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Breaking Down K-Beauty: Taeyeon's Favorite Face Cream

By Rachelle D. | January 10, 2016 02:24 PM EST

If you've been near K-pop idol Instagram latey, you've probably seen one of your favorite stars hawking Nature Republic's heralded Ginseng Royal Silk Watery Cream.

(Photo : Instagram)

Listen to its devotees long enough and you'll be convinced this is a miracle cream. It supposedly eliminates fine lines and minimizes wrinkles, moisturizes, improves skin elasticity, and whitens (which, in Korean beauty parlance, means more 'gets skin glowy and bright' rather than the more gross implication of actually whitening skin.) What's more, it allegedly does this without using ingredients that cause breakouts or are harmful to the environment.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Let's break down the claims a little and see if this is a product that is worth investing in.

First, let's look at some of the ingredients. Goryeo Red Ginseng is one of the main ones. This funny-shaped root has been a staple in Eastern medicine for centuries, mainly because of its ability to adapt to different ailments and environmental stresses and rebuild itself from within. That rejuvenation ability is part of what makes ginseng a popular skincare ingredient. It reportedly improves blood circulation, which assists skin in producing collagen and receive all the nutrients it needs to look lively, young, and tight. It can also help skin issues like minor acne, rosacea, and psoriasis, leading to the appearance of a more overall bright and even skin tone.

Next up is royal jelly. It's called royal because it comes straight from the queen - the queen bee. The science behind using this for skincare and dietary hasn't been totally proven, but the honey bee secretion that helps transform queen larvae into the queen of the hive is found in several high-end beauty products. Advocates love it first for the fact that it's more than half water, making this naturally moisturizing. The rest of it is chock full of proteins including amino acids and vitamins which are believed to help reduce redness and the appearance of wrinkles, as well as help firm up skin.

(Photo : Instagram)

Silk amino acids are another product found in several beauty products, from hair to soap to moisturizers. As the name suggests, this product from the silkworm helps skin stay super moisturized and, well, silky smooth.

People familiar with luxury beauty goods might recognize this next product: pure gold. The use of gold for skin care dates way back - Cleopatra reportedly was one of its big fans. It's also relatively popular among some of the more affordable Korean products, especially in mask sheets. As you might imagine, gold is said to make skin lustrous, as well as preventing or minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.

All in all, the ingredients in Nature Republic's cream are trying to do two things: help you look younger and help your skin stay soft and moisturized. So, does it work? The general consensus from a lot of beauty reviewers and bloggers is: well, maybe!

Let's break down their reviews a little:

PROS:

Gold: Little flecks of gold make this a good looking cream.

Packaging: A universal love of this product is its packaging. Nature Republic does a great job of making this square, crystal jar feel mysterious and luxurious.

Silkiness: If you have dry skin, this cream really does live up to its moisture claims, and maintains a good oil/moisture balance.

(Photo : Instagram)

CONS:

Feeling: Some reviewers said this didn't quite live up to the "watery" name and felt a little more gel-like and tacky. Many feel it was better for bedtime and not so great when you want to put on makeup over it.

Scent: Many reviewers have reported a strong, perfume-like smell once this cream hits the skin, one so strong that scent-sensitive people might be averse.

Long-Lasting Qualities: The cream does help make skin appear more firm and moisturized immediately, but most reviewers report they didn't notice a change in their skin (as far as fine line, wrinkle, or uneven skintones) even after weeks of use.

 

HOT TAKE:

This is a pretty cream in beautiful packaging, and might help with dry sin, but might be a little tacky on the skin and doesn't help diminish wrinkles or skin problems.

Got another opinion? Let us know in the comments.

Tagged :  beauty, Korean Beauty, 4minute, Taeyeon

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