12 Jun 2017

Why I Wouldn't Repurchase It? Review: Laneige Water Bank Essence

Laneige Water Bank Essence EX is one of the most popular and highly raved moisturizing essences among the Asian beauty community. Almost all of my Malaysian friends who use skincare would have heard about this Water Bank Essence EX. It is as popular as its Water Sleeping Mask counterpart among the Asian beauty community. It is also something I would normally recommend others if they are young and have no specific skin concerns. It is a product that, in my opinion, would suit all skin types and concerns including sensitive and acne-prone skin. If you are a skincare newbie or if you want to buy a skincare item for your best friend or beloved ones, this would not disappoint.

I bought this 2 years ago at sales but only started using it last year after I finished my other skincare products. I was so new to skincare back then that I just grabbed anything in my wish list whenever there is sales. Now I realize that sales occurs almost several times a month so unless it is huge, you don’t really have to stock up that much as new products keep coming up and old ones won’t finish that quick. Anyway, this is an old product and I only talk about it today because I just finish using the last drop of the essence yesterday. I talked about it in brief in my previous comparison review of 20 over moisturizing serum as well. But since I finish it, and probably won’t repurchase, I want to record a more detailed review after using this essence for about 12 months.

Yes, 12 months. It is not huge, just 60ml, but it takes me a good 12 months to finish. I didn’t use it every day, only as and when I feel like it. I find that it makes my skin happier whenever my skin is feeling dry, dehydrated and sensitive. It honestly doesn’t do much, except for adding lightweight hydration and comfort to my skin.

The packaging and such is very much Laneige-y, nothing spectacular but it is good to have air-tight pump in your essence as it prevents oxidation and minimizes contamination.

The essence is a milky gel lotion that gets absorbed into the skin easily without leaving a trace. No tackiness or stickiness whatsoever. Perfect for summer time use.

The essence smells really good. It is a unique Laneige scent. You either like it or you don’t. It smells quite refreshing and floral.

This product has some good miles in it.


Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Poly(C6-14 Olefin), Dimethicone, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Tribehenin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Chloride, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Tillandsia Usneoides Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Fruit Extract, Dimethiconol, Betaine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Carrageenan, Phenyl Trimethicone, Propylene Glycol, PCA Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

It is infused with 6 ionized moisturizing minerals. It is just like the difference between mineral water and plain water. You might not see the difference but your body will appreciate these extra goodies you offer. I think it is these minerals that give my skin that soothing and hydrating sensation as well.

Next, we have meadowfoam seed oil, quinoa seed extract, willow bark extract, carob, carrageenan, and so on. As discussed in my previous Sulwhasoo review, meadowfoam seed oil is an antioxidant and humectant that can rejuvenate, hydrate and repair the skin. It has anti-aging benefits and can help to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also offers the skin prolonged hydration and protection, allowing it to remain moist and supple for longer hours. This explains why the essence leaves a rather “watery-oily” finish yet is surprisingly lightweight and non-sticky. We have the meadowfoam seed oil to thank for that. Quinoa extract, willow bark extract, betaine, carrageenan, and so on are also known anti-irritant that can soothe and protect the skin from damages and environmental aggressors.

To be honest, this isn’t anything too magical about the formulation. The extracts are not as nutritious as many ones out there. We don’t even have niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, panthenol and so on known skin moisturizing agents. But something about this essence makes it one of the most recognized moisturizing essence, which I think is mostly attributable to its use of ionized moisturizing minerals.

Yeah, ionized minerals rock! So does my favourite Jeju Sparkling Mineral Essence.


In short, this is a good essence. It definitely is. You will like it whenever your skin is feeling dry, dehydrated, and sensitive. And if you like the scent, it does smell like something that can calm, soothe and lift your mood. However, it is not something I would repurchase, because I have found something better – my beloved Lirikos Marine Oxygenic Essence EX. This is far more hydrating and soothing than Laneige, and I love how my skin is instantly plumped after using Lirikos. I think Laneige will suit younger, normal and dehydrated skin really well. But for an “experienced” skincare practitioner like myself, this definitely isn’t impressive or enough. My skin needs something more to feel vowed again.

Having said these, I don’t think I will repurchase Laneige but I still think that it is a really well-made moisturizing serum (essence) for all skin types and all ages, especially skincare newbie and those with minimal skin problems.

packaging: ★★★★☆
scent: ★★★★☆
texture: ★★★★☆
ingredients: ★★★☆
performance - hydrating: ★★★★☆
performance - soothing: ★★★★☆
general impression: ★★★★

You can get this from: Laneige Malaysia | Althea Korea | Hermo
[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Product is purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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