Nature Republic Ginseng Royal Silk
Do you ever look in a mirror and notice yourself getting older? 27 has me reckoning with some sad truths—that if I continue to eat whatever I want whenever I want it, it will wreak havoc on my body (I ate quite a bit of cheese for the first time in a stretch when we had Mexican for lunch this weekend and instantly my stomach bloated and my chin broke out), that if I don't quit my habit of picking at split ends and nervously playing with my hair, I may go bald (seriously, how can one lose so many hairs per day?), and that my skin is changing, is delicate, and is starting to age.
In desperate need of eye cream, I stopped by a Nature Republic at a subway station for my first foray into Korean skincare. When I asked for their best eye cream, the sales associate recommended the Royal Ginseng Silk line—for the price of the Watery Cream alone (under $60 USD), I received the Watery Cream, Eye Cream (with a refill), and a mini set including both creams as well as the line's toner, emulsion, and essence. I didn't need a face cream, but as the eye cream alone was comparable in price, I went for the value.
The line focuses on brightening and wrinkle improvement and contains ingredients such as red Ginseng extract and royal jelly with silk amino acids "that offer intense skin nourishment and moisture." The products smell and look gorgeous with flecks of gold. The packaging of the Watery Cream is particularly heavy and luxurious—it even comes with a matching spatula to scoop out product and keep things sanitary.
After several weeks of regular nightly use (of all the products in conjunction and sometimes just the face and eye creams), I can confirm the brightening claim. In fact, after the first night, I noticed more evenness in my skin tone under my eyes and around the dark or discolored areas of my face. My skin is also nourished and moisturized (and quite glowy) in the mornings, though the products never seem to sink in, leaving a slightly tacky layer on top of my skin. Because of this, the scent also lingers, which I don't mind as I enjoy it. Wrinkle improvement is yet to be seen, though I'll give it several months before coming to any conclusions.
Do I look forward to using these the way I look forward to using my Aesop products? No. And that's partly due to how high maintenance Korean skincare is. Sometimes, I enjoy the process and ritual of layering on products. Most times, though, and especially on weeknights, I prefer to quickly slap something on and be done with it.
Do I think these are effective? Yes, and definitely good value for money. Do I think there are skincare lines that use fewer products for similar, or even better, results? Probably, but I haven't found them yet. (This is the first time since I was a teenager that I've used a complete line rather than mix and match brands and products.)
Next on my list is innisfree, though I'd love any suggestions or recommendations!