formula feminine cleanser to keep the private areas clean and balanced. It has a mild acid pH that resembles women's natural acidic protective film to prevent fungal and bacteria growth.

This free & free contains herbal extracts artemisia vulgaris and nelumbo nucifera traditionally been used by women as natural defense herbs to treat inflammation in their private areas. The texture of this feminine cleanser is a light gel that doesn't lather into rich bubbles. Personally, I find this working better than Lactacyd available in local drugstores although it is quite expensive compared to other feminine cleanser. Individuals who are looking for a balanced and gentle cleansing experience should check this out.

CONCLUSION



Woah, another mega review this year! I hope I won't bore you guys for writing such a long long post! Do you think I should write more of these mega reviews, or just focus back on writing individual product reviews?

So, here ends my primary journey with this innovating, exciting and interesting sprouts line from Primera Korea. I must say that I have a lot of respect for this brand, after paying my tributes to the eco-friendly Innisfree, double-fermentation Whamisa, herbal Belif, and now we have the germination Primera! What comes next? Does the dermatologist Kiehl's sound good?

There are a lot of things I really enjoy from Primera, especially their Alpine Berry line, Super Sprout Serum, Miracle Seed Essence, Broccoli Sprout line and so on. The scent of Primera might take longer times than Belif to get used to and eventually liking, but you'll somehow love it some points at time. It's quite earthy and relaxing, almost like the ointment you use for massaging.

Anyway, that's all for today! I shall see you guys soon in the future. Bye--!!


[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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