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Tosowoong Propolis Brightening Essence Review

January 01, 2021

Tosowoong Propolis Brightening Essence Review

Tosowoong Propolis Brightening Essence Review

Unlike many of the other Korean Beauty brands that are big overseas, Tosowoong stands out as one of the few global K-Beauty brands that is as famous in Korea as it is overseas (others that spring to mind being April Skin, Banila Co, Belif and Missha).

One of the reasons Tosowoongis so popular in Korea is thanks to its natural ingredients and the lack of irritants and acne triggers in many of its products. Tosowoong creates collections that are heavy in antioxidants and focused on key ingredients like green tea and propolis.

Tosowoong’s Propolis Sparkle Ampoule is legendary in the Asian Beauty community but today, we’re giving you our Tosowoong Propolis Brightening Essence review.

What Is It?

Tosowoong Propolis Brightening Essence.

It’s a clear, scentless essence that comes in a 60ml pump dispenser.

Texture wise, it’s similar to Benton’s Snail Bee Essence– it isn’t runny but has a thicker, gel-like texture. Once applied, it sinks into the skin quickly, leaving a soft satin finish.

What It Claim To Do?

Tosowoong claims that this is a dual functioning brightening and anti-wrinkle treatment.

What’s In It?

The full ingredients list is:

“Propolis Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Niacinamide, Phenoxyethanol, Water, Betaine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Arginine, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Honey Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Levan, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Fragaria Chiloensis (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Aronia Melanocarpa Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, rh-Oligopeptide-1”

Straight off the bat it’s clear that this little essence packs a punch, with ingredients chok-full of antioxidants, brightening and natural skin soothers. The list contains many plant extracts and known sources of vitamins and minerals.

Propolis is the star, accounting for 75% of the formula. It’s a naturally occurring anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and is a type of resin made by bees.

Propolis is really having a moment in Korean Beauty these days and for a good reason – it’s a great ingredient for acne-prone skin, and helps soothe and calm irritated skin, which is common for those with eczema and pimples.

The second standout ingredient is Niacinamide – a form of Vitamin B3 acknowledged for it’s skin brightening capabilities, and an ability to strengthen a weakened skin barrier.

Centella asiatica – also known as “Cica” – is in the formula specifically for it’s skin soothing capabilities. Centella asiatica is another trending K-Beauty ingredient that’s extracted from a native Asian plant. It’s been used for thousands of years across Asia thanks to its healing abilities. Studies have shown that topical application of centella asiatica can increase collagen and decrease the skin’s inflammatory reactions.

Galactomyces is another popular Asian Beauty ingredient – a type of fermented yeast – that’s credited with toning, moisturising, nourishing and reducing visible signs of aging.

The formula is finished off with small amounts of rh oligopeptide 1 – a polypeptide of 53 amino acids that stimulate epidermal cell growth. The discovery of this ingredient won a Nobel Prize in medicine for it’s ability to speed the healing of wounds and reduce scarring.

How To Use It

Like most essences, you apply this one to cleansed skin straight after you’ve used a toner. 2-3 drops is all you’ll need – just pat them lightly into the skin to help them absorb.

What Results You’ll Notice From Using It

Unlike it’s sparklier sister – the Propolis Sparkle Ampoule – this little essence is a quiet achiever. It’s lightly hydrating but does everything that a good essence should do; that is, prep the skin with a light layer of moisture, giving the skin something to soak up so that it properly absorbs the next layers of skincare properly.

It’s light enough to use day and night, and doesn’t interfere with makeup application in the morning.

With consistent use, the essence works to clarify and brighten the complexion. If you’ve got red, angry, sensitive or irritated skin you’ll also notice that it’s soothing, and helps to calm everything down.

Overall, it’s a good, solid addition to a skincare routine for those who need their essences to be free of irritants and known acne triggers.


If you’ve got irritated, sensitive and acne-prone skin that’s also prone to dullness, Tosoowong’s Propolis Essence is a good addition to a skincare routine. It clarifies, brightens and soothes, as well as providing light hydration. It won’t irritate sensitive skin because it contains no known irritants and is also free from key acne triggers.

Have you tried it?! Leave your Tosowoong Propolis Brightening Essence review in the comments below.

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