Whamisa has taken Finland by a storm! Not only K-beauty is still a new-ish thing in here, but also people who love eco beauty are excited to discover a brand that combines Korean beauty with ecological, fermented ingredients. I've spoken about hanbang aka Korean fermented skincare in a previous post, make sure to check it out! Today I'm reviewing Whamisa's Organic Flowers Toner (essence), you can find more Whamisa reviews linked below the post.
Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich
120ml / ~4 fl. oz for €42 / ~$49.14
Whamisa's Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich* is a bouncy, serum or thick essense-like toner that is enriched with argan oil, botanical extracts and galactomyces. Whamisa's signature is fermenting all ingredients for maximum efficacy. Recommended for normal and dry skin types. 97.40% of the ingredients (yes, very specific) are organic. Available in Finland in many dept. stores, organic skincare shops, such as Jolie (FI)*.
I really like the boxes of Whamisa products. Very simple and easy to recycle. They all have added braille, which I think is very considerate of them. The information is both in English and in hangul. Organic Flowers Toner (Deep Rich) is housed in a frosted glass bottle, pretty heavy duty and quality one I'd say. If you're planing to travel with the toner I'd recommend decanting it. The only minor issue is the cap, which is a bit difficult to close - especially one handed if you have product on your other hand. Not the easiest one to twist, but otherwise everything is fine with the packaging.
So what is fermentated skincare?
I've written a whole article about hanbang aka fermented skincare in another post, please click here for more reference. Fermentation is not a new procedure by any means; so keep your head cool while shopping. In Korea, fermentation is an important part of the traditional cuisine, herbal medicine, and of course - skincare. Many brands claim that fermented ingredients are better-absorbed by the skin, which is true as skin absorbs smaller molecule size better - which is beneficial as long as the ingredients are still active. How will you know that? I doubt you will. Some brands also claim that the ingredients are also more bio-active after fermentation, meaning increase in nutrients, minerals and active ingredients. According to some studies I've seen, this should be true at least with red ginseng and soy beans.
More on fermented skincare:
*Aloe Maculata Leaf Extract, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, *Glycerin, *Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flower Extract, *Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, *Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, *Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, ***Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, ***Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, ***Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Lithospermum Erythrorhizon Root Extract, *Helichrysum Arenarium Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, *Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract,*Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/ Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/ Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Rhizome/Root Ferment Filtrate, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, **Fragrance, d-Limonene, Linalol (*Certified Organically Grown **Natural Origin ***Natural Preservative / Bergamot Oil Bergaptene Free)
Galactomyces is a nutrient-dense fungi and a by-product of fermented sake (soy). The very famous and expensive SK-II Facial Treatment Essence uses Pitera in their essence, which is branded by-product of sake fermentation. Personally I love anything fermented and of course I was interested in trying this in skincare, although I could find only little independent articles or studies about the subjects. Galactomyces is said to help with acne, sebum excretion and look of pores, let's say "overall" look of the skin.
I like it how the toner is not water based but aloe, has high amounts of hydrating glycerin, soothing oat kernel extract and moisturizing avocado oil. Oat kernel extract is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and soothing plant extract. There is no traces of oiliness when you pat the toner on your skin, just instant concoction of hydration and moisture. The rest of the ingredients are mainly root extracts and xanthan gum (thickener), but there is also lactobacillus ferment filtrates to boost the effects of the floral extracts. One of the plant root extracts featured at the top of the ingredients list is licorice, which helps to diminish dark spots and pigmentation.
At the bottom of the ingredients there are some fragrance ingredients, which I assume is to counteract the fermented smell (which I find quite pleasing, but some of you might not). Please patch test if you're afraid of a reaction. Although this product works well for me (I'm not very reactive), it's a good thing to test when if you're introducing a completely different type of a skincare item (eco, fermented) to your routine.
Using Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich Toner
I really like applying an exfoliating toner first with a cotton pad (such as January Labs Daily Brightening Tonic reviewed here) to add some sort of acid into my routine. Exfoliating toners are often light waters while Whamisa is "heavier" or even "stickier" in texture - if you've used the Hadalabo Gokyjun Premium Lotion there's similar viscosity (although I can't stand the Hadalabo Premium for some reason). Despite the toner's texture - it doesn't feel heavy on my skin, but absorbs beautifully with an instant plumping effect. There isn't any sort of uncomfortable sticky trace on my skin.
Sometimes when I'm in a pinch or a hurry, I simply apply this toner, moisturizer and my sunscreen. Of course I love serums and oils but this combination alone is enough to hydrate my skin for the day. If you're very oily though you might prefer the lighter versions of this toner. I haven't suffered from any skin issues recently, so I'm unsure if this toner alone can treat dullness, dark spots or irritation, but it does keep my skin balanced, even and happy.
I've found a new favorite essence/toner that doesn't break the bank! I did have high hopes for Whamisa and I certainly wasn't let down. I'm so happy this product is easy to access in Finland and I can often utilize coupons and discounts as it's sold by various retailers. I'm very excited to try more from the line. My only complaint would be the cap, as it's a bit difficult to close (I've also been testing the Whamisa cream and managed to break the cap..), but it's a small issue. Will definitely purchase once I run out.
More Whamisa reviews:
Thank you for reading this review! I know I took an unannounced break from blogging and some social media channels after Midsummer to focus on my personal life. The Finnish Summer is sweet but short, we've been especially blessed with good weather this year. I just felt I needed some time to spend offline and gather my thoughts. Meanwhile I have tested a bunch of interesting new products and I will be reporting back soon! Thank you for understanding! xx Laura
*This product was kindly offered for consideration by Natural Goods Company.
My thoughts are honest and my own.