25 Jul 2017

Not A Treatment Essence - Review: Blithe Vital Treatment 5 Energy Roots

I was interested in the Blithe Vital Treatment Essence after watched several Youtube videos by Glow Recipe sharing and raving about this product. My desire to try out at least one of its Vital Treatment Essences is even stronger after my positive encounter with the Chaga Tundra Pressed Serum! So I didn't hesitate to order one from its Korean official store when Gmarket had a shipping promotion. The product costed me altogether RM 140 shipping from Korea. Currently, it is available at RM 159 at Sephora so you can cut the wait time and head to Sephora to test it out now!

If you follow my blog, you know that I am a crazy fan of anything treatment essence. I tried out a whopping 16 different treatment essences, which I have reviewed here (I, II), and I am always on the look out for more. However, despite my high hope for this Blithe essence, it sadly doesn't fulfill the criteria that I am looking for in a treatment essence. In the end, I just have to give up and say that this is not a "real" treatment essence. It is more like an essence toner with some fancy ingredients. Read on to find out more about my rationale below!

Blithe Vital Treatment Essence is packed in a standard round bottle with a narrow opening on top. Pretty much like most other toners and essences. The bottle looks simple and elegant though.

The product comes in a fast absorbing, viscous and bouncy liquid consistency. The consistency makes this product more of an "essence" than "toner/treatment essence", which reminds me of Laneige Water Bank Essence. My skin feels moist and hydrated after this is fully absorbed. It has a very mild medicated scent that is neither floral or herbal. It is not pleasant but still acceptable. The 8 Nourishing Beans, if you have the chance to try one out, smells worse than this, so I think this is still within my acceptable scent range.

Blithe claims that this is a skin rejuvenating and hydrating essence made of 5 different types of root extracts to revitalize, balance and improve your skin's radiance. It is the most basic one among all other Vital Treatments and is perfect for all skin types especially normal/combination to dry skin.


Water, Panax Ginseng Root Extract(11%), Platycodon Grandiflorum Root Extract(8.75%), Codonopsis Lanceolata Root Extract(8.75%), Nelumbo Nucifera (Indian Lotus) Root Extract(8.75%), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract (8.75%), Butylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Poria Cocos Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Angelica Gigas Root Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract, Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract, Lepidium Meyenii Root Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Nut Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Candida Bombicola/Glucose/Methyl Rapeseedate Ferment, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Dipropylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Isopropyl Myristate, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Caramel


The concentration of vital ingredients here should justify its high price tags. Although this product is not waterless (meaning it is diluted), it still carries a high concentration of botanical root extracts which makes up a total of 46% of the product.

Panax ginseng root extract is the star ingredient here. It has been discussed in my previous Sulwhasoo reviews as a potent ingredient against skin-aging, UV-induced skin damages and free radicals damage. It also has melanin-suppressing ability as well as excellent wound-healing properties. Balloon flower root extract is less commonly found in skincare but it has significant health and neuro-protecting benefits especially in its ability to soothe and protect the skin from allergic-causing substance and environment aggressors. Similarly, codonopsis or commonly known as poor man's ginseng in Asian term is also a potent anti-inflammatory that is said to mimic the anti-aging and anti-oxidizing benefits offered by ginseng. Subsequently, we have lotus root extract, which is an antioxidant rich in natural AHAs to help even out the skin complexion as well as fading brown spots and wrinkles. It also has anti-inflammatory quality to help reduce redness and inflammation on the skin. Finally we have burdock root extract, which is traditionally used to treat dry and scaly skin conditions with its high mucilage and inulin contents. The ingredient is also a humectant to hydrate and bind water to the skin. Its other functions such as pores controlling, skin toning, anti-oxidizing and anti-acne also makes this a really popular ingredient in many anti-aging products.

In addition to the 5 botanical roots extract, we also have many anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing botanical ingredients such as fermented imperata cylindrica root extract, peony flower root extract, licorice root extract, angelica gigas root extract, rehmannia root extract, mountain yam root extract, astragalus membranaceus root extract, rhodiola rosea root extract, white mulberry tree extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, witch hazel extract, argan oil, rose flower oil and so on. Among these, gingko biloba is known for its blood stimulating properties where white mulberry can inhibit dark spots and reduce melanin synthesis.

Apparently, Blithe puts a lot of great ingredients into this essence. Chinese medical practitioners often treat their patients using extracts from herbal roots which are believed to possess a lot of healing and anti-oxidizing properties. Many of these ingredients are also proven to be effective when applied topically especially ginseng root extract, licorice root extract, burdock root extract and many more. As such, it is fair to say that this is a good product packed with a bunch of skin-loving herbal ingredients.


I have used this for a good 2.5 months before writing this review so my review should be pretty solid. I have about 25% left in the bottle. Normally a treatment essence would last me for about 2-3 months but this one longer because of its viscous consistency (so you won't need a lot of product each time). I used this right after my IOPE Bio Essence so my opinion might be heavily indexed on IOPE, which I regarded as the best dupe for SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.

Having used this for more than 2 months, I think this is by no mean comparable to SK-II or IOPE. It doesn't revitalize, rejuvenate, repair or exfoliate. My skin doesn't turnover faster, acne doesn't heal faster, and my skin doesn't stay hydrated and healthy for longer. But it isn't completely obsolete though. It has done a good job firming up and brightening my skin. The result is most notable with the 7 skin method. As such, I think this is definitely NOT a treatment essence, more like an essence toner, like Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence. This product also doesn't have any calming effect as I suffer from more breakouts during my testing period with this essence.


In short, despite the raves and loves, I think this is just another pricier and fancier version of the Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence. If you like the Innisfree one, then yes go for it! If you are not, then I wouldn't recommend you to waste your money on it. After all, there are tonnes of essence toner, or plain essence that does better things than this. If you love ginseng, then Sulwhasoo offers premium ginseng goodies (if you are willing to pay the prices, but mini kits at cheaper prices are available all over the internet). If you enjoy herbal root essences, I prefer Belif The True Decoction Firming line. I still love Blithe though, don't get me wrong, but I think it doesn't do a particularly good job at its Vital Treatment Essence line. Many Instagrammers I followed report back saying that they feel absolutely nothing with this product.

Having said all these, I would not repurchase, or purchase any other Vital Essence from Blithe in the future.

- has skin firming and brightening effects
- fast absorbing texture despite its thicker consistency

- weird/unpleasant scent
- not very hydrating despite its claim
- not a "treatment" essence hence cannot exfoliate or rejuvenate
- pricey given the performance (hard to judge the ingredients because portion/formulation is classified)

Overall impression: ★★★☆
Repurchasing: ★
You can get this from: Sephora Malaysia | Koreadepart | Glow Recipe | Gmarket
[Disclaimer] Product is purchased with my own money. All copyright of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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