February Skincare Testing Review ~ Graymelin, Sidmool, Primera, It’s Skin

For the month of February, I wanted to test out some skin care products that were hydrating and moisturizing, as this time of year in the Northeast, tends to be cold, dry with harsh winds ~ our average is between 24 and 39 degrees F, not including wind chill factor.  Even though this year wasn’t as cold as past years and in some cases, spiked upwards to 50+ degrees(!!),  the average was 26 to 44 degrees F.   In one week, the temps here went from 12 degrees to 60 degrees. This was a crazy month!

I choose the following products for my skin care routine

  • Graymelin Bifida 100% Fermentation Solution
  • Sidmool Secret of Red Astaxanthin 98.7% Concentrate
  • Primera Pure Hydrating Ampoule
  • It’s Skin  Jeju Wild Ginseng Cream

My Daytime Skincare Routine

I have linked my reviews to my other skin care products that I have used.

Kikumasamune Skincare Lotion  –>  Graymelin Bifida 100% Fermentation Solution  –>  Zymogen Houttuynia Cordata Ferment Serum (T-Zone)  –>    Sidmool Secret of Red Astaxanthin 98.7% Concentrate  ->  Primera Pure Hydrating Ampoule  –>  Sisley Paris Sisleÿa L’Intégral Anti-Âge Cream   –>   Melano CC Essence with Vitamin C & E   (spot treatment only)       Skinfood Black Raspberry Eye Cream

I will have a full review to Sisley Paris Sisleÿa L’Intégral Anti-Âge Cream in a month or so, but I did link it to an initial impressions review.

My Nighttime Skincare Routine 

Kikumasamune Skincare Lotion –>  Graymelin Bifida 100% Fermentation Solution –>  Sidmool Secret of Red Astaxanthin 98.7% Concentrate  –>  Primera Pure Hydrating Ampoule   –>  Kuramoto Komeyu Pure Rice Oil   –>   It’s Skin Jeju Wild Ginseng Cream   –>   Melano CC Essence with Vitamin C & E   (spot treatment only)   –>   Zymogen AC Dr Houttuynia Cordata Ferment Cream   (spot treatment only)        Skinfood Black Raspberry Eye Cream

I am currently testing Kuramoto Komeyu Pure Rice Oil and will write a review on that in a month or so.

My skin type and concerns:  oily, aging, blemish prone, hyper-pigmentation issues, clogged pores, fine lines and wrinkles.  Skin oil/moisture readings were taken 3 minutes after product was fully absorbed.


Graymelin  Bifida 100% Fermentation Solution Hydration Nourishment  (S.Korea)  I have used Graymelin products before ~ Propolis 80% Ampoule and 100% Beta-Glucan Ampoule) and in fact, the Beta-Glucan product has earned HG status. I wanted to try more Graymelin products, so I took a look over at W2Beauty.com and saw this item.   What is Bifida?  Bifida is a probiotic and all I really know about bifida is that it is ingested to help increase oxygen supply to the skin, so it is interesting to see that it is now a skincare ingredient.   I had to find out more information on this and it looks like skin care companies are claiming that it works as a DNA repair agent when applied to your skin, although there is no study to prove those specific claims ~ however there is a study about it helping with skin sensitivity (study).  Bifida lysate is the fermented result of bifida and its benefits are reported as such (from Graymelin)

  • Skin improvement – Bifida lysate improves weak and rough skin to become healthier.
  • Brightening – Bifida lysate brightens skin tone by improving damaged skin.
  • Strengthening skin barrier – Bifida lysate tightens your skin while you sleep.
  • Moisturizing and nutrition supply – Makes skin moist and tight.
  • Skin relaxation – Bifida lysate improves weakened skin by UV rays and stress to be tight, right and moist by strengthening skin barrier.
  • Tightening – Bifida lysate permeates under the skin and tightens skin which is loosen without nutrition and moisture.
  • Nutrition – Bifida lysate relaxes stressed skin, improves damaged skin and prevents skin from being damaged. It makes skin smooth and bright by supplying nutrition and moisture.

It should help revitalize skin so it is clear and radiant, increase hydration and prevent dehydrated, rough skin.   It should also firm and restore elasticity to your skin while strengthening your skin barrier to help prevent damage from environmental factors.  Some famous skin care brands use bifida lysate as an ingredient, including  Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II ,  Lancôme Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Serum, The Faceshop Bifida 97.5% and Missha Night Repair Science Activator  and  can now be found in drug store type brands as well, such as  L’Oreal Paris Youth Code Skin Recharger

However, Graymelin is a bifida lysate “solution” with no other ingredient, so I was really interested in seeing how this worked.  Now, solution might mean it has some other ingredients in it, I do not know ~ but the ingredient listing states  Bifida Ferment Lysate as its only ingredient.  This is free from mineral oil, parabens, alcohol and fragrance. 


Once again, the vintage series from Graymelin has the worst packaging in terms of reading the description and instructions!  It is very old-timey looking, with the script, amber apothecary bottle with the eye dropper applicator.  BTW ~ the same issue with the Propolis 80 “crooked” applicator applies here too: The applicator also looks to be crooked in the photos but I can assure you that the lid is security tightened at this point. I think that is just the way the parts fit together and I have no problems with the contents of this product spilling out accidentally if the bottle tips over.  It is funny that the clear bottle of Beta-Glucan didn’t have this issue, but the two amber bottles from Graymelin did.   The following is from the sides of the box as is:

Description: 100% pure solution dissolved by Fermented bifidobacteria that restores elasticity, hydrates dry skin and purifies dull skin as well as provides plenty of moisture to revel hydrated and clear looking skin for all day long.  Before sleep, after washing face, apply proper amount to the skin and tap it to absorb into the skin well.  When it is your first time usage, applying small amount and gradually increase the amount. Apply daily both morning and night time, especially in the morning when using the make-up, tap your skin when applying it.   Hydration, Nourishment Bifida fermentation solution: One of beneficial bacteria existing in human digestive organ system that increase oxygen supply to the skin.  Provide vitality to the tired skin and help the skin tone revitalized to improve clarity. Help the skin breathe well to leave it comfortable whilst sleeping, boost hydration level and provide nourishment to prevent dehydration and rough skin. Ideal for dry or dull that needs extra help, this deeply nourishing and firming solution intensively hydrates whilst restoring elasticity and radiance.  Damage for some other and more luminous complexion.


Graymelin Bifida is a very watery liquid that is colorless and scentless.  There was no issues getting the proper amount in the eye dropper and I just place the liquid in my hands and then patted on my face.  This step comes after my toner and I view this product to be similar as a facial treatment essence (FTE), as it has similar skincare benefit claims as a FTE.   When I first apply this product to my skin, it looks like it would be sticky or greasy as my skin has a high sheen to it ~ but it does not, as it quickly absorbs into my skin. However, I felt like there was a film on my face after using it.

This was very hydrating ~ when I used my digital skin analyzer, my lipid percentage increased by 42% and my moisture percentage increased by 42%.  You can see that it is very balanced in the oil/water percentage increases.  As far as the other claims, I didn’t notice that much difference, but that said, I feel that FTE’s for the most part don’t really do much except help boost other products and are there to help supplement.  I think that if you are looking for an alternative FTE product that contains less ingredients, this might be one that could be of interest.   For me, I still love my Goodal Waterest Tone Up First Treatment (the original), but since I do not know how long that will be in production, I am looking around, feebly, in case I need a new substitute. 


Ingredient:  100% bifida fermentation lysate 

image source 
image source


Sidmool Secret of Red Astaxanthin 98.7% Concentrate  (S. Korea)   This product was purchased as part of my ongoing quest to find a product that will reduce my hyper-pigmentation sun damaged spots. I have used this ingredient before, in the horrible Chica Y Chico Astazet 4.0, which only contained 4% of asataxnthin.   This product  contains 98.7% of astxanthin, so I am hoping for better results.   Asataxnthin is an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory carotenoid, usually harvested from marine algae.   Its undiluted color is a deep red-salmon, which explains why this cream is a light yellow-orange shade.   Asataxnthin is supposed to be the latest new thing in antioxidants.   A clinical study performed at Creighton University displayed that asataxnthin destroys free radicals 6000 times better than Vitamin C, 800 times more than CoQ10, 550 times more than Vitamin E and Green Tea extracts, 75 times more than Alpha Lipoic Acid and 20 times more than beta carotene (source)  Other studies have shown that it can reduce melanin (which causes hyper-pigmentation) by about 40% and over time, will fade hyper-pigmentation.  (source)

So, in a quick summary, astaxanthin is derived from marine algae, is an anti-oxidant, will help smooth, moisturize, even out skin tone and brighten your skin tone.   Sidmool’s product has a handy pump applicator and I usually need 2 or 3 pumps to cover my face fully.   The product is orange ~ I put some on a cotton pad so you can see the color ~ this is its natural color, so don’t worry about it.

Sidmool Astaxanthin is liquidy but has weight ~ it is almost like an oil in its texture, with a nice slip to it.  It is also scentless as well.   I love how smooth it feels against my skin.  Even though the product is orange, it doesn’t stain your skin or go on orange ~ it absorbs into my skin within a few minutes without any tacky residue.

It is very hydrating ~ my average testing saw an increase of  52% in lipids and 52% in moisture.   As far as my hyper-pigmentation went, I didn’t see any results.  However, I have read some great reviews from people who stayed with this product for several months so I will continue to purchase it.  It is very affordable and the worst it does is increase my moisture levels!!  In fact, I just ordered another one from Amazon, as this one bottle lasted me about one month. 

Description: Astaxanthin is natural pigment of animals and plants, giving them red color. It’s in shells of prawns, crabs and lobsters, feathers of flamingos and in salmon’s muscles. Astaxanthin has ability of absorbing UV rays and it’s one of the strongest known antioxidants – it is estimated that astaxanthin can be up to six times more effective as an anti-oxidant than vitamin E and beta-caroten! Astaxanthin also accelerates skin renewal process, strengthens the protective function of the epidermis, prevents water loss from skin, stimulates production of collagen and elastin.  Applied topically can reduce melanin production by as much as 40%.  Sidmool’s concentrate is made of Astaxanthin in 98.7%.  Remaining 1.3% of the product is butylene glycol (solvent) and plant extracts: grapefruit extract (rich in vitamin C, brightening and purifying), eucalyptus and clove extracts (antibacterial), Sophora Angustifolia extract (inhibiting melanin production) and Yuzu fruit extract (skin brightening).

Ingredients: astaxanthin (98.7%), butylene glycol, glycerin, citrus paradisi (grapefruit) fruit extract, eucalyptus globulus leaf extract, eugenia caryophyllus (clove) flower extract, sophora flavescens root extract, citrus junos fruit extract, cellulose gum  cosDNA.com analysis


image source



Primera Pure Hydrating Ampoule  (S. Korea)  I do love my Primera products, so when I saw this set of 4 10 mL each ampoules, I decided to give them a try.  Primera is known for using sprouted botanicals in their products and this product has several:

  • Sequoia Sprout: This sprout is from the Sequoia tree, which are known for their longevity and are one of the oldest, largest living trees on earth.  Their sprouts are reported to regulate energy metabolism, boosts vitality and help deliver nutrients to your skin , according to Primera.  I cannot find anything except that as a supplement, it helps with the physical and psychological energy levels among the elderly. 
  • Wild Peach Bud sprout helps strengthen and improve your skins resilience as well as stimulating blood circulation, smoothing your skin, helping alleviate skin problems, such as blemishes.  Peach Bud is a natural astringent and will help with moisture-emollient balance in your skin with a matte effect.  They contain  vitamin C, which is an anti-oxidant and will help defend your skin from free radicals and infections.   Peach contain a vast number of flavonoids, vitamins and minerals, which will help remove dead skin cells, hydrate and brighten your skin.
  • Opuntia Coccinellifera (Prickly Pear) helps moisturize, soften, soothes and protect your skin against dryness and irritates caused by pollution.  Removes dead skin cells, revealing brighter, clearer skin.
  • Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) sprout contains a rich source of antioxidant, anthocyanin, which helps protect skin from external stress and heals skin.


image source


This is a hypoallergenic/dermatologist test product and is free from animal-originated ingredients, mineral oil, colorants, silicon, parabens and artificial fragrance.  For some reason, Primera made 4 separate ampoules at 10 mL each, instead of 1 40 mL ampoule.  Don’t ask me why ~ it seems to me that more product might be wasted as you cannot really break into the plastic tube to get the last drop of the product.  This has a handle pump applicator and I used about 2 pumps to cover my face.

This product is very similar in texture to cosRX Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence ~  it is very lubricating, has a rich weight for an ampoule and has a nice slick texture.  It is colorless and I cannot detect a scent with it either.   It absorbs very quickly into my skin and leaves no tacky or sticky residue.  How does it fair as a hydrating product?  My lipids readings increased by 27% and my moisture readings increased by 27%.  So, once again, I picked another highly hydrating and moisturizing product.    These also last a long time ~ I used 2 of the ampoules in the month of February so I still have 2 more left.

Ingredients: water, propanediol, glycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, sequoiadendron gigantea bud extract, opuntia coccinellifera fruit extract, prunus persica (peach) bud extract, vaccinium myrtillus bud extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, citrus unshiu peel extract, orchid extract, camellia japonica leaf extract, sodium polyacrylate, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, xanthan gum, potassium hydroxide, disodium EDTA  cosDNA.com analysis


image source
image source
image source
image source


It’s Skin Jeju Wild Ginseng Cream  (S. Korea)   I am a sucker for Jeju Island sourced ingredients and also for ginseng.  I had great luck with It’s Skin Jeju Wild Ginseng Bio Cellulose masks, so I thought I would give the cream a try.  Now, as this seemed a bit rich for my skin during the day, I used this as a night pack as the last step. 

  • Panax Ginseng is used in anti-aging skin care products, as it is can stimulate the skin and activate the blood flow, which will increase toning and production of new skin cells.  It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, due to natural carbohydrate called saponin, and will help reverse damage caused by free radicals, such as hyper-pigmentation and also combat free radicals to prevent new skin damage of fine lines and wrinkles.  Ginseng detoxes your skin and leaves it radiant and glowing.   Applied topically, it helps stimulate collagen production to promote cellular renewal.  Its herbal properties and usage dates back over 5,000 years.
  • Hzikia Fusiforme is a brown sea vegetable that grows wild along the rocky shores in Japan, Korea and China.  It is rich in minerals ~ calcium, iron, magnesium ~ and helps maintain healthy skin
  • Ecklonia Cava is a brown algae found in the oceans around Korea and Japan.  It contains a rich source of phloroglucinols, an antioxidant found in sea plants and is very potent
  • CodiumTomentosum  is a green seaweed that has antioxidant properties and is an emollient. It locks in moisture and helps repair the skin barrier
  • Gelidium Cartilagineum (Agar Agar) is a red algae that is full of minerals ~ calcium, copper, iron, magnesium ~ along with other nutrients.  One of the main benefits of seaweed is that it is an anti-inflammatory.
  •  Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) ~ This is a powerful antioxidant that acts as an anti-inflammatory, improves your skin elasticity, enhance the skin barrier function and also it helps to even out skin tone and reduce post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.


This also has some very rich oils ~ jojoba seed, argan kernal, açaí palm ~ to help keep your face very moisturized and protected.  The cream is fairly rich and it has a very pale pinkish-beige tint to it, but that color disappears once you apply the cream.   It does have a floral scent, not that heavy, but pretty generic.  I was disappointed that it didn’t have a ginseng scent.   This has a ton of acne and irritant ingredients, according to cosDNA.com ~ with myristyl myristate as one of the worst offenders. 

Since this was so rich, I was curious at the lipid/moisture readings ~ lipids and moisture percentages increased by 33% each.   I was a bit surprised how lackluster this is in terms of the moisture level readings.    This didn’t cause any breakouts ~ I would not use this product alone, as I do not think it is moisturizing enough, but thankfully, I had layers of really hydrating products that I put on before this one, so it just locked in those nourishing and moisturizing ingredients.   

Ingredients:  water, panax ginseng extract, caprylic/capric triglyceride, dimethicone, glyceryl stearate, butylene glycol, niacinamide, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, steric acid, myristyl myristate, PEG-75 stearate, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, ceteh-20, steareth-20, argania spinosa kernal oil, ecklonia cava extract, hizikia fusiforme extract, codium tomentosum extract, gelidium cartilagineum (Agar Agar) extract, vitis vinifera (grape) fruit extract, euterpe oleracea fruit oil, ethyl hexanediol, glyceryl caprylate,  carbomer, xanthan gum, tromethanmine, adenosine, 1,2-hexanediol, theobroma cacao (cocoa) extract, fragrance  cosDNA.com analysis



Final Thoughts

How do I feel about these products in terms of repurchase?  I didn’t experience any rashes, breakouts or problems with these products, so that was a plus.  I will repurchase (and I have) Sidmool Astaxanthin, as that was really a hydrating essence and I did like its texture. This product was the most unique and I have hopes that it might be able to reduce some hyper-pigmentation in the long run.

Graymelin’s Bifida is good as an FTE, but I actually prefer Goodal’s FTE ~ although, I might have to rethink replacing that item, as I do not know how much longer Goodal will make this version.   Primera Pure Hydrating Ampoule is a good  product for those who cannot use hyaluronic acid or beta-glucan products, but since I can use HA and beta-glucan, I am not inclined to repurchase this.  However, it is an alternative skincare product, as I know that there are people who cannot use hyaluronic acid and/or beta-glucan products due to skin reactions/skin allergies.  I do recommend this item if you want an alternative.

It’s Skin Jeju Wild Ginseng cream ~ it was too rich for me as a daytime cream, but I didn’t feel it was moisturizing enough for a night time moisturizer.  If you have dry skin, this might be good for you as a daytime cream, but for me, it is not appropriate ~ too rich for a daytime on my oily skin and not moisturizing enough at night.  I think out of all of the products used, this one was the most disappointing as I really love the It’s Skin Jeju Wild Ginseng facial masks.

What do you think?  Any questions about these products?  Have you tried any of them or are interested? 

Where to Purchase

Graymelin Bifida 100% Fermentation Solution  50 mL

  • W2Beauty  $31.74   that includes shipping and free samples! If you never ordered from W2Beauty before, use my referral link (click here) or use my sponsor code 0811226902 and get a $5.00 coupon for your first purchase!
  • Qoo10    $32.60  but no free shipping

Sidmool Secret of Red Astaxanthin 98.7% Concentrate  30 mL

Primera Pure Hydrating Ampoule  4 10 mL ampoules

It’s Skin Jeju Wild Ginseng Cream 50 mL

[ descriptions in italics from product website.    blog post contains affiliate and referral links.    ]

[ all products purchased by me ]


13 thoughts on “February Skincare Testing Review ~ Graymelin, Sidmool, Primera, It’s Skin

  1. Whoa, this was a very detailed post, and I enjoyed it a lot.

    I really think I made a mistake when I ordered an It’s Skin oil cleanser about a week ago (it’s not here yet.) Wherever I look, it seems like their products are real underperformers. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you liked it! Yeah, It’s Skin is usually a miss for me ~ I loved their masks in this line, so that is why I purchased the cream. I think I will run away from It’s Skin from now on. Hopefully, the oil cleanser will be fine ~ how badly can they mess that up?? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am kinda thinking about how the Clean It Zero broke people out. 😛 I’d read a few reviews about the It’s Skin one before I bought it (it’s really cheap on RRS,) and my skin is a tough cookie but now I am second-guessing myself… 😛

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I really just unfairly picked that as an example; I have never tried any of the CIZ balms, so I am not sure how my skin would react (it really doesn’t react – negatively – to anything,) I just remember reading about folks whose skin it broke out, so I dragged it out of my example drawer. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

              1. I just hate the fact that AB has taught me to pay attention to ingredients; for 20+ years, I used to slap everything on my face with no worries (and no adverse reaction to any skincare product,) and now I am obsessed with what may or may not make my skin freak out (nothing has, still, I am just giving myself something extra to keep worrying about.) 😛

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for our awesome reviews. I just purchased the Sidmool Astaxanthin, as reducing my sun spots is my #1 goal! I have taken Astaxanthin supplements as well and have great success with that. Thank again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How has the Sidmool Secret of Red Astaxanthin 98.7% Concentrate worked out for you so far after 6 months? I also have oily, acne prone skin that has left me with scars that I’d like to work on so I’d be curious to find out how the progress is going for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kady – I have not used it as religiously as I should have so, it is hard to say. It leaves my skin nice, smooth and soft, but it hasn’t really done anything with PIH or normal hyper-pigmentation. The only product that I have found for me that works on new PIH is melano CC spot essence, but that is on new PIH. I have some tough skin, I guess…


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.