A couple of months ago, I was whipped into a Cremorlab buying frenzy on my trip to Seoul. Right before I left, I was constantly reading raves of this seemingly hidden gem of a brand. Into the Gloss loved it (thrice). Michelle Phan adored it. The Coveteur advocated it. Glamour listed it as one of five sheet masks to try (the only recommendation under USD10). The brand also appeared in Marie Claire, Byrdie, Teen Vogue, and Huffington Post. So in my (weak) defence, it was perfectly reasonable to get excited about this emerging superstar brand.

By the time I landed, I was all fired up to clean their shelves out. And when I finally hunted them down (here’s where you can score some in Seoul), I bought at least one of every product (there was also a storewide sale on). Even for an impulsive bulk buyer like me, it was excessive considering the fact that I haven’t tried anything from the brand before. That was how sure I was that this brand was gonna be my Skin Soulmate.

In this mega long post:

  • Initial attraction
  • Honeymoon period
  • Review of Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Melting Cream
  • Review of Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Velvet Toner
  • Review of Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Water-full Serum
  • Disillusion and thoughts

THE INITIAL ATTRACTION

Unlike the 2374837 blogs out there who reviewed the new classic in hydration – yes, it is the official tagline and so many bloggers use that as their shill review title – it wasn’t the packaging that I loved. My optimism stemmed from their stellar ingredient list and skincare approach that included:

  1. TEN water. All Cremorlab products hero this magical water pumped from their own source in Geumjin 1,100 metres below sea level, containing 300 times the amount of minerals found in ‘normal’ thermal water in the golden ratio of 1:6:1 for optimum absorption. Apparently, the brand has exclusive rights to the hot springs there and is building a spa to be opened in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea.
  2. Small molecular size.They claim to deliver ultimate absorption rates by keeping their products’ particles smaller than pores.
  3. 6 free. All products free of parabens, artificial colouring, mineral oil, paba (sunscreen ingredient linked to cancer// Edit: sources here, here, and here), petrolatum and benzophenene (preservative).
  4. Various cool hero ingredients across different products: The Hydro Plus Snow Falls line I’m reviewing today features edelweiss extract (a potent antioxidant that soothes irritation), hyaluronic acid, marine collagen. and glycerine.

THE HONEYMOON PERIOD

Cremorlab-Hydro-Plus-Snow-Falls-Melting-Cream

When I returned from my trip, I was super excited to try my massive Cremorlab haul. Of these three, I briefly tried two – the cream moisturizer and serum – and fell in love with the light, fluffy texture that seemed to sink into my skin. Each Cremorlab range also seemed to have their own scent, and the Hydro Plus line has a clean, light floral fragrance.

The packaging quality is also top-notch; while being plastic, nothing feels cheap at all. Everything feels sturdy and well made in your hands, and looks amazing on the shelf. So without patch-testing (yes, I was that confident), I introduced the toner into my regime, then a week later, the melting cream before adding in the water-full serum two weeks after that.

CREMORLAB HYDRO PLUS SNOW FALLS MELTING CREAM REVIEW

Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Range Melting Cream Texture

Let’s start with the biggest disappointment, shall we?

Accessibility
I won’t drone on about how hard it was to track these down, but it isn’t easily found online either. Only PeachandLily has them (USD42), and I know that Cremorlab is also stocked in HK and Taiwan stores. On eBay you can find this ambitious seller from Taiwan listing it for USD62.

Packaging/Price
25ml for roughly KRW20,000 (USD17). I got these at Lohbs on a storewide anniversary discount. It comes in a pastel blue jar, which I love – the colour not the jar – and every part of it was indulgent. No sharp corners, fancy spatula, sturdy container. A slightly smaller size also means that it’s easier to travel with.

Fragrance
I know heavily fragranced stuff isn’t the best, but this has a muted floral scent that makes you think of lakes, lying on a bed of soft grass with a non-UVA/UVB sun shining on your face. It is probably the best part about the product. Fragrance is listed as the 12th ingredient for this product on PeachandLily.

Ingredients
Other than their TEN water, the star ingredients listed are all the way at the bottom while potential triggers are at the top – including alcohol.

Water, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Isopropyl Myristate, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Potassium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Fragrance (Parfum), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Iris Versicolor Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Flower/Leaf Extract, Rose Extract, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Freesia Refracta Extract, Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus (Daffodil) Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrolyzed Collagen

(Key: Red = Ingredients with a 2 or more acne/irritant rating on CosDNA,
Green = Hero ingredients/extracts that are supposed to be beneficial but may not be listed on CosDNA) 

Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Range Melting Cream Swatch

Texture/Application
This product might be the reason why the entire range is named Snow Falls. It’s ultra fluffy, dainty texture mimics that of real snow; light as a feather and melts upon landing within the heat of your palm. It is so dreamy, and might stand on the other end of the spectrum of Skincaretainment – the side that makes you sigh in pure contentment and drift off to unicornland. If you’ve ever used Hazeline Snow, it feels like a pumped up, more luxe and expensive version of it.

Experience
The first few times I used this, I was so infatuated with the souffle texture and how it would just melt on my skin. I use the spatula to get a small dollop on my palms, rub them together to warm it up, and press it onto my face. it is a truly decadent step in my skincare regime, best before bedtime, and the experience can be compared it to the La Mer.

However, just like the La Mer, it did nothing for me. Or rather, my skin type. After that fancy melting-and-rubbing massage, the cream just sits on my face, waiting to be given cuddles without kisses in return. It just sits there. Like a very pretty and nice-smelling Vaseline. If I use it in the day, I dread seeing my face when I get to the office because in the hour I take to get there, my makeup would have started sliding off, even with my hardcore MUFE primer. While the greasiness I get with this is nothing compared to the Su:m37 Miracle Finisher, it has still been reneged to the back of my products. Where it sits, waiting for the phone to ring.

Pros

  • Melty snow texture
  • Pretty on your shelf
  • Makes you feel like Queen Hera
  • Fragrance

Cons

  • Stupid jar packaging, ain’t nobody got time for spatulas
  • Makes makeup melt
  • Doesn’t absorb

Repurchase? Hell to the no. I’ve given this two weeks – because unlike serums and ampoules and essences, moisturizers work on a ‘top-down level’ and I usually decide if I like it or hate it within a week or less. It’s supposed to seal all that awesome shit from before it in, so if it doesn’t seal, doesn’t absorb, doesn’t hydrate, well, you don’t need a full skin cycle of 28 days to see that. Unfortunately I bought two of this in my schoolgirl romance enthusiasm, so now I have one to give away. Probably my mom, because I wanna see how it works on matured skin. Maybe she’ll love it?

Bonus: I recently got a skin analyzer that reads your moisture, oil, and softness levels, and while I’m still in the process of trying to work it out (the manual is fully in Japanese), I tested the Cremorlab Melting Cream with the Mizon All-In-One Snail Cream just for reference.

Cremorlab Melting Cream Reading

Before: Moisture -1, Oiliness 4 (fuck genetics), Softness 1
Cremorlab Melting Cream: Moisture 3, Oiliness 4, Softness 3
Mizon AIO Snail Cream: Moisture 4, Oiliness 2 (??), Softness 4

Not sure what my thoughts on this are, seeing that a) Cremorlab claims 72h of top-notch hydration after application and b) Mizon AIO Snail cream ain’t the most hydrating moisturizer around and it STILL beat Cremorlab.

CREMORLAB HYDRO PLUS SNOW FALLS VELVET TONER REVIEW

Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Range Velvet Toner Front Shot

Accessibility
Same as above.

Packaging/Price
150ml for KRW15,000 (USD13). Retails for AUD40 here, or if you’re in Singapore it is on sale for SGD37 here now. The packaging isn’t that interesting to me, but it is still well designed. The body is slim and plastic, but doesn’t feel cheap as well. It has a small opening that dispenses the toner in drops when you shake it, so there’s no product wastage.

Fragrance
Same fragrance as above, but stronger.

Ingredients
No red flags in this – at least according to CosDNA. The star ingredients are also a lot higher on the list than the cream.

Water, Sodium Lactate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Styrene/VP Copolymer, Octyldodeceth-16, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance(Parfum), Butylene Glycol, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Iris Versicolor Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Flower/Leaf Extract, Rose Extract, Freesia Refracta Extract, Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus (Daffodil) Flower, Extract, Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract

Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Range Velvet Toner Swatch

Texture/Application
This is a hydrating toner, and it is very watery, slightly whitish with a lot of slip. I pat this on my face instead of swiping with a cotton pad like I do with the pH-adjusting Mizon AHA/BHA Daily Clean toner.

Experience
I am so lost on this. Two weeks after slapping this around, I still have no idea what it’s supposed to do. It feels nice, sinks into my skin after about 15 seconds, but it doesn’t seem to brighten or hydrate my skin much. Since its biggest selling point was adding moisture and softening skin, I gave up after the lack of results because it had replaced my Missha First Treatment Essence and I was getting annoyed. Needed my brightness back. Also, it is more heavily fragranced than the cream and I was just a little icky about that.

Pros

  • Pretty on your shelf, maybe
  • Medium absorption speed

Cons

  • Does not do what it’s supposed to

Repurchase?

Nope. Nope nopitty nope. Might use it to tone my back, if just to finish it.

CREMORLAB HYDRO PLUS SNOW FALLS WATER-FULL SERUM REVIEW

Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Range Serum Shot

Accessibility
Same as above.

Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Range Serum Pump Bottle

Packaging/Price
30ml for KRW28,000 (USD24). I adore the packaging on this, even though for its size it is not the cheapest thing around. The plastic body on this is a sleek matte pastel plastic, but it feels very nice and solid in your hands. And everyone loves pump bottles! Retails for USD48 on PeachandLily.

Fragrance
Same as above, but not as discernible.

Ingredients
Gah, what a shitty wormhole this is. An essay list of ingredients, with 5 potential trigger/irritants.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Alcohol Denat., C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Beeswax, Steareth-20, Stearic Acid, Ceteth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Arginine, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Iris Versicolor Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Flower/Leaf Extract, Rose Extract, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Freesia Refracta Extract. Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus (Daffodil) Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol

Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Range Serum Swatch 2

Application
The consistency of this serum is closer to that of Western skincare than Asian, though it’s still very lightweight for its ‘class’. Upon contact with my skin, it starts to melt (as you can see in the pic) and is easily absorbed.

Experience
As it is with the toner, this looks great, smells okay, and applies just like it’s supposed to. But it just doesn’t work. For all the trumpeting of ingredients, this doesn’t hydrate me much or soften my skin in the few weeks that I’ve tried. It also leaves behind a slightly sticky and shiny finish, which I cannot stand. And when all the other stuff in my regime has a defined purpose, the bar is obviously raised on the newbies that I introduce to the gang. This serum does not meet that bar. In the picture below, the right half of my wrist is freshly applied with the serum, while the left is bare.

Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Range Serum Results

Pros

  • Melty and easy to apply
  • Fast absorption speed
  • Great packaging

Cons

  • Does not do anything
  • Sticky and shiny finish
  • Not easy to find

Repurchase?
Uh. I don’t think so.

DISILLUSION AND THOUGHTS

I have a lot of Cremorlab stuff left to try, so even if I’m very hesitant about doing it,  I still want to give certain items like the Smooth Pudding cream a second chance. Maybe the Hydro Plus line or even the Cremorlab brand is more suited for dry/mature skin and I was just trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. But after such a huge disappointment, I find myself more cautious of new brands I hear about no matter how miraculous they seem to be or how much love they’re currently getting. I especially have a new found distrust for Western media when they introduce Asian products, since the main information source they seem to rely upon are the usual US webstores hawking their stuff. So while it’s been a painful (and kinda pricey) lesson, I am a lot more prudent with my hauls now – which is good, right?

All products have been purchased with my own money and opinions here are 100% my own.

19 COMMENTS

  1. THANK YOU FOR THESE REVIEWS!!! After your comments on the masks, I’ve been waiting for reviews for these Cremorlab items before jumping on buying anything from the brand, so you’ve effectively saved me a boatload of money! It does make me wonder about the rave reviews… I wonder if the folks at The Coveteur, Into the Gloss, etc even used these products for any length of time or maybe they’re just unaware of lower-cost, better performing Asian products (i.e. the Mizon AIO)?

    • You’re very welcome! Sorry they took so long, I really wanted to like them and so I kept trying to justify why they didn’t work with different reasons before finally giving up. I have the same thoughts too on the mag folks, because I used to work at a mag and the time we usually have to test products span days, not weeks… (oh the ugly truth behind the gloss). Plus maybe, most of their AB exposure comes from these press releases, which means that they probably haven’t had the chance to compare them to the AB cult faves like the AIO sadly.

      • Great detailed review. I figured Western media is only getting whatever, say, Peach & Lily and Sokoglam send to them and talk up. And the luxe packaging doesn’t hurt, but ultimately results matter. Your description of the cream sort of makes me want to try it though (I have dry skin). –Angela

  2. Thank you for such detailed reviews. It can be SO hard once you’ve been hyped for a product to actually be honest with yourself when it just does not perform (or maybe that’s just me?)… Either way, it’s appreciated 🙂

  3. Thanks for the review! I haven’t tried this range of products from CremorLab and I wasn’t planning to, but it was great reading this review and I have the same skin type as you and I live in Singapore as well, so it’s great to know that this range probably doesn’t live up to what it promises. I actually do really like their T.E.N. Fresh Water Gel, T.E.N. Aqua Essence Water Fluid and T.E.N. Enriched Moisture cream! I am now though, a little hesitant to try out other products of CremorLab’s like their hand cream, body lotion and face wash. One thing I would love to try from CremorLab would be their T.E.N. Mineral Essence Treatment and the Blemish Minus Herb Tea Calming Mask, which even you said was good. I guess I’ll be able to save some of the money I’m planning to splurge on CremorLab and use it to buy other skincare products or otherwise I’ll just use it to buy delicious food while I’m in Seoul 😀

    • Oh hello fellow Singaporean!!!! I’ve heard good things about the fresh water gel, so I might try that out next. I think the stores in Seoul don’t really stock their body lotion etc, other than face stuff it’s sunblocks and mists. The Mineral Essence didn’t do much for me though, but do stock up on the masks!!!!

  4. Hi! Do try it out! It worked for me so hopefully it’ll work for you as well. Oh well I guess that’s good too because I’m trying to cut down on what I need to buy hahaha. I’m praying, praying and praying that it’ll work on me because I heard so much good things about it. And yes I will stock up on the masks!!!

  5. So excited to have stumbled across this post and your blog! I agree with you on Western media, especially in terms of kbeauty. We’re pretty much at the hands of reviews/media/retailers while navigating products. I mean… this post is more informative than anything else I’ve found outside of Peach and Lily (safe to say you’re officially bookmarked).

    I have a handful of products from Cremorlab and Mizon. While I enjoy them I’m not blown away, and their individual reviews are quite high. I’ve just recently began dabbling in Korean skincare and I’m obsessed with how flawless, bright, and dewy everything makes me look!

    Now I’m going to hunt for a post about the little Japanese gadget you have!!

    • Thanks for your kind words! I can get very critical (some say a little bitchy…) when it comes to beauty products, and I’m glad my honest thoughts are of use to you. Other than the sheet masks, Cremorlab is now on my blacklist unfortunately, but I quite enjoy Mizon’s AIO snail ampoule. What Korean products have you been trying?

  6. I LOVE Leaders! Their sheet masks are amazing already, but the coconut bio masks are even more so. A few weeks back some site was having a sale and the coconut ones cost the same as the sheets so I hauled a whole bunch ^^ Usually they cost 2-3x more!

  7. Hi,
    I recently bought a tub of the Snow Falls melting cream on my recent trip to Seoul. I have dry skin and is prone to flake and dry out very quickly and when I’m tired or stressed it gets very sensitive. Like you it was very hard to find a stockist, and to be honest, my family who live there had no idea about the brand. They had never heard of it….and with loads of female cousins it’s difficult to miss a trend.
    However, after trolling the net for it my cousin came up with the goods. We ordered one on line from Gmart. Two days later I had the pot of gold in my hands and I started using it ASAP, that was four weeks ago and I can’t get enough of it!
    Since I started using it my skin has not had time to dry out…even on a 10 hour flight back to Sydney, which usually is the worse thing I can do to my skin. Even my mum noticed the difference on the plane when she felt how soft and supple my skin was.
    As I read your review I took note on how you applied the cream. I think that is where it went down hill for you. Instead of rubbing it into your palms and then pressing it onto your face, apply a small amount with the spatula directly onto your cheek, lightly spread it over the cheek once and then pat the area until it has been absorbed. This method works for me. No make up slip offs or an oily residue.

    If you still have it somewhere in your back beauty cabinet, I’d say, give it another go!

    • Hi! Great for you, I’m really happy this sexy brand worked out for someone. But I seriously doubt application is the reason because I’ve tried patting till it fully absorbed as well. I’ve even tried using it as a body lotion. As you mentioned, your skin type is dry, which fits the richness of the products Cremorlab seem to slant towards perfectly. Mine is dehydrated oily, with some dry patches which is why it worked like butter on oil slick for me unfortunately.

  8. Hi Mavis! So sorry to hear about your less than perfect encounter with Cremorlab. But maybe you should give the basic range a go. My skin is just like yours, dehydrated oily. So I guess the Snow Falls range would make our skin more oily since basic stats that i’ve read said it better suits dry skin. But I have been using almost the entire range (cleansing gel oil, foaming cleanser, essence tonic, mineral treatment essence & fresh water gel) for the past month and it has been a blessing. Skin’s oiliness actually reduced! Not a fan of the sheen it leaves on my face but at least I’m not blotting nor collecting oil to fry eggs anymore. Watsons in Malaysia (those that I’ve been to) carry the basic range. I’m a late bloomer when it comes to skincare and just found out about Cremorlab last month. Now if only I can get my hands on its eye cream, sunscreen & its latest Eau Thermale Serum Cushion.

    • Hi! Glad to hear that Cremorlab is working out for you. What were you using prior to this? I’ve only reviewed the Snow Falls range, but I’ve also tried the mineral treatment essence as well as the pudding cream.

Leave a Reply