Worth the hype? Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule Review

If you’re a big lover of K-beauty, I’m sure you’ve bumped into Pyunkang Yul. Famous for their effective yet simple formulations, this Korean brand has taken the Internet by storm. Their Finnish retailer Kokoskin.fi kindly offered a couple of products for me to try, let’s see if the Moisture Ampoule* is worth the hype!

Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule

This Moisture Ampoule by Pyunkang Yul is a moisture/hydration booster with only 6 ingredients. Designed to soothe and calm the skin while giving it a plump, bouncy texture. Pyunkang Yul products focus on safe and effective ingredients without fragrance. Developed in Korea by Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic. Retails €32.90 / $28 for 100ml / 3.3 fl oz. Cruelty free.

Ingredients

Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Polysorbate 80, PEG-150 Distearate, Polysorbate 20, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glyceryl Caprylate

The star ingredient of this ampoule is Copris Japonica (aka Japanese goldthread) Root Extract that makes up 90% of the product according to retailers. I could find little information or studies on this ingredient that is not directly related or a review of Pyunkang Yul products. Even if the inspiration is from Eastern Medicine (like as hanbang, which I generally love in skincare), I’d like to read some studies. According to the brand it soothes and hydrates the skin while being the best suitable for oilier skin types.

The rest of the ingredients are actually surfactants, emulsifiers and one solvent to thicken up the consistency of the product. What I’ve read on PEG it should not be used on broken skin - thus, I don’t think this product is optimal for soothing major irritation. Overall the synthetic compounds in this product don’t appear to be hazardous, so I think most people can use this ampoule.

Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Using the Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule

The texture of this ampoule is a bit odd to me. On websites it’s described as ‘honey-like’, but for me it reminds of some sort of goo or a lubricant. You know, the stuff they used in Alien movies? Jokes aside, the texture is viscous without being too gloopy or stringy to my taste. On my dry skin it doesn’t glide on effortlessly - I prefer taking some product on my palms and pressing it on my cheeks, neck and forehead. Fortunately the texture isn’t sticky and the ampoule sinks in quickly. If your skin is more normal to oily you might just spread and gently rub it in with no problem.

I do feel this adds a layer of moisture to the skin, but I’m not sure if this has any other skin benefits.. On its own this ampoule isn’t hydrating enough for me and I need to top it up with an oil or/and a cream. While I like the short and sweet ingredients list I’m missing some basics that have good research backing up - such as hyaluronic acid. Pyunkang Yul is nicely inexpensive if you take the large bottle size in consideration, but I still feel the formula is inferior to other hydrating serums I’ve reviewed, such as Leegeeham, which has a bit similar consistency.

Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final Thoughts

What I like about Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule is the price, lack of fragrance and other additives, but that’s about it. On a hot Summer day or for oily skin people it might be a good addition to the routine, but for my skin type it isn’t hydrating enough and I don’t think there is enough studies available backing up the root extract’s benefits. So for me it’s a pass, sadly, but I’m still very much looking forward trying other Pyunkang Yul products.

*This product was kindly gifted for review.
My thoughts are my honest and my own.

Korean Medicinal Skincare in a Jar: ATOCLASSIC Real Tonic Calming Intensive Cream Review

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 Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

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.

Atoclassic Real Tonic Calming Intensive Cream Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Ingredients

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

Atoclassic Real Tonic Calming Intensive Cream Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final thoughts

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.

January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream review

Even if you're not a beauty enthusiast, most likely you have at least two skincare items in your cabinet: a cleanser and a daily moisturiser. Personally, I could name several enjoyable and effective cleansers worth of re-purchasing, but most day creams are nothing to write home about. I use one up and move forward. I went as far as thinking that a day cream or moisturiser doesn't even matter that much - as long as you're using a great essence and a serum or treatment, you're good to go. Just slap whatever on the top to seal them in. Then, I purchased January Labs lotion from Cult Beauty and fell in love, and later I got a generous package from January with her Revitalizing Day Cream. Time for testing!

January labs

I was going to publish this review after I've chatted more with the founder of January Labs about her brand, but I could no longer contain my excitement about this product. January Labs is based in California and founded by January Olds, a licensed aesthetician and who has worked nearly 20 years in the beauty industry and studied ingredient technology. What I've chatted with her she seems very genuine, lovely person and very passionate about skincare. She thinks of her brand as a perfect combination of science and nature, which I can see in her product formulations: they're packed with the cleaned ingredients available, but expect to deliver results, skipping any harmful or unnecessary additives. Sounds like a winner combination to me. The January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream is 50ml and retails for $68.00 on their website and £51.00 (~56.90€) on Cult Beauty.

Packaging

The January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream is a very promising day cream - or lotion, if you will. Firstly, it's packed in a hygienic pump - no fingers or air gets in touch with the ingredients inside. I hate to pay a fortune for a luxurious cream in a jar and have the danger of oxidation every time I use it. January Labs' white plastic packaging also protects the inside from sunlight. It would be useful if you could somehow tell how much cream is left inside the packaging, but you can estimate by feeling its weight. The packaging is sturdy, simple, with a beautiful logo and typography. I think the pattern inside box is just adorable, I wish they had included more of it in the the actual packaging.

Texture

The cream is more like a pale yellowish lotion. It spreads effortlessly and less than one pump is enough for my whole face. Don't I love pumps that distribute the perfect amount! The cream sinks in a matter of seconds, providing instant hydration and plumping effect to my skin. The feel on the skin is slightly tacky, but not overly so it would bother me. I will apply my heavy duty sunscreen afterwards anyway. There's a slight tingling sensation on my skin for a few minutes, which could be the Vitamin C in the cream according to January. 

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Beantree Oil, Beta-Glucan, Verbena Officinalis Extract, Hydrolyzed Soybean Fiber, Propanediol, Niacinamide, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Stearyl Alcohol, C14-22 Alcohols, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark (Maritime Pine) Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Glycerin, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleacea Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Extract, Aristotelia Chilensisui Fruit Extract, Aronia Arbutifolia/Aronia Melanocarpa (Chokeberry) Fruit Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

The formula is rich in antioxidants and botanical ingredients from various plant and berry extracts that help to fight free radical damage. Niacimide, also known as Vitamin B, is a high up in the ingredient list and well known for its effectiveness in anti-ageing and brightening skin tone. Beta-glucan, a polysaccharide sugar from oats or yeast is a skin soothing agent and improvess the look of sensitive skin. As I suffer from redness and acne scaring (PIH), all these ingredients make me very pleased. Antioxidants and niacimide is just what I've wanted for my morning routine. According to COSDNA the other bulk of the ingredients are mainly moisturisers (such as plant oils) and and emollient ingredients. The formulation is perfume free but has a very light citrus scent to it, probably from the Citrus Aurantifolia Oil.

Results

Despite being a light lotion texture, I feel the Revitalizing Day Cream brings instant hydration and plumpness to my dry skin. I haven't had any dry patches despite the weather changing for colder and I find the name "revitalizing" feels quite accurate. I tend to use a lot of essences and hydrating toners, but it's this cream in my routine that feels the most moisturising and effective - alone or sealing in all the previous skincare steps. I love it how my skin feels bouncy, plump and fresh without one bit greasy residue after applying. 

Final verdict

January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream delivers what it promises, the formulation being a beautiful marriage between nature and science. This day cream is the product I am looking forward to use the most every morning. I'm almost out of my gifted bottle and I will definitely purchase this again and again.

Have you tried anything from January Labs?

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This post contains product(s) that were generously provided for consideration. Regardless, my opinions are my own honest and unbiased views. The links are for your convenience and do not contain ads.