12 Jul 2017

Review: Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum, Green Tea Balancing Skin, and The Green Tea Seed Cream

Innisfree was one of the first Korean brands that I used. Among which, its green tea line is one of my old-time favourites. After trying out many Korean beauty products, I want to go back to Innisfree green tea again, to see if I still feel the same after all these years living without them.

For those of you who don't know, Innisfree Green Line is one of the earliest product lines in Innisfree. Many girls start off using Innisfree products. It is suitable for those in their early 20s, with minimal to no skin issues. The packaging of Innisfree Green Tea reflects the eco-friendliness concept of Innisfree's brand philosophy. You'll notice that the labels on the packaging will fade after some time because it is made of soy ink. I am not sure what is the materials of the packaging but it looks like plastic for me. Innisfree also promotes recycling of bottles so you can return your used Innisfree containers in exchange for RM 1 each, up to 3 bottles per month.

The one I have today is their staplers, namely Green Tea Seed Serum, Green Tea Balancing Toner and Green Tea Seed Cream. All of these have come out with jumbo sizes before, so you can tell that they have made quite a reputation in the beauty industry.

Let's look at the Green Tea Seed Serum first:

Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum is a first serum type product that you use right after cleansing and before your toner. It is similar to Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to balance, prep and supply your skin with the nutrients it needs. This serum has lightweight consistency, and can be quickly absorbed by the skin. It doesn't leave any sticky residue after absorbing but certain people with oily skin might still find it greasy or heavy. This will do wonder if you have dehydrated, dry or combination skin.

[INGREDIENTS ANALYSIS] The green Tea Extract (75.9%), Propanediol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Ethanol, Glycerin, Betaine, The green Tea Seed Oil (208mg), Prickly Pear Extract, Orchid Extract, Tangerine Peel Extract, Camellia Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Orange Extract, Tangerine Extract, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sorbitan Olivate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cocoa Extract, Dextrin, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

Main ingredients are 75.9% green tea extract and 208mg green tea seed oil, the rest are all texture ingredients (solvents, emulsifiers, fragrance, emollients etc) and very commonly used Jeju essences (orchid, cactus, tangerine peel, camellia, and oranges). But most of these are very mild ingredients with an overwhelming green flags on CosDNA so are unlikely to cause you any skin complications.

Green tea is a very commonly used ingredient, but it is good. It is high in antioxidants, and is also a known humectant. It can replenish the skin's moisture less and form a protective barrier over the skin against harsh environments and free radicals. Many products use green tea, mainly for moisturizing, anti-aging and anti-oxidizing purposes. Green tea seed is believed to be even more potent than green tea leaf, and its seed oil offers ample nourishing benefits for the skin.

This product uses patented dual moisture-rising technology, which is to supply moisture using green tea extract whereas at the same locking in moisture using the seed oil. As such, all skin types can use this including combination, oily and dry skin since it works all ways to retain moisture. But personally I think it is only suitable for younger skin. It cannot do more than that, especially skin repairing and more intense hydration.

Subsequently, we have the Green Tea Balancing Skin.

This is called Skin in Korean because it is a hydrating toner. Normally, hydrating toner is known as skin in Korean. This balancing toner is designed for all skin types, especially combination and normal skin with minimal skin issues. It can balance, hydrate and moisturize the skin with anti-oxidizing benefits.

[INGREDIENTS ANALYSIS] The green Tea Extract (86.9%), Propanediol, Glycereth-26, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Prickly Pear Extract, Orchid Extract, Camellia Leaf Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Orange Extract, Tangerine Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glycerin, Behenyl Alcohol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

The toner contains a whopping 86.9% of green tea extract, which makes it a waterless product. Others are just like the Seed Serum, are all texture ingredients and some commonly used Innisfree's Jeju essence blend. Most of these ingredients are flagged green hence you don't have to worry about this breaking you out or causing you any issues unless if you have sensitive skin. Of course, I have friends who break out from some Innisfree products, mostly due to the fragrance, so if I would suggest that you try it out in the store first before buying if you live in Klang Valley.

I really like this toner, it feels like a juice for me, or essence toner. So nourishing, moisturizing yet so lightweight. My skin feels plump, soft, and hydrated everytime I use this. Using this with the Green Tea Seed Serum can help retain the skin's moisture for long hours. I haven't tried Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner out but I can imagine that it would be similar to this. You can share your thoughts on the Klairs toner with me if you have tried both!

Finally, we have the Green Tea Seed Cream!

This is the jumbo size, I bought this because it looks so pretty! But then the paint actually got off (because it is soy ink) so it looks kinda meh now. Anyway, 100ml is enough for approximately 12 months consumption. I need to use it more generously to make sure I can finish this within 12 months from opening. And honestly, the cream actually deteriorates (less moisturizing, more greasy) after you open it for more than 6 months so you should just get the 50ml one if you have a lot of creams like myself. And a little goes a long way for this cream. Even I have just one, the first jar actually lasts me for a good 4 months using it days and nights.

[INGREDIENTS ANALYSIS] Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propanediol, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Opuntia Coccinellif.Era Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Orchid Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Extract, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Extract, Tocophersolan, Poloxamer 338, Poloxamer 235, Ethoxydiglycol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polysilicone-11, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Cholesterol, Carbomer, Peg-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Kaolin, Butylene Glycol, Water, Tromethamine, Disodium Edta, Fragrance

I think I won't highlight anything other than the green tea extract and seed oil, because others are just insignificant. You have the slip agents cyclopentasiloxane, propanediol, glycerin, and so on. You also have the botanical extracts catcus, oranges, camellia, and many more Jeju essences. But most Innisfree creams have those too, so what matters is not the ingredients but the texture. You cannot imagine the texture just by looking at the ingredients. Most of the ingredients are flagged safe on CosDNA, except for carbomer, PEG-100, cetearyl alcohol, and butylene glycol. Although I don't think that this will cause you breakouts, but oily and combination skin are advised to stay away from it because it is fairly rich.

I have mixed thoughts on this cream. I raved about it in my last review, but I am gonna tone down a little now. I think it is nice, but it is still a little too rich if you have normal skin, younger skin and use layers of products. If you only use the seed serum, balancing toner and then the seed cream, you'll do fine. They are the perfect trio for wonderfully textured skin. But if you layer more than 5 products underneath, this cream will suffocate you. It is indeed fast-absorbing, and leaves the skin cool and moist, but it is still quite rich, and my skin doesn't like it most of the time. I don't know, my skin (brain) just tells me, don't use this, use others, whenever I pick this up from the dressing table.


After gathering enough experience from using all different skincare, I think I still hold rather similar thoughts on these Innisfree green tea products. The balancing toner is a really well-made hydrating toner, the first serum is a lightweight skin prepping product whereas the cream supplies the skin with rich moisture and nutrients. I think, however, the green tea seed cream is now too rich for my normal-to-dry skin using many layers of products, so I don't think I will continue to repurchase it in the future. I might, however, repurchase the green tea seed serum or balancing toner/skin if I miss it because those are really well-made products for anyone below 30s.

Re-impression: ★★★★ (seed serum); ★★★★ (balancing toner), ★★★☆ (seed cream)
Repurchasing: ★★★★ (seed serum); ★★★★ (balancing toner), ☆ (seed cream)
You can get this from: Innisfree Malaysia | Althea Korea | Hermo Malaysia
[Disclaimer] Products are purchased with my own money. All copyright of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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