Today it’s all about one of my favorite topics: Korean medicinal skincare aka hanbang. In March I did a post (read here) about hanbang, fermented skincare and an interview with my lovely friend Lisa aka @beautybemused, I hope you check it out first. Lisa is also the creator of Be Mused Korea, a beautifully curated K-beauty shop that ships worldwide(!!). After the interview she asked if I was interested in trying a hanbang line from her shop called ATOCLASSIC - a herbal brand that aims to combine maximum efficacy with safety for all types of skin.. and of course I said yes. Today I’ll introduce you to the Calming Intensive Cream**!
Atoclassic Real Tonic Calming Intensive Cream
ATOCLASSIC is a Korean ‘hanbang’ aka traditional medicine brand that has dedicated their research for over 3 generations around traditional herbs, roots and leaves. Their product development focuses on maximum efficacy and minimal active ingredient loss, while still being extremely low irritant, sensitive-skin friendly. Their Calming Intensive Cream from the Real Tonic line is meant to be used as the last step in a routine. Comes in a 50 ml / 1.7 fl oz jar with a spatula, retailing $42 / €~36.85 (currently on sale on BeMused Korea).
Using ATOCLASSIC Calming Intensive Cream
It had been a while since I’ve used a cream that’s in a jar and oddly, I’ve kind of missed it. Although I prefer air-tight containers for all of my skincare, there’s something luxurious about jars. Balms, creams and gels feel just that little bit more luxurious when you take them out with a spoon or a spatula. The rose gold and white colors of the jar packaging also make the cream feel more expensive.
I have a dry skin so I love oils and creams, but don’t like a tacky or greasy residue on the skin (say, like Weleda’s Skin Food). ATOCLASSIC’s cream feels almost whipped in texture as it is very light to touch, but packs a good amount of moisture and hydration to the skin. I feel I can use this both day and night: it sits nicely under SPF and makeup, but can be topped up with an oily balm if you want that extra amount of moisturization. I do feel the cream plumps my skin and I can double it as an eye cream without my eyes getting puffy. The scent is very light and a hint of floral, but pretty unisex to my nose.
Water, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Betaine, Butyrospermum, Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Lecithin, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract,Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Angelica Gigas Root Extract, Cnidium Monnieri Fruit Extract, Forsythia Suspensa Fruit Extract, Lithospermum Erythrorhizon Root Extract, Sanguisorba Officinalis Root Extract, Xanthium Strumarium Fruit Extract, Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Coptis Chinensis Root Extract, Trehalose, Beeswax ,Tri-C14-15 Alkyl Citrate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Water, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, water, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthenol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Ceramide 3
The INCI list of this cream is pretty long, but the bulk of the ingredients are in the middle: root extracts after root extracts. Some more familiar herbal ingredients to me include mistletoe and licorice; they are naturally skin-calming ingredients that can soothe, help with redness, even out complexion and act as anti-inflammatory. Especially licorice is a common ingredient in treating dark spots, pigmentation and dark undereye circles.
The cream is water based with moisturizing glycerin and shea butter. Other oils include macadamia seed oil and grape seed oil that help to seal in moisture. What I researched, the rest of the ingredients are mostly emollients and solvents to probably create the cream texture. I wish I knew more about all the herbal extracts ATOCLASSIC uses, but as far as I know many of them are used in Chinese medicine. I’m going to paste the major herbal ingredients here separately:
Lithospermi Radix, Angelica Gigas Root, Coptis Chinensis Root, Mistletoe, imperata Cylindrica Root, Citrus Unshiu Peel, Elm Bark, Sophora Angustifolia Root, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root, Sanguisorba Officinalis Root, Licorice, Forsythia Suspensa Fruit, Astragalus Membranaceus Root, Xanthium Strumarium Fruit, Cnidium Monnieri Fruit
I’m happy there are companies that combine the ancient wisdom with more technology, but I wish there was more articles to read about the herbal ingredients. For example, many Korean sheet masks with unfamiliar (to me) roots, barks and mushrooms have become my favorites, but I know little about the herbs themselves. In the future I wish I can research and share more about ‘hanbang’.
Right now I can only speak from my personal user experience and honestly I’m very much enjoying ATOCLASSIC. The cream is certainly one of my favorites from the line as it pampers and plumps my very dry skin without any residue. I can’t speak about its soothing properties too much as my skin isn’t very sensitive. From experience I know some Korean medicinal lines with a lot of fermented ingredients can be too active and irritating if I’ve done a lot of exfoliation, but I’ve had no such problem with ATOCLASSIC. So if you’re sensitive and interested in K-beauty, maybe check out this brand?
Have you tried K-beauty? How about hanbang brands? xx
**This product was kindly gifted for consideration. All thoughts are honest and my own.