PRODUCT: it's real squeeze mask - bija
COST: <1,000 WON ($1)
DESCRIPTION: This is one of many ingredients in Innisfree's It's Real Squeeze masks. This one claims the "bija" benefit, a fruit/nut from the torreya tree (a type of conifer with scant online information) which the packaging claims is a "precious" ingredient. Additionally the mask has a Jeju green complex: green tea, tangerine, cactus, camellia leaves, and orchids, all of which have varying anti-inflammatory and soothing properties presumably, aside from smelling delightful. The mask goes on after toner for 10-20 minutes before bed.
EXPERIENCE: A lot of "essence" (liquid) was in the package and seemed to drip while waring the mask, more than other sheet masks I've experienced. I felt a slight tinging, probably from the alcohol ingredient. (Side note: I always read the ingredient list after I try a one-off product as a "blind-test" study.) I did not notice any particularly enhanced moisturizing effect.
INGREDIENT ANALYSIS: This should be called a "grapefruit" mask as that's the primary fruit/plant ingredient, followed by aloe. Bija oil appears pretty low on the list along with some other nice ingredients on here (green tea, tangerine) though not in any significant proportions.
SMELL: I sniffed and sniffed but no noticeable smell. However, 50 Shades of Snail noticed a distinct initial alcohol and baby powder smell.
YAY OR NAY: Nay
INGREDIENTS: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ethanol, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Betaine, Xanthan Gum, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bija Oil(1mg), Sodium Hyaluronate, Tangerine Peel Extract, Orchid Extract, The green Tea Extract, Camellia Leaf Extract, Prickly Pear Extract, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
PRODUCT: Green tea seed cream and green tea seed eye cream
DESCRIPTION: Both moisturizing lotions are made from green tea from Jeju island (a volcanic island off the Korean coastline), reveled for its volcanic water and natural beauty. From the box: "an antioxidant mositure cream formulated with freshly squeezed Jeju green tea and green tea seeds to create a clear and dewy skin from deep within."
INGREDIENT ANALYSIS: Let's take a look at the ingredients, shall we? Camellia sinensis (the tree plant whose leaves produce a variety of teas) is the lead ingredient (56%), a good sign. Rice bran wax, tea seed oil and a variety of fruit extracts (citrus, orange, tangerine) suggest that this will be a pleasantly scented and smooth experience.
EXPERIENCE: I found the green tea seed cream to be an incredibly light moisturizer. Though I only had the sample pack, I was limited in quantity but just the sample was enough to leave my skin noticeably smooth in the morning and not greasy or prone to breaking out like some of the thicker face creams. I am definitely planning to order more of this in the future.
SMELL: Very lightly fragrant
TEXTURE: Smooth, whitish cream that rubs on comfortably
YAY OR NAY: Yay, a thousand times yay!
LINK: Innis Free World
CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT (55.86%), GLYCERIN, HYDROGENATED POLY (C6-14 OLEFIN), PROPANEDIOL, ORYZA SATIVA (RICE) BRAN WAX, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, CAMELLIA SINENSIS SEED OIL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, GLYCERYL STEARATE, POLYGLYCERYL-3 METHYLGLUCOSEDISTEARATE, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, HYDROXYPROPYL STARCH PHOSPHATE, CITRUS UNSHIU PEEL EXTRACT, OPUNTIA COCCINELLIFERA FRUIT EXTRACT, ORCHID EXTRACT, CAMELLIA JAPONICA LEAF EXTRACT, CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) FRUIT EXTRACT, CITRUS PARADISI (GRAPEFRUIT) FRUIT EXTRACT, CITRUS AURANTIUM BERGAMIA (BERGAMOT) FRUIT EXTRACT, CITRUS TANGERINA (TANGERINE) EXTRACT, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, WATER, KAOLIN, TOCOPHERSOLAN, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, POLOXAMER 235, POLOXAMER 338, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE, PEG-100 STEARATE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, ETHOXYDIGLYCOL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM EDTA, FRAGRANCE
COST: ~4,000 WON ($4)
DESCRIPTION: A straightforward lip moisturizer/color in the "rose" color.
EXPERIENCE: Great, bright blast of color, smooth on and with decent lasting power. I bought a few of these to throw into my purse/leave at work for an easy way to freshen up.
YAY OR NAY? Yay!
PRODUCT: Jeju volcanic melting clay mask
COST: ~15,000 WON ($15)
DESCRIPTION: If magma could be bottled into a face product, this would be it. The product is described as a "warm pore mask formulated with melting clay of Jeju volcanic clusters to gently break and melt away the excess sebum in the pores for clean skin." The thin brown cream gently warms the skin and never hardens. Leave on for 15 minutes and wash off.
EXPERIENCE: I found this to be very pleasant and fun with the warming factor, and a nice 1-2x a week mild exfoliator.
INGREDIENT ANALYSIS: Volcanic ash is the 6th ingredient and the mixture has some soothing and enriching fruit and plant extracts as well.
SMELL: None noticeable
TEXTURE: Fairly smooth and self-warming
YAY OR NAY: Yay, for being a nice, mild and comfortable exfoliator
INGREDIENTS: Glycerin, zeolite, dipropylene, glycol, kaolin, volcanic ash, silica, polyglyceryl-10 behenate/eicosadioate, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, juglans regia (walnut) shell powder, citris peel extrat, orchid extract, camelua sinensis leaf extract, camellia japonica leaf extract, opuntia coccinellifera fruit extract, coco-caprylate/capratel, titanium dioxide, hydroxyethlyl, acrylate/sodiaum acryloyloimethyl taurate copolymer
PRODUCT: Special Care Mask [Foot]
COMPANY: INNISFREE (ships to the U.S.)
COST: ~2,000 WON ($2)
DESCRIPTION: Like stepping into lather-filled shoe covers, these foot masks cover every inch with soothing lotion. Leave on for 15 minutes and rub excess in.
SMELL: None noticeable
VERDICT: After getting over the feeling of slimy feet and having to walk in a shuffle, it actually feels quite nice.
With a background in molecular biology, I worked for decades as a scientist and science journalist. I use my background to look into the science of affordable and high-quality Korean skincare products. Then, I share my findings with you!