Finding the perfect moisturiser is a colossal pain in the butt. There, I’ve said it. For someone who jumps at the chance to slather new and (usually) weird stuff on her face, moisturisers are the least exciting of all other products, especially when you consider how big a role it plays in every woman’s regime.
The rollercoaster ride of trying out new essences/cleansers/serums goes like this: Fancy ingredients! Cool dispensers! Amazing smell! I have to slap it on and count to 30 while squatting? Sure! That was fun!
The novelty of a new moisturiser: Wow, active ingredients! Nice packaging! I have to try this out now! *opens jar* Eh, interesting smell. Interesting…. *Tries product on patch test area* Okay. Umm, are we done? *slithers back to Game of Thrones*
The thing is, we require so many things from our moisturisers that all that fun and innovating bits have been taken out to make way for efficiency. Hey, efficiency is GOOD. It’s just not very exciting when you trying out your 5th jar of meh-ish white cream/lotion/gel. If all the boring moisturisers in the world worked perfectly, throwing out new textures and cool packaging would have been worth it. Unfortunately, since you’re reading this and I’m writing this, that’s obviously not the case.
So while the hunt for a Holy Grail moisturiser is eternal for every woman, I’ve been especially aggressive in looking for one this year. My regime has expanded to include four to five hydrating steps before my final sealing moisturiser, which is why it’s crucial that I find a really good one that culminates all that effort before it. Stress and travelling to foreign climates have also taken a toll on my skin, which sometimes interfere with testing periods and results.
In this post:
- My moisturiser checklist
- Initial experience
- About the brand and Dynasty Cream
- Ingredients rundown
- Review and final thoughts
MY MOISTURISER CHECKLIST
In a nutshell, my HG moisturiser would moisturise without triggering a tantrum from my skin. Active ingredients would be great, but what I really need is something that won’t make my oily skin oilier, but instead pack a punch of hydration into my dehydrated skin and keep it there, all without breaking me out. It also has to absorb fairly quickly, not sting, itch, or leave me supernaturally reflective. Simple, yes?
INITIAL BEAUTY OF JOSEON DYNASTY CREAM EXPERIENCE
This is actually my second time trying the Dynasty Cream. When I first got it in early September, I gave it a week of day and night use before trying something else. For some reason, I couldn’t decide if I like it or not because while I needed an occlusive (and these tend to be on the heavier side), this felt like it was suffocating my skin. It was also quite perfumed and in a scent I didn’t really like. Some people said that it was a herbal scent, while the original review from Cat (that tempted me into getting this) described it as a “flower-bottomed yogurt”. To me, it smelled like artificial green tea, which is one of my biggest fragrance no-nos in beauty products.
In a nutshell, it didn’t wow me and I moved on.
ABOUT THE BRAND AND DYNASTY CREAM
From what I’ve seen, this is one of the up-and-coming products from South Korea that is about to hit the big time. Manufactured by a company called Crowley Large Factory, it has remained largely hidden until some of the more adventurous bloggers tried it. If you’ve tried Googling it, you get quite a bit of random results because of its name, since Joseon Dynasty refers to an actual historical reign that lasted for about five centuries. The elaborate headpieces and royal costumes you see on Kdramas? Yeah, all that came from the Joseon period where hangul was invented.
The Dynasty cream itself is gaining a lot of traction now, especially with hanbang-loving bloggers who focus a lot on the ingredients and processes that go into the products they use. Personally, I’m not that big on these Oriental medicine-y products or brands like Sulwhasoo and Whoo because they tend to smell very herbal or of ginseng, which I hate. But I do love the fermentation process that feature so heavily in these brands because of the boost and benefits it gives to existing ingredients. Like Whamisa…. but that’s a love affair for another post.
The company or brand doesn’t really have an online presence, and lazy retailers or sellers only put hangul-filled images of the details up so it’s incredibly difficult to get the official information in English. Cat has the hardcore, native-translated version if you need that, but here’s my simplified version of what’s good (and bad) in the Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream.
Niacinamide: A superstar ingredient featured in most of the top asian beauty favourites like the Missha First Treatment Essence and almost all CosRX stuff products. Also known as vitamin B3, this cell-communicator helps with your skin’s moisture barrier, increase ceramide and fatty acid levels in skin. Helps reduce PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) marks and scars too. SUPERSTAR, I SAY.
Sodium Hyaluronate: Solid form of hyaluronic acid, a skin-identical humectant that attracts moisture to your skin.
Human Oligopeptide-1: A synthetic EGF (epidermal growth factor). This is controversial but apparently the biggest thing in the Japan beauty scene right now. Also too complex to explain in two lines; it needs a full post by itself with more research etc.
Ceramide 3: Ceramides are lipids naturally found in all four layers of your skin and they form part of your skin’s barrier. They retain water, repair skin, and regulate cells.
Other yummy ingredients: Sea buckthorn oil, argan oil, shea butter, marigold flower, rice bran, radish leaf, bitter gourd, orchid, honey, ginseng, and safflower.
The (Possibly) Bad
Stearyl and Cetearyl Alcohol: Fatty alcohol, 2/5 on acne and irritant.
Glyceryl Stearate SE: Emulsifier, 3/5 on acne and 2/5 irritant.
Olive Oil: Emollient, 2/5 on acne.
Stearic Acid: Emulsifier, 2/5 on acne.
REVIEW AND FINAL THOUGHTS
After I came back from Melbourne with ravaged skin and got sick of that goat placenta cream – it just smelled questionable – I decided to give the cream another go. It was rich, and my poor skin was badly in need of some TLC. And I’m so damn glad I gave this a second chance.
When I first got this, the only way you can skip using Avecko (the Korean buying service) was eBay, though I understand it’s much easier now.
Other than the mulberry traditional Korean paper cover on the lid, it is a pretty typical frosted glass jar. Sturdy, and I like how it feels expensive and luxe like something from SK-II. It is a healthy 50ml, which is great for travel, and last ages because you only use a little each time.
This is the strangest thing since Mizon AIO snail cream. The texture is similar to it, despite not having any snail mucin in it. I really wished I had photographed this better, because every time I use this I get amazed all over again. This video of a Korean chick describing it as ‘chewy’ is probably the best illustration of this Skincaretainment texture.
I love it. I don’t know why or how, but my skin seemed to need a lot more care these days and this does the job. I find that when I use it more sparingly, it sinks into my skin quickly and doesn’t linger on the surface with that ‘suffocating’ sensation. I use this both day and night now, and in the day it plays well with all my makeup and sunscreen, and my skin only starts to grease up at about 4PM. At night, I use this after my nightly sheet mask and essences, and wake up to marshmallow soft and velvety smooth skin. It is quite unbelievable.
And you’d think that something so rich and nourishing would make acne-prone skin break out right? I thought so too, but I don’t have crazy congestion (black/whiteheads), and new spots are very obviously hormonal. I don’t usually go for whitening (hate that word) products, but using this has been great at lightening old scars and marks. My eczema patches have also quietened down.
With the Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream, I can finally stop looking and trying boring moisturisers. Whamisa essences and Tosowoong ampoules, here I come!!