Ginseng-ing with Oolu and Nature Republic

I love ginseng products ~ Ginseng is great for those with aging concerns and it is found 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. However, it is difficult to find ginseng products that work well with oily skin.  I am currently using 3 ginseng products right now and I am ready to review two of them.

Skin Type and Concerns: Oily, aging skin.  Hyper-pigmentation, blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles, poresOolu by Ohkims Ginseng+Gold Mist Lotion I purchased this from Memebox a few months back because a) Ginseng and b) pretty pretty packaging!  I read that Oolu is a sister brand to Whasmia ~ does anyone know if that is true?

When plastic surgeons from Korea, the world’s leading nation in plastic surgery, create an organic skincare line, everyone ought to take note. The doctors behind Oolu, by Ohkims Cosmetic, believe natural beauty is the best beauty, so they curated choice floral leaves that help strengthen skin’s self-regenerating powers. A 1,656-hour fermentation process from selection to blending and steeping maximizes the natural benefits of these organic ingredients. Then the premium products, from toning mists to mask packs, are hand made to ensure the highest quality. As they say, true beauty takes patience.

This comes in a beautiful box, which I have misplaced or tossed out since I took the original photo, but you can see it here with this crappy photo I took a few months back. It was never meant to be in a review, but since I cannot find the box, this is the best I can do!

This mist-lotion quite gelly in the bottle, but it actually comes out like a thick water.  It has a nice pump applicator that sprays a fine mist, but there is no cap to this bottle.  I don’t really see gold flakes in this mist, but when I hold the bottle up to the light, it has a luminous glow about it, which I think it can be attributed to the gold.  If you own this, hold this up to the light and you will see how stunning this looks. 

Besides the ginseng, Oolu Ginseng+Gold Mist Lotion also has some royal jelly as well as niacinamide to help brighten your skin.  Fermented ingredients in skin care products are highly moisturizing and also have antibacterial properties, making it great for blemish-prone skin.  This contains two ferments ~ bifida ferment lysate and lactococcus ferment lysate, another probiotic ingredient and is  fairly new.  It comes from Lactococcus Lactis Gram positive bacteria and the claims around this particular ferment is that it will improve the epidermal growth faster and with better quality, which will improve the barrier function and skin.  It will aid in the cellular renewal of your skin’s outer layer, which slows down as you age.  It has gold which is supposed to “awaken” your complexion, so your skin looks glowing and healthy.  It also has hyaluronic acid to hydrate and essential oils of bergamot, lavender and rosewood, which will nourish your skin.  It smells wonderful too ~ very spicy and ginseng-y, but it is also a bright scent, very uplifting.  Oolu is certified organic by Ecocert and BDIH standards.   This also has a piece of Korean ginseng root floating in the gel-mist

How did this work on my skin?  I started to use it as part of my day time routine, spraying the mist on my face as my second to last step for skincare (last step is sunscreen). That WAS a mistake.  This is so dewy and moist that it took way too much time for it to dry on my skin.   I did back off and just used it as a pre-step “serum” for my neck and decolletage area before I applied my neck cream. I did love how smooth and soft my skin felt when I used it there, so I tried again  on my face. This time, instead of spraying directly on my face, I sprayed into my hand and then gently patted it on my cheeks and forehead, avoiding my T-zone.  I did this after my watery products were applied on my face.  This mist lotion is very refreshing on my skin ~ it immediately has a cooling effect.   It absorbs quickly into my skin with this method as well.   This increased my moisture level by around 7 to 8%, so it is not the most hydrating product out there.  It will work well with other hydrating and moisturizing products. 

This method worked best for my skin, as I could control where I placed it and also avoid putting too much product on my face.  I found that I reached for this mist lotion a lot for my night time routine as well. After my watery skincare products, I would just mist my face with this as I didn’t care if my face was dewy while I slept.  I didn’t notice any brightening, but I did notice that my skin was soft and smooth in the morning and this didn’t effect my pores one way or another.  I also felt that this mist lotion re-energized my skin, as it was not dull looking at all.  Full Size 200 mL  

Description: A moisturizing mist infused with luxe natural ingredients, Ginseng and Gold. It’ll keep your skin dewy without any stickiness, while helping brighten, firm, and reduce signs of aging. Plus, other natural extracts nourish the skin, strengthening it and preventing damage.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Paeonia Suffruticosa (peony) Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract,  Adenosine, Ginseng Root, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Potassium Sorbate,  Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Royal Jelly, Gellum Gum, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosewood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Citrate, Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate, Bifida Ferment Lysate,Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Gold  cosDNA analysis

image source



Nature Republic Ginseng Royal Silk Watery Cream This is a gel cream that I purchased from Skin18 a few weeks ago and did a quick reveal on my IG account a week or so ago.  This, if nothing else, is just eye porn.

Now, I’ve only been using this for a little over a week, but I figure this one I can tell you what I think about it.  If there are some dramatic results when I am done using this, I will update it here.  Otherwise, this initial impression is going to hold fast and true with this product.  Now supposedly, this is a major best seller for Nature Republic and when it was released, it sold about 50,000 jars within 3 weeks.  It seems to have a Korean celeb following as well, but I am not sure if that is because of the hype around this item.  This cream is marked for ‘older & mature’ skin, so I never understood using 20-something year old woman as a spokesperson for mature skincare products.  According to Nature Republic, this cream contains the following (and boy, they make it sound great)

The product is a premium cream that consists of rare ingredients such as six year old Goryeo red ginseng, silk amino acids extracted from gold silkworms and Mount Jiri royal jelly that help the skin stay hydrated and radiant through its whitening and anti-wrinkle effects. The Goryeo red ginseng extracts allow nourishment for the skin while the silk amino acid components allow the skin to become balanced to maintain the perfect skin condition.

Goryeo red ginseng provides sufficient nourishment to the face to create a vivacious and healthy looking skin. The silk amino acids from the gold cocoons found in Boeun County in the North Chung Cheong Province have naturally derived proteins and have more amino acids compared to regular cocoons, allowing the layers of the skin to become smooth and firm. In addition, the addition of 95% pure gold helps with blood circulation, creating a face radiant enough to appear as if it received treatment. Applying it once is enough to let the skin shine from within.


So, 985 ppm of red ginseng is 6 years old, has 780 ppm royal jelly, 95% pure gold (12 mg) and it also has 1 ppm silk amino acids from golden silk worm cocoons, which means this is not vegan.  Sorry, but they kill the silk worms to get the silk amino acids. And a shit load of ‘cones.

Let’s take a look at the packaging and contents!  I love this package.  I swear, if for nothing else, the jar is amazing.  It is like a green iridescent jar within an ice cube. It is one of the most wasteful packaging jobs I have ever seen, but wow, it is worth it. The lid is also beautiful and it screws off, revealing a clear gel with tons of golden flakes in it.  The lid is also temperamental and I need to place it just so on the top of the jar, otherwise, it will screw in crooked (see very first photo in this blog post for proof!) 

The beautiful gelly smells…. bad.  Well, not bad, just not ginseng.  You’d think with a 6 year old red ginseng ingredient, it damn well smell like GINSENG.  It does not.  Instead, a generic awful soap-floral scent.  Just really disappointing on so many levels ~ and it is STRONG.  This is not a light scent. 

You can see the beautiful gold flakes in here, but once this is massaged into my skin, the gold is completely dissolved/broken up/absorbed into my skin.  Initially, when I swatched it on my hand, it felt nice.. but when I used it on my face, I had a totally different experience. This feels very slick and slippery on my face, due to the high amount of dimethicones in it.  It actually kinda feels gross, because it really is slick.  My skin continues to have this slick surface film for hours.   It isn’t sticky, just feels … unnatural on my skin.

I’ve been using this as a sleep pack, as it is such an occlusive cream ~ it may look like a gel, but it does leave a thick layer down.  Despite the feel of this product, it isn’t that moisturizing ~ so you should put all of your hydrating products on first and then use this last to lock in that moisture.  I will also say that the oil/moisture ratio is not balanced.   It increased my oil levels by  36% and my moisture was only at 26% ~ I do not like using such an unbalanced cream on my face, as I have such oily skin.  This really is a product for dry skin. 

The first time I used this, I used this all over my face and when I woke up in the morning, my skin was soft, smooth, that slick feeling was gone and my pores WERE HUGE.  Obviously, my pores loved this stuff so much that they opened up their mouths to be fed more ginseng, gold and silk.  So, I decided to use this all over my face except my T-Zone and that works better for me.  That said, this cream is a let down.  More in final thoughts.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Royal Jelly Extract (780ppm), Panax Ginseng Root Extract (985ppm), Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Sodium Chloride, Trehalose, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-7 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Adenosine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Arginine, Ethyl Hexanediol, Sodium Citrate, Silk Amino Acids (1ppm), Atractylodes Chinensis Rhizome Extract, Acorus Calamus Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Gold (12 mg) (CI 77480)  cosDNA analysis


Final Thoughts

So it looks like both of these products are better suited for normal to dry skin.  I have oily skin and I did struggle to find a place in my routine for them and just decided that they were night products for me.  Out of the two, I did enjoy the Oolu product much better ~ it acted like a thick serum and the scent was just lovely.  Oolu can be controlled on oily skin ~ a light application would not create an overly dewy or greasy face.  This is great product to have around if I just wanted to add more moisture to my skin.   Would I personally repurchase?  Well, I would have… but I found something better.  This is a great mist lotion, however for normal to dry skin, but I found something that works great with oily skin.

The Nature Republic product, however, is another story.  I do love the packaging ~ that is one huge, wasteful jar, but it is beautiful and a keeper for me.  What is inside was not really that great for my skin type and nose.  I didn’t care for the soapy-floral scent, so disappointing that it didn’t smell like ginseng and I had to be careful where I applied this gel cream on my face.   I had to avoid my pores and T-Zone, otherwise my pores would be HUGE in the morning, which isn’t the result I was looking for. However, on my cheeks, forehead and neck, this product worked really well to create soft and smooth skin and it didn’t break me out.   Why won’t I repurchase this?  Beside the scent, I really hated how it felt after I applied it.  That slick Vaseline feel on my face was not pleasant at all.  I can find other products that don’t smell so blah, do not cause that feeling on my skin and for a lesser price.  cosRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Facial Cream comes to mind right away (review here)

The third ginseng product that I’ve been using that I really like so much better than these two is by The Saem Sooyeran Wild Ginseng Essence.  Jolse sent me this item after they asked me what I would like to review next ~ I looked at a lot of products at Jolse and this one caught my eye.  I hope to have a full review in a few weeks, but I can tell you that this essence really works nicely on my oily skin ~ it doesn’t leave it greasy or sticky and best of all, it has a real earthy herbal scent of ginseng.  I also have the Dear Packer Ginseng Sleeping Pack that I am going to start using this winter ~ I want to put a dent in the Nature Republic first before opening that one up for review. 

Have you tried any of these products?  If so, how did they work for your skin type? 


Where to Purchase

See my Discount Codes page for more savings at these stores.


 [ blog post contains affiliate links.  All products reviewed here were purchased by me ]

[ descriptions in italics from memebox usa and nature republic ]


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