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For most of 2021, my skin had fared pretty well. Although far from flawless, it was largely free of serious irritations this year, and even my rosacea abated somewhat. The arrival of dry winter weather, however, brought upheaval. Despite attempts to switch up my skin care routine with richer moisturizers promising multiple benefits, my skin became constantly dehydrated. My facial redness and irritations also returned in full force, no doubt due to continued mask-wearing, increased alcohol consumption and the infrequent cleansing of my makeup tools including my one makeup puff. Although an S.O.S. mission anchored in Mediheal’s trusty Tea Tree Care Solution Essential Mask brought significant soothing benefits, my skin is still far from healthy-looking and it’s less glowy than usual.
Feeling frustrated, I decided to stop experimenting with rich ingredients and go back to the basics with simple products designed primarily to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin. HANJO COLLECTION, a Korean skin care and makeup brand offering fuss-free formulas packed with naturally derived goodness, promised exactly that. Its product range is infused with proven skin-soothers like cica, tea tree and witch hazel. I was optimistic about the brand’s ability to give my skin the chance to reset − hopefully in time for the holidays. What’s more, I was drawn to HANJO COLLECTION’s refreshingly minimalist packaging, which extends to its bestselling Daily Intensive Eyelash Serum and its signature Cost-Effective Repair Mask, both of which come in simple, predominantly black and white packaging.
For a duration of two weeks, I sampled HANJO COLLECTION’s Clean, Dual-Phase Lip & Eye Remover, Truly Moist Repair Toner and The Basic All Day That Cream, occasionally in conjunction with Dear, Klairs’s Rich Moist Soothing Serum. Read on to see whether this pared-down skin care routine delivered in terms of hydration and skin-soothing!
In a nutshell: An ultra-gentle yet powerful makeup remover in a double-layered oil-water formulation, this product effectively rids skin of all makeup including the waterproof kind. Infused with witch hazel for a soothing and hydrating touch, peptides to improve skin elasticity and rice bran water to brighten the delicate eye area, this formula improves skin health.
Why I loved it: The oil-water formula easily got rid of stubborn makeup traces on my face with a few simple wipes. While I’ve sampled more moisturizing makeup removers before, this version from HANJO COLLECTION hit the sweet spot between getting the job done and keeping skin hydrated and protected. Even removing waterproof mascara and ultra-pigmented lip tints required minimal tugging at skin! Gratifyingly, the product left no oily sheen on my face.
Reservations: While there’s plenty to recommend about this makeup remover, I usually prefer using all-purpose cleansing oils for my first cleanse rather than adding a dedicated makeup remover to my routine. I’m also not sure my skin is any firmer or more lustrous after starting this routine. That said, the Clean, Dual-Phase Lip & Eye Remover is still a solid offering combining efficacy with a gentle touch.
In a nutshell: Packed with K-Beauty faves such as purslane, cica and prickly pear extracts as well as Damask rose water and camellia seed oil, this toner provides an instant hit of hydration while soothing skin long-term. Purslane extract, in particular, is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging properties, which help to reduce facial redness while repairing damaged skin. Although primarily a hydrating toner, the formula includes anti-aging agents such as adenosine and the brand’s unique peptide complex, which work together to firm skin and soften wrinkles. The product is formulated free of alcohol, and it’s completely scentless.
Why I loved it: The toner got rid of every last bit of grime on my face while giving it an immediate hydrating boost. Given my skin’s fledging state, I wasn’t expecting a bright, dewy finish, so I was pleasantly surprised by my skin’s plumped-up look after patting on the solution. Although the results were not long-term, the effects were still positive signs.
After two weeks of usage in conjunction with The Basic All Day That Cream, I’ve noticed that my skin is visibly if not dramatically less irritated, with the worst of my red patches gradually fading. Products stung less when applied onto skin. No doubt, it was the right decision to switch from a brightening toner to a calming one. My positive experience with the Truly Moist Repair Toner has also piqued my interest in HANJO COLLECTION’s two other soothing toners: the 5 Seconds Clean Toner and After Clean Boosting Toner.
Reservations: While using the toner was a refreshing experience for my skin, its hydrating powers fell short of game-changing. It was also difficult to test out the toner’s anti-aging and skin-repairing properties given my short-term use of this product. That said, toners aren’t supposed to do the heavy lifting in any skin care regimen, so I shouldn’t complain!
In a nutshell: This cream’s ingredient list sounds like a dream for dehydrated skin. Packed with skin care heroes such as centella asiatica extract (60.8%), hyaluronic acid and trehalose, it offers intense hydration on top of skin-strengthening and skin-soothing benefits, and it’s my preferred choice over the brand’s other day moisturizer, the Mela Toning Brightening Cream. The Basic All Day That Cream contains vitamins to further protect skin from external aggressors, keeping it resilient against dryness and pollution. Like the toner, this cream is completely scentless – a plus for sensitive skin like mine!
Why I loved it: The cream comes in one of the richest, creamiest textures I’ve ever encountered amongst daytime moisturizers. Amazingly, instead of leaving a greasy residue and clogging my pores, the cream absorbed swiftly to leave my skin looking softer and feeling way less tight. I generally prefer rich textures for my creams, so I’m thrilled that HANJO COLLECTION has come up with a formula that supplies all the nourishment without the stickiness. I’ve occasionally used it together with a soothing serum, and even then it leaves a refreshing after-feel.
My skin is still some way off from optimal health, with redness and roughness particularly concerning issues, but overall it seems to be on the mend. I attribute this to the superb hydrating powers of The Basic All Day That Cream, which is a notch above many moisturizers I’ve sampled before. Although it’s too early to test out its barrier repairing properties in full, my skin clearly became much less aggravated throughout the two-week trial, as well as slightly suppler. Encouraged by the results, I’ve even used this cream for body care and hand care purposes to satisfying results.
Reservations: None! Using this cream was a complete joy. I only wish it came jumbo-sized so it’ll last longer.
My Final Verdict:
Simple, effective and formulated to be suitable for any skin type, the HANJO COLLECTION products in this skin care routine offered serious benefits in rescuing my aggravated skin. My favorite product out of the selection is The Basic All Day That Cream, which is perfect as a heavy-duty winter moisturizer for hypersensitive skin. True to its product name, this cream can be used “all day”! I’m ambivalent as to whether I’ll stick exclusively to the Truly Moist Repair Toner, but given its soothing and refreshing nature, I’ll probably incorporate it into my vanity for occasional use. As for the Clean, Dual-Phase Lip & Eye Remover, this high-performance product offers both effective cleansing and soothing care − giving the best K-Beauty makeup removers in the market a run for their money.
Having sampled my fair share of HANJO COLLECTION’s skin care products, I’m now eager to try the brand’s cult-fave makeup products, including the Snail-M Cover BB Triple Perfection and Daily Intensive Eyelash Serum. If my positive experiences with this trio are anything to go by, there will soon be new additions to my makeup pouch!
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