5 May 2017

Believe in Truth: A Brand Overview and Reviews of 60 Belif Products Part 3: Essence, Serum, Oil, Spot Treatment, Balm

I have talked about brand philosophy, brand overview and my first encounter with the brand Belif in my previous posts, which you can refer in the links provided below. In this part 3 review, I am gonna focus on skin treatments like ampoule, serum, essence, spot treatment, oil and balm.

To be honest, Belif has an extensive line of treatment products, ranging from light to heavy. They target difference skin types and skincare purposes, ranging from brightening, hydrating, nourishing, anti-aging, firming to sebum-controlling. Recently they also came out with a calming line for summer weather as well. But I do notice that Belif doesn't carry a lot of acne-treating products. They might carry acne scar reducing essence but not really those that can prevent the worsening of acne. So I normally go for Cosrx if I am looking for something anti-acne. Belif whitening line is also less comprehensive. I guess that's because they cannot use anything that is scientifically proven to be effective like vitamin C, AHA, arbutin, and so on. I do spot niacinamide but their niacinamide products are not potent enough to tackle my hyperpigmentation. So if you ask me, I tend to just look for anti-oxidizing, anti-aging, skin soothing and moisturizing treatments in Belif. I won't rely on Belif products if it comes to acne or whitening concerns.

Let's look at some of the amazing Belif treatments I have tried previously:
  • Belif The True Decoction Firming Essence
  • Belif Hungarian Water Essence
  • Belif Hungarian Water Essence – Moisture Binder
  • Belif The True Anti-Aging Essence  | Full Review
  • Belif Classic Essence Increment
  • Belif Peat Miracle Revital Serum Concentrate  | Full Review
  • Belif The True - Whitening Essence
  • Belif Manology 101 Smart Energy Enhancer
  • Belif Manology 101 Smart Recharger
  • Belif Aqua Gel Oil
  • Belif Rose Gemma Concentrate Oil
  • Belif The True Facial Oil
  • Belif The Balm Almighty
  • Belif The True - Whitening Spot Balm

Belif The True Decoction - Firming Essence 50ml
(KRW 55,000)

This is an anti-aging and firming essence designed specifically for wrinkles and skin aging purpose. It can improve signs of aging through its herbal collagen peptide (plant-based collagen) that can stimulate collagen synthesis and improve resilience of the skin. Main ingredient used here is yarrow extract, which is an ingredient known for its astringent and elasticity-improving properties.

I just start to use this so my thought on it is still primitive. I feel that it is a chewy and bouncy essence that can be pulled into long stings and feel really smooth on the skin. My skin feels plumper, softer and nourished after using it but I did not notice any firming effects. I guess I just need to use it for longer to really notice a difference. But this essence is really nourishing and smoothing though so it will work well for those with flaky and rough texture.

Ideal for normal to dry skin, especially aging skin who wants some extra punch of moisture and skin revitalizing ingredients.

Belif Hungarian Water Essence 75ml
(KRW 42,000 / RM 170)

This is a hydrating essence formulated with a blend of herbal extracts to keep the skin soft and plump for long hours. You use this after your toner and before your moisturizer. If use with other essences, use according to the consistency of products from lightest to heaviest.

This hydrating essence only does one thing - which is lightweight hydration. It doesn't really improve your skin texture or tone, nor can it provide decent anti-oxidizing benefits. It is just a watery essence that feels like water on your skin without leaving behind any sticky residues. Other than that, I don't find it unique or effective in any other ways. My mom used this before, but her dehydrated skin is not getting better so she switched to Peat Miracle Revital Serum Concentrate. My best friend with sensitive skin prefers the Numero 10 Essence over this, so am I. I think this is a nice hydrating essence but it is seriously too mild and light to bring any significant hydrating benefits for my skin. It is good, but not memorable.

I will not repurchase since I still have a lot miniatures left and don't find this to worth the money I am paying for. But if you have normal to oily skin and is looking for a drink of moisture, you can definitely give this a try.

Belif Hungarian Water Essence - Moisture Binder 75ml
(KRW 42,000 / RM 180)

This is a upgraded version of the Hungarian Water Essence with added jasmine extract, gotu kola and rosemary. This is a moisturizing essence with a milky essence consistency. It gets absorbed easily into the skin, leaving the skin soft and plump. I think this works better for drier skin whereas the Hungarian Water Essence is more suitable for oilier skin.

Actually the Moisture Binder feels like a lightweight emulsion. Its texture is similar to the Fresh Moisturizer but is a bit lighter without any occlusive seal after it is absorbed. I have tried numerous moisturizing essences so I don't think this is very unique if compared to my holy grail ones like Lirikos Oxygenic Essence or Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Essence. However, if you have sensitive, dry and flaky skin then you can give this a try since it contains loads of skin soothing ingredients that work well for those skin types.

Ideal for normal to dry skin, especially those with flaky, rough-textured and sensitive skin.

Belif The True Anti-Aging Essence 75ml
(KRW 42,000 / RM 170)

This is an anti-oxidizing, soothing and moisturizing essence. It has two layers, namely the whipped calendula emollient layer and watery acai berry essence, which you need to shake prior to using. The lotion will turn into cloudy lotion once you mix it up. You use this after toner and before a serum and moisturizer.

This essence is a cloudy lotion that feels really soothing and softening on the skin. However, since it is water-based, the essence actually gets absorbed into the skin really well without leaving behind any greasy texture. The emollient will turn into a moisturizing seal that protects and hydrates your skin. My skin loves using this because it is very lightweight, moisturizing and soothing. The effect is most notable when my skin is exposed to the sunlight as this essence can soothe and pamper my skin right away. I am not sure does this anti-age me because apparently the only thing I get is its anti-oxidizing benefits so I think this is more like a delay-aging essence than an anti-aging essence.

Ideal for all skin types especially dehydrated, dry, flaky, sensitive and rough-textured skin. Young adults looking for preventative skincare can also give this a try.

Belif Classic Essence Increment 50ml
(KRW 45,000 / RM 170)

This is a nourishing essence that can offer up to 24 hours of moisture on your skin while improving your skin elasticity and texture. It is one of the best selling items in Belif due to the colder weather there.

There are a lot of emollients and skin nourishing ingredients such as squalane, hydrogenated polydecene, panthenol, sodium hyaluronate, and so on in this essence. Key herbal ingredients are heartsease extract, chickweed extract and catnip extract. These are commonly found ingredients in other Belif products formulated with Napiers’ Moisture Herb Complex. All of them are infused with loads of vitamins and minerals to soften, soothe and improve elasticity on the skin.

This is a very nourishing essence, it feels kinda rich on my normal skin so I don’t think it will be suitable for all skin types unless if you have mature and drier skin. This will be very helpful in the winter time as it can protect your skin from harsh winter environment with all the cold wind and snow. Personally, I don't really enjoy using this essence. I prefer layer multiple lightweight hydrating products than slapping a really rich product on my face, but I can see why certain people find this useful.

Ideal for drier and mature skin, also suitable for winter time use.

Belif Peat Miracle Revital Serum Concentrate 30ml
(KRW 60,000 / RM 260)

This is an anti-aging and wrinkles repairing serum that is made of peat extract. Normally, I use this right after my toner, essence and before heavier serum. I think this is lighter than my many other products so I don't really care about the sequence of my treatment products as long as they get absorbed into my skin easily.

I love the consistency of this product. It blends out like watery gel but gets absorbed really fast like ampoule. Both my mom and I are using this, as well as some of my friends so I can share our thoughts on it with you guys. My mom is the biggest fan of this product. She can afford it of course, but she also finds this lightweight enough on her combination skin. She has aging skin with big pores and sagging issues as well as wrinkles so this product with its peat extract has helped to soothe and even out those wrinkles making her skin appears younger and more resilient over time. As for the rest of us who are under 30, we don't really see any major wrinkles-repairing benefits after using this. I do notice that my skin stays hydrated for longer and is more resilient to stressors after using. I also suffer from lesser breakouts and my texture is more refined, so this works for me like a preventive serum. My friend who is in her 30 says she doesn't feel a thing after using this. It doesn't make any difference to her sensitive and rough-textured skin. However, another friend with breakouts-prone skin says that this product has reduced her breakouts and accelerate the healing of her acne scars.  Apparently, the feedback is very divided for something that claims to be so potent.

I still enjoy using it but I do find it a little pricey given its quantity and performance so it is up to your decree whether or not you want to give it a try. Ideal for all skin types as a wrinkles repairing and skin-improving serum.

Belif The True - Whitening Essence 50ml
(KRW 52,000 / RM 215)

This is a brightening essence made of nutmeg and oat seed, both of which are herbal extracts claimed to have melanin-inhibiting properties.

This is a pretty light-weighted mica-instilled essence with a milky essence consistency. Since it contains mica, it will reflect lights off your skin thus giving an illusion of instant skin brightening effect. A lot of brightening products do this trick: Innisfree Whitening Pore Eye Cream, Dear by Enprani Tone Up Cheese Cream, Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, so Belif is not the first. It is quite controversial whether or not doing so will truly brighten up your complexion but I personally find none after using the product. I think my Laneige White Plus Original Renew Essence does a better job brightening up my complexion than this. Belif just renewed this product but the newer version also contains mica so I expect minimal changes to the formulation but I will need to use it for longer to see long-term benefits.

I think this works well as a natural skin brightening illuminator. Sulwhasoo has a similar product as well. Don't expect this to give real brightening results though but YMMV so you can always give this a try if you are interested.

Belif Manology 101 Smart Energy Enhancer 100ml
(KRW 43,000 / RM 180)

This is a unique product, it is toner-serum-moisturizer in one product that is designed specifically for men with work stress and unhealthy lifestyle. It is like a perfect go-to skin conditioner for urban adults.

I think the most attractive thing about this “Smart Energy Enhancer” is that it is an all-in-one product. Men hate hassle, especially when it comes to skincare. Most of my male friends acknowledge that they need to take care of their skin but their jaws drop when I mention toner, serum and moisturizer. Their eye lids closed when I go to sunscreen and mask. I requested this Manology 101 Smart Energy Enhancer as a GWPs from Belif to be given to my bf. He is one of those people who hate layering a lot of products on his skin. So when he puts on BHA without a moisturizer, he suffers massive flaking and yet he is reluctant to apply more. Men oh men.

My bf shared with me that this Smart Energy Enhancer is nice. It feels really watery on the skin yet it will form a layer of soft occlusive film to protect and supply moisture throughout the day. However, he still prefers the Eucalyptus Toner and Fresh Moisturizer over the Smart Energy Enhancer. He feels that the Enhancer does not do a lot of things for his skin whereas the Eucalyptus Toner and Fresh Moisturizer deeply hydrate the skin. His skin is less oily when he has Eucalyptus Toner and Fresh Moisturizer on.

Ideal for men with stressful lifestyle, for all skin types.

Belif Manology 101 Smart Recharger 100ml
(KRW 43,000 / RM 180)

This is a toner-serum-moisturizer all-in-one hydrating skin conditioner designed for men with dehydrated and combination skin. It smells mildly of tea tree oil so I think it is suitable for those with oily and acne-prone skin as well.

This product feels cooler and much more hydrating than the Smart Energy Recharger. The texture is similar to the Smart Energy Recharger, which is a watery essence that dries down semi-matte on the skin. It feels really hydrating and soothing on the skin. Again, my bf enjoys the Eucalyptus Toner and Fresh Moisturizer better than this so I don’t think he will purchase the full size product either.

Ideal for men with normal, combination and acne-prone skin.

Belif The True Facial Oil

This is a facial oil formulated with pomegranate oil. Honestly, I have heard of marula oil, rosehip seed oil, lavender oil, but never really pomegranate oil. It is claimed to keep your skin healthy, moisturized and radiant over time. You can use this right after toner or mix it with essence or cream for better absorption.

Unlike a lot of lightweight facial oil that comes out in the market today, this product is rather greasy. It feels like Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, so if you can accept the texture you will probably like it. I personally dislike anything oily and this doesn’t have any properties that can attract my attention so I did not purchase the full size product having tried out the samples myself.

I am not sure will I recommend because apparently Belif just came out with a better and more attractive facial oil known as Rose Gemma Concentrate Oil. And I personally don’t find any desired  benefits testing this out on my left face for 3 days. I either used it alone or mixing it up with my moisturizer but both ways feel kinda oily on my skin. The product appears to be absorbed by my skin but I can still feel some “greasiness” on my face. My skin also does not feel nourished or brighter in any way so I had to remove the whole thing with a cleansing water and continue with my normal routine.

I tried 2ml x 3 of it. I don’t like it, and I won’t purchase the full size product.

Belif Rose Gemma Concentrate Oil 30ml
(RM 270)

This is a facial oil with rose gemma petals. You can use this in many ways, such as after or in place of your moisturizer, in the treatment step and before a moisturizer, or mix it with essence or serum. You can also use it as your bathroom essential oil for relaxing and healing purposes. Its texture is considered lightweight to medium among many facial oils I have tried. But what appeals to me the most is its distinctive wild rose fragrance – it is to die for!

I use this mostly in my moisturizer step, after serum. I like how this oil helps to distress my mind and moisturize my skin. I normally apply a few drops of the oil on my palm and then lightly press it against my face. I then take a few deep breathes to feel the rose scent circulating through my body, kicking away all stress and unhappiness.

I am not a fan of facial oil. My skin is somewhere between normal and dry so I rarely need a facial oil for that extra layer of nourishment. So I did not buy this mainly for hydration, but more on aromatherapy. And the occlusive seal it forms on my skin is so lightweight that my skin feels protected without being too greasy or overwhelming.

I would recommend this for normal to dry skin, or facial oil lover out there. If you are not into facial oil, then this is a good one to begin with. It is lightweight, it works well to moisturize my skin and it smells amazing.

Belif The Balm Almighty 30g
(KRW / RM 85)

This is a spot treating and skin repairing oil balm that you can use on almost every part of your body. It is just like Hanyul Ja Cho Moisturizing Care Balm, the texture and such. You can use this on your nail cuticles, tips of brittle hair, lips, elbows, knees and other dry cracked areas. Overall a multi-functional skin repairing and nourishing balm.

It is hard for me to judge this balm because I personally don’t like anything greasy but this feels kinda greasy. It feels like your medicated ointment when it is actually not. It is much “precious”, available in smaller quantity and is not medicated. The only place I find it useful is on my lips but my lips uprightly reject it. I have less precious, less expensive and more moisturizing body care products for my elbows and knees so this is not very practical for those areas either.

Not a personal favourite, didn’t find it useful in most ways hence would not repurchase.

Belif Aqua Gel Oil 50ml
(KRW 48,000 / KRW 205)

This is a water-based oil-in-gel skin primer that you use prior to putting on makeup. Alternatively, you can use this as a moisturizing facial oil or gel before a moisturizer.

This aqua gel oil has an unique texture that looks like watery gel but will turn into watery essence
 when you blend it out. Personally, I think the idea behind this aqua gel oil is that, our skin produces oil during the days sometimes due to dehydration. So, a light-weighted facial oil rich in moisture will help to supply the skin with loads of moisture without the greasiness associated with most moisturizing essence or serum, making it easier for makeup application. Using a skin primer will also protect the skin from pigments and makeup residues, making it easier for makeup removal.

Personally, I don't really need this since I don't usually apply makeup on a daily basis. And I don't think this is as moisturizing as Aqua Bomb and other hydrating serum I'm currently using. Hence, I gave mine to my mom and she really enjoys it. She finds this serves as a good cushion for her makeup and makes makeup application easier for her skin.

Ideal for average to oily skin who wear makeup on a daily basis, especially those suffering from mid-day sebum production or individuals with dehydrated skin. It could also be used as a highly hydrating yet light-weighted oil treatment.

Belif The True - Whitening Spot Balm 14g
(KRW 52,000 / RM 235)

This is a spot treatment with a mochi-like balm texture that targets hyperpigmentation and scars.

Frankly speaking, this is quite a unique product. I have never seen any other spot treatment in a balm texture, they mostly just sink into the skin to repair it inside out. But this one seems to work the opposite where it conceals and at the same time heals hyperpigmentation, sort of like an exfoliator.

I bought this for my mom and my aunt but did not own one myself since I'm currently testing the Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution and Laneige White Plus Original Essence. Both of them feel indifferent after using it. My mom feels that this doesn't sink well into her skin and doesn't get along well with her makeup whereas my aunt feels that this doesn't make her hyperpigmentation any better or less obvious. Regardless, both Belif Beauty Consultants (one of them is no longer with Belif) I knew in person shared with me that their mothers noticed improvements in their dark spots after using this.

Not sure if I should recommend this since I did not use it personally to tell the difference and feedbacks I got were mixed. I have tried it on my skin and would agree that its texture takes time to get used to. I feel that this is best for individuals trying conceal their hyperpigmentation and wouldn't mind having a layer of "dots" around your skin (dark spots area) that takes time to get fully absorbed.

Other reviews:
Part 1: Cleansing Oil, Cleansing Water, Foam Cleanser, Scrub
Part 2: Booster, Toner, Mist, Eye Cream
Part 3: Essence, Serum, Oil, Spot Treatment, Balm
Part 4: Emulsion and Cream
Part 5: Mask
Part 6: Body Care, Hand Cream, Sunscreen, Foundation

[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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