Episode Title: Overhyped K-Beauty Products Ep- 41
Ever tried a super hyped K-Beauty product only to decide it’s a total dud or just not right for your skin? #Frustrating.
Which is why today, I’m sharing a list of hyped K-Beauty products that I’m just not feeling.
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Just like many of you, I often try products that are massively hyped and am left scratching my head wondering why.
Unlike influencers, who get sent free products and paid to spruik other brand’s products whether they like them or not, I’m a business owner. That means that I’mpaying tobuy a company’s products, even if I do end up selling them on my site. If I don’t like a product, I don’t sell it. It’s as simple as that.
I find it really hard to sugar coat my honest opinions and quite frankly, I don’t need to, because no one pays me to talk up their products.
Here are a list of products I’ve purchased in the last 6 months that I just felt didn’t live up to the hype:
The Claim: “A unique combination of a lightweight, milky toner with the additional benefits of an essence. It provides intense moisture and nutrition for dry skin. And, it helps protect the skin barrier by it’s hydrating and nourishing functions.The MLE ® skin barrier formula aids in creating a protective layer on the surface of the skin. It also controls the amount of moisture in the skin leaving it looking dewy and healthy.”
The Reality:The texture is very thick, which you wouldthink makes it super hydrating.
Itlooks like it would be hydrating but I couldn’t believe how dry it made my skin feel after using it.
The whole experience was just disappointing; if you’re after a toner that actually will hydrate dry skin and has a thick texture as well, tryISNTree’s Hyaluronic Acid Toner.
My Verdict:It just does nothing for my dry skin.
The Claim: “This wash-off mask contains 46.44g of natural honey to offer deep moisturization and nourishment. Real honey makes the skin supple while also providing elasticity and soothing care. The mask also effectively removes whiteheads and provides exfoliation create the look of a clear complexion.” - Wishtrend website
The Reality: Let’s start with the scent, because it’s pretty hard to miss. When I first tried this 7 years ago, I distinctly remember thinking the scent was less like honey and more like bee goop. It was really overpowering and didn’t smell like fresh honey but something else, a little more off-putting.
Given all the hype over this product in the intervening years, I decided to try it again as a lot of the reviews rave on about how good it is, especially in winter. I found it on sale in a pack with a little mask applicator brush, so I picked it up.
Once again, it struck me how actually I really don’t like the scent. It’s the same smell I remember.
I think my biggest problem is just that is such an inelegant cosmetic formula. It’s sticky and gloopy and just a bit of a mess, quite frankly. There are so many more elegant products out there with really beautiful formulations that do similar things I guess I just don’t really “get it”.
The results on my dry skin, were also lacklustre. I I found that it just doesn’t do much of anything. It sits on there feeling heavy and like it’s clogging my pores for 20 minutes until I remove it. Removing it is also a bit of a pain and requires a lot of tugging at your skin, which isn’t ideal. Even using the silicone brush provided didn’t affect the amount of tugging and pulling I had to do.
It doesn’t remove whiteheads as claimed and I didn’t find it particularly exfoliating. It also didn’t provide more than a half an hour’s worth of hydration for my dry skin in winter.
My Verdict: I know a lot of YouTubers and Influencers promote it but this product just doesn’t live up to the hype for me. If you’re after a thick mask that will actually hydrate your skin, I’ve had nice results withiUNIK’s Propolis Sleeping Mask.
The Claim:“Fresh and organic ingredients are the stars of this soothing milk cleanser/makeup remover. All the natural ingredients are sourced in Korea and harvested in peak season for optimal freshness and effectiveness. No parabens, artificial fragrance, additives or harmful chemicals, this vegan and cruelty-free is great for all skin types especially those with dry, dehydrated skin.”
The Reality: The smell of the natural ingredients is very off-putting. In terms of cleansing function, it works fine but it’s just not something I look forward to using or need to use in my skincare routine. I have no problem with products that have a slight fragrance in them, particularly in a cleanser as they are not on your skin for long enough.
My Verdict:This milk type cleanser is for people that have an actual fragrance allergy or can take no fragrance at all. Also, it needs to be used within 6 months of opening it, so it’s not one for people who like to play around with several products at once. This is the problem with “completely natural” products - they sound good in theory but in reality the experience of using many of them is just less than ideal. I’m happy to stick with mycleansing balms instead.
The Claim:SPF 50+ sun protection.
The Reality:The brand is now at the centre of a testing scandal after tests on its Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ found its SPF levels were four times less than advertised. In vitro and in vivo results from two independent European labs determined the sunscreen's SPF was in fact around 19.
My Verdict:While it’s true that inaccuracies in SPF results can and do happen to western brands all the time as well, it’s a timely reminder not to always believe the hype. I’ve heard murmurings about this sunscreen potentially not living up to its SPF claims for 2 years, yet many influencers and YouTubers continued to promote it, blatantly shutting down anyone who dared to question them about the product’s efficacy. The company also apparently never conducted independent SPF tests on the product despite many, many people questioning them about it.
Sometimes, where there is smoke there’s fire.
It’s also very disappointing that the company waited so long to conduct testing on its own products, particularly with something as important as SPF. There are now doubts being cast over the manufacturer’s other sunscreen products from brands like Klairs.
It seems to be a recurring theme that the manufacturers of these products aren’t conducting any of their own independent testing on the veracity of the SPF claims in their products, despite putting significant marketing budgets behind promoting them. It’s unimpressive to say the least.
“This cleansing balm dissolves and removes blackheads as Jeju volcanic clusters adsorbs sebum and oil massages your skin.”
The Reality: I literally couldn’t work out if this did anything at all. First, the texture was not very pleasant to apply - I literally felt like I was rubbing a type of vaseline into my pores, which feels counterintuitive. Then when washing it out, it didn’t come off very cleanly. My pores didn’t look different to me after cleansing.
My Verdict:I’ll stick todouble cleansing. It’s more efficient and cuts down on the amount of products you need in your routine.
The Claim:“A refreshing watery gel essence that fills and plumps skin with hydration.Featuring 85% Sahara cactus extract along with peppermint and grapefruit extracts, this essence quenches and awakens skin. Sahara cactus seed oil, a non-comedogenic oil high in Vitamin E, is revered for its ability to quickly absorb into skin while imparting lasting hydration and protecting the skin from stress and aging.”
The Reality:They call it a “water” and that’s basically what it feels like - applying water on my face. After using this I could see no noticeable difference or benefit other than that my face felt a bit wetter. Even that didn’t last for long. It didn’t prep my skin for the next layers of skincare, it wasn’t hydrating on its own and I just didn’t really see the point of it, to be honest.
My Verdict: For me, this just didn’t live up to the hype. It is supposed to be moisturising but it’s not, I personally don’t like the fragrance. The ingredients list is not stellar, particularly for a product that claims to have 85% of the star ingredient; there are a lot of other fillers and ingredients jammed in the remaining 15% of the product. The bottle is super pretty but that’s about it. If you’re after a hydrating essence, l’ve had great results with APLB’sGlutathione Hyaluronic Acid Essence.
"If I don’t like a product, I don’t sell it. It’s as simple as that."- Lauren Lee
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