28 May 2016

From Jeju: An Overview of 77 Innisfree Products Part 1 - Green Tea, Jeju Volcanic, Canola Honey, Soybean Firming, Orchid

took during my last visit to Innisfree Malaysia, Sunway Pyramid

At some point in time, I realize that I never truly do a brand review on Innisfree, despite having been loving the brand as early as I start digging into Korean beauty. Nature Republic was the first Korean brand I used, but Innisfree is the brand that I have tried the most of its products ever since I found out about the brand. I was also one of those who visited Innisfree the day when they opened their first store in Sunway Pyramid!

Probably because of my enthusiasm and love for the brand, I never feel the need to introduce it. Besides, it has gained enough coverage all over the internet that everyone seems to be sharing and raving about it. I never feel that I need to talk about it specifically because I’m assuming that you guys all know about it already.

But now, after I’ve done a brand review on Whamisa, Primera, Kose, and Belif, I thought it is time for me to talk about Innisfree, like a general overview of a lot of things I have tried from the brand. So, let's present the super popular, eco-friendly and green worshiping Innisfree! It's a brand gifted with the secrets of nature from the beautiful and clean Jeju Island in Korea. 

the Jeju secrets behind Innisfree

I want to talk about green tea first because this is my favourite line in Innisfree. The Innisfree green tea line is made of freshly picked green tea leafs and seeds which absorb and collect the pure moisture from the clean ground of Jeju Island. This line supplies the clean but powerful antioxidizing and moisturizing energy of the Jeju green tea. It has the prettiest and readily absorbed texture and most enticing scent among all other lines, and is suitable for all climates and seasons. A must try line in Innisfree.

Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Foam
This is a decent foam cleanser, which you use after your cleansing water or makeup remover. The one I used was the older version of it, before they changed the packaging so I am not sure have they improved the formulation, but the older version was kinda “meh” for me. It was reasonably priced, at about RM 24 for 150ml but Nature Republic Aloe Vera Foam Cleanser and Hadalabo Arbutin Whitening Face Wash at the same price range worked better at lathering and are gentler on my skin after cleansing. This particular one (the old version) also doesn’t smell as nice, has weak lathering (foaming) power and so-so cleansing ability. You could give it a try though, but I personally will not recommend. For full review, please see here.

Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Water
This is a decent makeup removing cleansing water. It is meant to remove light makeup and sunscreen, the first step in your double cleansing routine. I only used this for sunscreen and light points-makeup (non-waterproof; non-tinted). The cleansing water is very watery, feels almost like water but it will leave a very thin oily finish on your face, just like Primera’s Moisture Cleansing Tissues. It will remove most BB cream, powder, eyebrow, non-glittering type eye shadow, non-tinted type lip gloss, dirts, and waterproof sunscreen. It doesn’t cleanse my Innisfree Ampoule Intense Cushion well though, giving me little milias here and there. I know a lot of people report how this cleansing water stings their eyes but I never try to get it into my eyes so I never experience this. For me, this works well as a sunscreen and dirts cleansing water and is very convenient to use too as it comes with a pump. For full review, please see here.

Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Skin
Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Lotion
Both the green tea balancing skin and lotion are the basic steps in skincare. If you are a lazy skincare users, just get this, a foam cleanser and a non-waterproof sunscreen to complete your routine. Add in the serum if your skin is dry.

The green tea basic line comes in three types: fresh, balancing and moisture for oily, combination and dry skin. I choose the balancing pair because I live in a hot and humid country and have normal skin. It provides enough moisture and oil to keep my skin healthy. This pair has the perfect texture I am looking for in toner-emulsion. The balancing skin is in thick water form that dives deep into my skin to soothe and hydrate whereas the balancing lotion is a super light-weighted emulsion that protects and nourishes. I think this pair is suitable for younger skin, those in their 20s, older skin types might find this too light to do any changes unless if they are a skincare newbie. The point is, with this quality, this pair is pretty cheap too at only RM 100-120 for both.

You can check here out for my full review on both skin and lotion. I’ve also rated the Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Lotion as my favourite lotion in 2015.

Innisfree the Green Tea Seed Serum
This serum is Innisfree’s star product, one of their all-time bestsellers. It contains green tea seed extract, and is best known for its light-weighted but intense hydrating power. Normally, you’re required to use this immediately after cleansing, but those who prefer watery type product or is currently using a treatment essence can use this after treatment essence. I’ve also seen people using it in the treatment step (after toner) so it really depends on how you want to play with it.
In term of performance, this serum does help to boost up energy and moisture level in my skin. Whenever I’m using it, my skin feels healthier and produces less oil (I have normal skin, but it will get oily whenever I’m stressed out or have less sleep or is dehydrated from the environment). This is also a cheaper and younger-girl alternative to the highly popular Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum, which I will talk about in my next comparison review. For my ingredients analysis please see here.

Innisfree the Green Tea Seed Cream
Somehow, I like this cream better than the serum, probably because of the texture. While the serum leaves a slightly tacky finish on my skin, the cream gets absorbed really well everytime I use it. The cream, despite looking rather thick, is not heavy or greasy at all. You guys know how I am very particular about product texture, but the texture of this is heavenly. It will sink beautifully into your skin, nourishing and pampering it with a soft occlusive seal on top. My skin feels soft, supple and moisturized all day.

This is rated one of my favourite creams in 2015; you can check here out for my full review.

Innisfree Green Tea Mineral Mist
I love mist, I need them for a quick boost in hydration in the office or after putting on something thick and sticky. I need the water molecules in it to dilute any product greasiness, pollutants or dirts on my face, as well as giving myself some refreshing touch during the day.

This green tea mineral mist from Innisfree is good, but not awesome. It has a very subtle Innisfree green tea scent and will produce wide range mist (like a cloud of mist when you spray), but it is not extremely hydrating or moisturizing. In fact, a little tacky when I touch my skin. Hence, it will work perfectly for drier skin types, but not for oilier skin type. Since I spray this onto my face whenever it is dirty or oily, it exaggerates that sticky-feeling on my face which I don’t quite appreciate.

This is not okay as a mist toner, just a wide range hydrating mist or a refreshing touch-ups that won’t ruin your makeup.

Innisfree Green Tea Sleeping Pack
I have to admit that I only used a miniature size sample of this, like 7ml, so my review could be quite partial. Personally, I wasn’t impressed by this sleeping mask. It does smell lovely, has a texture close to the Green Tea Fresh Cream with little capsules floating inside the cream and is very soft and velvety. It is quite hydrating, hydrates your skin like twice better than Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel, but is not very moisturizing or nourishing. It works great for summer time but definitely not in the colder seasons. The texture is lighter than Laneige Water Sleeping Pack; and is weaker than both Laneige and Neogence Hydrating Gel Mask in term of its hydrating ability. In short, this is a good pack, but only for summertime or young girls. If you are 25 or above, then I would suggest you to go for Laneige or Neogence. If you want to save some money or have oily skin, then I think this is a very economic and high cost-to-performance ratio sleeping pack!

Innisfree Green Tea Body Scrub
I don’t like this, not at all, despite have been using it for close to 2 years. There is still 40% left in that tube, and I’m debating whether or not I should throw it out. First, this contains microbeads, which is an environmental pollutants for an eco-friendly brand like Innisfree! The exfoliating power of these sparsely distributed microbeads is nowhere near enough. It doesn’t do anything for my skin, even the St. Elves Apricot one retailed at lower price does a better job than this. Even if you like this, the texture and sparsity of the microbeads mean you’ll need a lot of the products for one use. So, a tube like this should be only enough for 10 uses. Honestly, a complete waste of money and earth resources. Please stay away.

Innisfree Green Tea Capsule Recipe Pack
This mask has cute jello texture like pudding we eat. In term of hydrating power, I personally prefer the Apple one. Both Green Tea and Apple are wash-off packs and I rarely use wash-off packs so I think that might also contribute to why I don’t quite like this. But they are quite cheap, only RM 7 each, and is really cute as well, so you should definitely check this out or at least give one a try.

This is the second best-selling lines in Innisfree. In fact, Innisfree had conducted an urban survey and found that a vast majority of women are troubled by pores concern hence the birth of this volcanic pore line! As for me, I haven’t had any pores concern yet, so I bought this mostly for my boyfriend with oily-dehydrated skin and homogenous pores.

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Toner
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Lotion
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Essence
I bought all three of these for my bf who has oily-dehydrated skin and huge pores. He didn’t quite like them, finding them to be a trouble to apply. The toner is a clear watery liquid with powder particles settled at the bottom. You need to shake it prior to using. It smells ashy but perfumy, which is kinda funny because I thought Innisfree will put in something floral instead of perfumy to cover up that ashy smell. The lotion is a super light-weighted lotion/emulsion, which is even lighter than the Green Tea Balancing Lotion that feels barely existed on the skin. It’s really not moisturizing, only sebum-controlling. The essence is the one that my bf likes the most, although he doesn’t like it enough to finish it within 12 months. He feels that the essence works deep down his pores to clear everything up but he still feels that these three doesn’t do a good job at making his skin feeling comfortable and trouble-free.

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Mousse Cleanser
This mousse cleanser is probably the only thing that my bf likes. He feels that this is not overly drying on skin, and will deep cleanse his dirty and clogged pores. However, the down side is, since this is so deep-cleansing, it leaves his skin very tight and dehydrated, making it even oilier later. I know you could offset this by applying a decent moisturizer, but my lazy bf is never a person who will use a moisturizer so…

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Capsule Recipe Pack
Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
Basically, all three of these are the same thing. They are the clay mask made of Jeju Island volcanic ash to deep cleanse and unclog pores. I know there are a lot of people who love this and call this their holy grails. But for me and my bf, they don’t work at all. The jeju volcanic clay mask is a soft but creamy pack that will work on your skin surface to attract and absorb dirts and bacteria. You’re supposed to apply a thick layer, just enough to cover your skin colour underneath, and rinse it off 15-20 minutes later when it’d dried off. The super jeju volcanic clay mask is a stronger and drier version of the original one. It’s intended for super oily and clogged pores, which was the one I got for my bf. Sadly, none of them work. My skin feels tight and just-that after using this. The blackheads are there, whiteheads never seem to leave and skin doesn’t feel smoother or clearer. It maybe just brighter. As for my bf, this stuff also works minimally to absorb all the dirts and gems out of his super clogged pores. If you ask me, I think Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque works better in term of deep cleansing for the both of us. Another super downside from this Innisfree volcanic clay mask is that… it tends to dry up or solidify after 6 months or so. And it’s not just me, a lot of people are having those problems as well, which I guess is why they come out with this mousse version of it. I haven’t tried that one, probably because the original version never seems to impress me so I thought I would just save my money on other Innisfree stuffs.

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Blackhead 3-step Program
I have a friend who has combination-to-oily skin with pores and blackhead issue and he absolutely loves it. He said, this is by far the best nose kit he had used, and they will remove all his blackheads well without stripping his skin too much. I personally haven’t tried it yet, but I guess I’m just gonna include it here to tell you guys that not all stuffs from this volcanic line is unimpressive. At least my colleague with protruding blackheads enjoys this nose kit.

Innisfree Canola Honey Capsule Recipe Pack
I have reviewed about this product previously, as a really hot and messy mask for your skin. Honestly, I don't quite enjoy it but I think someone with very dry skin will enjoy this as a luxurious hydrating SPA threat. You can check out my full review here.

Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence
Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence #Light
I love this. Innisfree Soybean Energy Essences are similar to SKII Pitera Essence, IOPE Bio Essence, Primera Miracle Seed Essence and Hera Cell Essence, only that this one is cheaper than all those that I've mentioned. They belong to the family category of treatment essence or first essence. Basically, what this soybean energy essence does is too boost up energy in your cells, to make it renew and regenerate faster so that your skin looks lively, revitalized, brighter and younger since our skin cells lose its energy as we age or when we are stressed out.

This Innisfree treatment essence is made of fermented soybean, which focuses on lifting and firming, instead of brightening and moisturising. I've used both, and I like the texture of the light one better, although the original version gets absorbed really quick as well. I guess it is my personal preference for something watery and liquid.

Honestly, I've not seen any significant lifting or firming effects from using these essences (I used 1 x 50ml bottle of the light version and 2 x 50ml bottle of the original version, and have bought the full sizes bottles for both versions, gonna do a detailed review when I'm done with them). However, I do observe brighter, healthier and more moisturized skin conditions. I think it works in the long term to prevent aging and oxidizing of skin cells, but only time can tell! (though, time does reveal to us that SKII pitera works great, isn't it?)

Innisfree Orchid Hand Cream SPF15 PA+
Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream
Innisfree Orchid Intense Cream
I've reviewed about the Orchid Enriched Cream previously, and called it the worst cream I've ever tried. Oh well, I still gonna hold to my words, but want to remind you guys that this is really preference-based. I really dislike anything thick, silicony, occlusive or non-absorbing.  I don't care if you have those texture for lifting or holding my contour in good shape. Anything thick, gooey and sticky isn't gonna work well on me. But, I'm not gonna advise you guys to stay away from it completely. It does have good ingredients in it, all you need to do is to go to the counter and try it on your face before buying. Just be more alert about its texture before buying, okay? I don't want you guys to end up wasting it, this costs RM 101 (USD 25-28) you know?

As for the hand cream that comes with it, it is quite good in my opinion. It smells really pleasant and will blend out smoothly on your hand, nourishing and protecting it against dryness and fine lines. I like it! The intense cream, on the other hand, is less desirable. It is even thicker than the enriched cream, although it can be absorbed and won't leave a gooey finish like the enriched cream, but I still couldn't finish it off due to the texture.

You can get this from: Innisfree Malaysia | Hermo | Althea | Koreadepart | Testerkorea | Gmarket
[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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