13 Jun 2017

Review: Hanyul Rice Essential Skin Softner and Rice Balancing Skin Emulsion

Actually, you cannot really find a lot of information on the Hanyul Rice Essential Skin Softner and Emulsion. Its official website is only available in Korean whereas the English Aritaum website isn’t very informative about Hanyul products. This is odd, because Hanyul is very popular in Korea, and it is as popular as IOPE and Su:m37 in China. Many people call it the “little Sulwhasoo”.

Hanyul is a very hanbang brand, inspired by the traditional folk remedies practiced by Korean women in their homes for centuries. It is like the old school methods your mother or grandmother uses to take care of you and themselves, so it has all these traditional wisdom passed down from our ancestors. Many of these products are made of less-expensive yet highly-hanbang and effective herbs such as rice, brown pine needles, artemisia, chrysanthemum, red bean, and so on. They are collected from natural farms that are away from all urbanization and pollution. Just like our body that wants fresh and pollution-free foods, our skin needs that too.

I cannot grasp the full story of rice fermentation of Hanyul Rice Essential line since the information is mainly in English so I cannot offer you guys with more information on that. But so far I know that rice is a very popular skincare ingredient in Asia. Geisha would wash their face with boiled rice water to promote soft and bright skin. This skincare method is also shared across multiple Asian cultures especially among the East Asian women. In fact, rice extract is also commonly used in modern skincare products as an emollient, antioxidant, soothing ingredient, moisturizer, and to promote a smooth and bright complexion. Red yeast rice extract is also added here in addition to normal rice. I cannot find a lot of scientific evidence regarding the skincare benefits of red yeast rice extract but there is research endorsing its anti-oxidizing property.

According to Hanyul, red yeast rice extract used in the Rice Essential line has undergone a minimum 8 days fermentation in the “raw” Yeoju city to extract the best out of it. It claims that clinical test shows brighter and plumper skin immediately after using.

Enough with the ingredients microscope, let's take a look at the toner:

The toner comes in a clear and slightly viscous liquid that gets absorbed immediately when you smooth it across your skin. The texture appears to be thicker than many other essence toners but you’ll be amazed by how well and how fast this absorbs into your skin. As such, this toner is also perfect for your 7 skin method although I personally only go up to 5 layers as I find 5 layers is already more than enough for my skin. It smells really pleasant though, like some spicy herbs. Definitely hanbang.


Water, Alcohol, Peg/Ppg-17/6 Copolymer, Glycereth-26, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Monascus/Rice Ferment, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Saccharomyces/Barley Seed Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Angelica Acutiloba Rootextract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Bis-Peg-18 Methylether Dimethyl Silane, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Sodiumhyaluronate, Dextrin, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Disodium Edta,Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance


Main ingredients are water and alcohol, both of which are solvents. It is understandable to have alcohol here since some herbs must be dissolved in alcohol instead of water. And there is nothing in this toner that reminds me of alcohol so it should be safe for sensitive skin.

Good ingredients include niacinamide, red yeast rice extract, rice extract, fermented barley seed extract, fermented soybean extract, cnidium officinale root extract, dang gui extract, and soybean seed extract. As you can see, most of these are seed and grain extracts. The (fermented) rice extract(s) here are potent skin softening and brightening ingredients. They are sort of like a natural AHA, doing the things that most AHA does. I couldn’t find a lot of information on barley seed extract, but Innisfree has devoted an entire peeling and exfoliating line to barley so I think just like rice, barley has ample natural exfoliating benefits in it too.

Soy and soybean seed are both potent antioxidants with also anti-inflammatory properties. Research also shows that soy can protect the skin against UV damages and prevent premature signs of aging. The photo-protecting property of soy is complimented by the cnidium officinale in here too.

Needless to mention also niacinamide, a potent elasticity-improving and dark spots-reducing ingredient and cocoa extract, a blood circulation improving ingredient to boost the skincare efficacies of the herbal ingredients in here.

Next, we will look at the emulsion.

The emulsion of my choice here is the Rice Balancing Skin Emulsion, which has now been discontinued. The reason that I choose this emulsion is pretty simple – I am quite picky about emulsion and I want to get the one with the lightest consistency possible.

The texture of this emulsion looks pleasant, pretty lightweight and lotion-y, but it still fees rather “greasy” on the skin. For some reason, Hanyul products always have this warming sensation whenever you apply it on your skin.


Water, Dimethicone, Propanediol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate,Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract,Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearatecitrate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Tromethamine, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance


The ingredients of the emulsion is like a more nourishing, but less nutritious version of the toner. It still has the rice extract, cnidium officinale root extract, and dang gui extract we discussed previously. But it doesn’t have any of the red yeast rice extract, only the emollients dimethicone, vegetable oil, ethylhexylglycerin, and so on. I would say that unless if you like the texture of this emulsion, there is really nothing in here to impress you.


Since the official description claims that this is a brightening and anti-wrinkles dual functioning product, I will discuss about their performance here.

The toner has loads of anti-aging, anti-photo-damaging, brightening, moisturizing, soothing and elasticity-improving ingredients. So, it is reasonable to believe that this has all those claimed benefits over long-term usage. For me, someone who has been using the toner deliberately for over 6 months, it is too early to judge its anti-wrinkles and anti-aging benefits. I also did not notice any visible skin brightening benefits, unless if I use it with the 7 skin method, where my skin is plump and supple. However, I do notice that my skin is super soft and supple after using this toner. Its rice and soy extracts definitely do a great job softening and smoothing out my complexion.

I am less satisfied with the emulsion though. I find it not as nourishing or moisturizing as the Hanyul Anti-Aging Cream. It also feels quite “greasy” on my skin as well. It is good for morning use since it comes in a convenient pump, but definitely not something I would repurchase though.


I love the skin softner but not the emulsion. I think the skin softner is a very moisturizing essence toner that can prep and hydrate my skin really well, if compared to many other toners I have used. It also has ample anti-aging and brightening benefits which I really enjoy. I also love how it is made of quality hanbang ingredients such as fermented rice and soybean. The scent is also really pleasant, hanbang-lovers who find the Sulwhasoo ginseng scent overwhelming might enjoy this. Definitely something I would continue to purchase in the future once I have finished using.

Hanyul Rice Essential Skin Softner
packaging: ★★★★☆
scent: ★★★★☆
texture: ★★★★☆
ingredients: ★★★★☆
performance - moisturizing: ★★★★
performance - brightening: ★★★★
performance - anti-aging: ★★★☆ (quality ingredients used)
general impression: ★★★★☆

Hanyul Rice Balancing Skin Emulsion
packaging: ★★★★☆
scent: ★★★★☆
texture: ★★★☆
ingredients: ★★★
performance - balancing: ★★★
performance - moisturizing: ★★★☆ (feels quite greasy)
general impression: ★★★

You can get this from: Koreadepart | Testerkorea | Stylekorean etc.
[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.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...