7 Jul 2016

Review: Mamonde First Energy Serum

When I first got this serum, I thought oh wow what a beautiful little thing this it, like a shy young lady waiting to be discovered. The bottle is small but sturdy so you wouldn't break it even if you drop it on the floor.

This Mamonde Honeysuckle First Energy I got was a serum, there is also an essence with lighter consistency. But since I have a lot of treatment essences already, I bought this instead. This first energy serum claims to have firming and boosting effects.

It comes in a convenient and hygienic pump top that makes product dispensing quick and easy. The first serum smells like flower vinegar, which I believe is the scent of the fermented honeysuckle flower, which is the major ingredient in here. Sometimes I find it pleasant, sometimes not so much.

Consistency-wise, this feels like very light-weighted emulsion or lotion. In Korea, they sometimes label this kind of product as "fluid".

However, this may not be as light-weighted as it seems like. It feels slightly silky when you just apply a single layer. The product gets absorbed effortlessly without leaving a trace. But if you try to put on more layer, or put more product each time, it will form a moisture wrap that feels like occlusive on my skin. It is how I will feel when I apply an emollient-enriched product.

It dries down semi-matte with a slight firming effect like you are wearing a corset on your face. Instead of using this as a first serum, I think this can also be used as an emulsion or pre-cream essence.


Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Niacinamide, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethanol, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Glycereth-26, Dimethiconol, Lactobacillus Ferment, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Polysorbate 20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Carrageenan, Phenyl Trimethicone, Adenosine, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Perfume


Main ingredient here is fermented honeysuckle flower extract, collected from freshly picked honeysuckle flower that was fermented for 12 months and enriched with extract of lactic acid bacteria found on the surface of the honeysuckle flower (source). Honeysuckle flower is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. It is also a rich source of antioxidants flavonoids and saponins to repair and restore skin from radical damages and environmental stressors. Although the honeysuckle flower is mostly used in medical treatment, it is also found to treat and soothe acne. Its anti-inflammatory property also allows it to treat multiple skin problems like rashes, eczema, blemishes, sun burn and allergies.

Lactic acid bacteria, on the other hand, is a "friendly" bacteria that will render potentially harmful bacteria from growing. It's often found in the intestine and is even made into healthy drinks like yakult and yogurt drink. This ingredient due to its ability to kick out the bad guys, is essentially great at complimenting the efficacy of the fermented honeysuckle flower extract in here.

Apart from that, this also contains some other great ingredients like niacinamide, adenosine, and willow bark extract. Niacinamide, as we all know, is a powerful ingredient to combat sagging, loss of elasticity, and skin discolouration whereas adenosine is a power bank which restores energy back into our cells to make it renew and regenerate faster. Together, they are powerful weapons against aging. Willow bark extract, on the other hand, is a natural form of salicylic acid (BHA) which deep-cleanse the skin and helps to reduce acne.

The rest are mostly humectants, emollients, and texture ingredients which contribute to the unique silky-soft corset effect of this serum.

In short, from the ingredients, I think this is a good serum for those with aging concern, especially those who have experienced sagging, age spots and dull skin. This will also be great for individuals with sensitive and acne-prone skin since it contains a good amount of anti-inflammatory and anti-acne ingredients. You could also use this if you want to prevent early signs of aging or simply want that firming effect.


To sum things up, this is indeed a decent first serum, although I don't enjoy it as much as my other first care products. The texture is really light but still manages to provide that subtle lifting effect. It dries down semi-matte which makes it suitable to apply as a skin primer or makeup base. However, if you were to use it before anything else in your skincare routine, this may not be the most pleasant one to use. Its semi-matte finish makes it feel like it is blocking other nutrients from coming in later, instead of serving as a channeling or boosting agent, which is what I expect from a first serum.

I guess if you are eyeing the J.One Jelly Pack and is a bit turned off by the tackiness or heaviness, this will be a good alternative to try. But if you are looking for something like the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum or Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum then I suggest you to walk away. This is quite different from both of the products I mentioned above. It's not exactly hydrating, despite quite moisturizing, and will not help to boost the efficacy of products that were about to come in later. Instead of first serum, I would suggest one to use it after your treatment (ampoule, essence or serum) and before a cream, or directly as a makeup base. Since it is extremely light-weighted, it may not be suitable to use as a multitasker that combines toner, treatment and moisturizer in one so you'll have to slather something else before and after using this.

In term of efficacy, I don't feel any visible improvements in my pores and skin texture. However, my skin does look clearer and plumper with an overall improvement in skin complexion. Since I don't have sensitive or acne-prone skin, I cannot tell if this has calmed my skin down but it certainly does not irritate my skin in any way.

About: first serum, anti-aging emulsion/fluid, pre-cream essence, makeup base, skin primer
Purpose: firming, boosting, anti-aging, brightening
Suitable for: saggy, dull, lifeless, acne-prone and aging skin with sun spots and hyperpigmentation; all skin types can use this including sensitive and oily-dehydrated skin
Skincare Step: cleanser > Mamonde First Energy Serum > toner > treatment > moisturizer

packaging: ★★★
scent: ★★

texture: ★★★
ingredients: ★★★
efficacy: ★★★
overall impression: ★★★ (meh; neither good or bad

You can get this from: Ibuybeauti | RoseRoseShop | Jolse
[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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