I have reviewed several mugwort FTE’s already ~ I’m From, Missha and Tonymoly. I am now reviewing Hanyul Artemisia Miracle Relief Essence and Nacific Jeju Artemisia Essence. There are so many types of these essences flooding the skincare market, so hopefully, my reviews will help you decide which one is best for you! “Single essence” treatments are trending now ~ whether it is Amore Pacific Vintage Single Essence made with fermented green tea or these fermented and aged mugwort essences.
Skin Type/Concerns: Oily, blemish prone, pores, aging, hyper-pigmentation, fine lines/wrinkles
All reviews are my own honest opinion and I never have been asked to write copy for a brand. This blog post might contain promo codes, affiliate and referral links, which using my links will help generate a small commission that helps support my blog at no extra cost to you.
image from hanyul.com
What is 🍃🍃Mugwort? Well Mugwort is an ingredient that has been used in traditional Asian medicines for centuries and there are several different types of mugwort; From wiki:
- Artemisia annua – annual mugwort
- Artemisia argyi – Chinese mugwort, used in traditional Chinese medicine
- Artemisia douglasiana – Douglas mugwort, native to western North America
- Artemisia glacialis – alpine mugwort
- Artemisia indica – Japanese mugwort
- Artemisia japonica – Oriental mugwort
- Artemisia ludoviciana – western mugwort, native to North America
- Artemisia norvegica – Norwegian mugwort
- Artemisia princeps – Japanese mugwort (“yomogi”), Korean mugwort (“ssuk”), used as a culinary herb and in traditional Chinese medicine.
- Artemisia stelleriana – hoary mugwort
- Artemisia verlotiorum – Chinese mugwort
- Artemisia vulgaris – L.–mugwort, felonherb, green-ginger, common wormwood
Mugwort has a cool Korean legend behind it as well ~ “The Myth of Dangun (단군 신화)’ Dangun is the founder of the first kingdom in Korean history, Gojoseon. Hwanung, his father who is a heavenly god, comes down to the human realm. A tiger and a bear come to him and ask to become humans. Hwanung gave them a challange, where they could only eat mugwort and garlic and stay in a cave for 100 days. The two animals went into the cave to start this challange, but the tiger couldn’t finish it. The bear did and transformed into a woman, who then married Hwanung. Dangun is their son. source medium.com
Mugwort helps reduce redness, rashes and other skin issues, including allergic reactions. It contains a rich source of vitamin C, essential amino acids such as histidine, valine, leucine, and isoleucine. It also has non-essential amino acids including arginine, glutamic acid, glycine, serine and tryosine. Due to its gentle nature, mugwort leaves can be added to a baby’s bathwater to help soothe and reduce any skin dermatitis. It helps heal skin wounds, such as blemishes, as it has anti-bacterial and anti fungal properties and it is a topical anesthetic. It contains a rich source of antioxidants as well and has been known to reduce and lighten hyper-pigmentation caused by age, sun damage and blemishes. It is very well suited for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Artemisia has been used in Korea since the olden times as the first bathing water for babies and mothers. Fun Fact: Wort comes from an old term that meant a useful plant
Now, many of these mugwort essences claim that they 100% pure mugwort, but that really isn’t the case. I posted this before but I think it bears repeating ~ I found this great video from Beauty Blogger, Soo Beauty, who explains the 100% mugwort claim, preservatives and why are these essences so darn expensive??
In a nutshell, Soo Beauty explains that it isn’t really just 100% mugwort ~ the plant is put in a solvent, such as water, alcohol or oil, and the plant matter is dissolved in those solvents. They all have some type of preservative ~ she mentioned that I’m From Mugwort has 1,2-hexanediol, which is a non-irritating preservative. They all need some type of preservative to prevent the product from going bad. The expense behind these essences, and I am sure this applies to any single essence, is due to the special technology that each brand uses to extract the essence. It is a really good video, so if you have time, I highly suggest watching it!
Hanyul Artemisia Miracle Relief Essence is made from 100% artemisia argyi, a Chinese mugwort that is used in traditional Chinese medicine . This mugwort is grown along the coastal area of Ganghwa Island, which has ample sunlight and soil drainage. Hanyul harvests their mugwort before May 5th, which is supposedly is the best time to pick these tender leaves.
image from hanyul.com
The leaves are dried, cut into small pieces and hot steamed for 12 hours to extract the liquid ~ this is Hanyul’s Pure Artemisia Fumigation™ method. The liquid is filtered to remove any oily film and then is naturally fermented for three years. This is a big difference from their other Artemisia lines as they don’t sit around that long. This is why this is one of the more expensive items in the Artemisia line.
Hanyul’s bottle is tall, slim and carries 150 mL of this essence. The bottle is a pale olive green with a darker olive green cap that has flecks on it. It has a pin hole applicator and the essence is clear with little or no scent. It is very watery with no greasy or sticky residue. I didn’t find it to be oily or heavy at all and because it is so watery, it dries down almost immediately. Mugwort essences are not really overly hydrating, as their principle goal in life is to reduce redness.
This has a pH level of a 6, meaning it is very mildly acidic. I have to say this is the first Hanyul product that I am not wow’d by. It does soothe and calm the skin, but with all of these mugwort products out there, there has to be something that makes it stand out from the pack. For me, this one was ho-hum and quite frankly, a bore with its no scent, no color liquid. Now, if you don’t like the scent of mugwort, this is the one for you. However, for the price tag, I did expect something more spectacular.
Nacific Jeju Artemisia Essence not only is the first essence to be completely transparent about the whole 100% issue, but also uses a mugwort type that uses a name that I haven’t seen before. Nacific states that they do use 2% 1,2-hexanediol for a preservative, otherwise the product will go rancid. They also recommend that you use this essence within 6 months after opening. The other 98% of the ingredients comes from artemisia lavandulaefolia or wild mugwort, according to Chinese Wikipedia. Wild mugwort grows along roadsides, hillsides, riverside grasslands, forest borders and is not cultivated. Wild mugwort is supposed to be more effective and has a heaver and more bitter taste than cultivated wormwood. This also has the added benefit of smelling like lavender and mugwort, hence its name.
image from nacific
Unlike the other mugwort essences I have tried, this one uses mugwort from Jeju Island, located off the most southern part of Korea. Nacific grows their pesticide-free mugwort from the alpine region, Mt Hallasan/Halla, an active volcano whose surrounding areas are rich in minerals. Nacific harvests in May, where the mugwort will contain its highest level nutrients and then extracts the essence in a high yield/low temperatures method ~ 30ºC/86ºF to 60ºC/140ºF. It then goes through a strict quality inspection and then it is ready to be bottled. This doesn’t leave its mugwort fermenting too long, so I guess if you are adverse to a lot of ferments, this might be good as Nacific doesn’t go into any details on how long it goes though the extraction method.
image from nacific
Nacific’s Jeju Artemisia Essence comes in a tall forest green plastic bottle with a pin hole applicator. The essence is a rich amber shade, one of the more darker ones and it’s scent is a mix of mugwort and lavender. I can barely smell the lavender, but it is there ~ that is natural to the mugwort that is used in this product. It is very watery, lightweight, no greasy or sticky residue
This has a pH level of slightly under 6, so it is barely acidic, which is okay. These mugwort toners are not exfoliators but more of a soothing skin treatment that helps to clear up redness, reduce inflammation and calm skin. Which it does do well ~ no oily residue, so it can be used in a multi-layer routine. I have to say that Nacific is now tied with Tonymoly’s From Ganghwa Pure Artemisia in terms of being effective and pleasing to the nose. Honestly, as I have written before, most of these essences have been very similar in their texture and benefits ~ what it comes down to for me are the following
- The Packaging: Nacific and Tonymoly are both in plastic bottles. Hanyul is also in a plastic bottle whereas Missha and I’m From are in glass bottles and I am always scared I will drop them on my tiled bathroom floor and they will break into a million pieces.
- The Scent: Nacific has the most unique scent for the mugwort essences ~ that lavender really is beautiful. Tonymoly has the strongest herbal mugwort scent of the four. As you can see, scents are important.
- The Texture: Both Nacific and Tonymoly aren’t oily, doesn’t FEEL oily, doesn’t feel like anything but water on my skin. Dries down quickly
- The Price Tag: Nacific is very affordable, as well as Tonymoly. Hanyul is one of the more expensive ones.
- The Description: Nacific is very transparent with the fact that they added a preservative. They all do, but only Nacific had the balls to say it. Tonymoly finally told us what we knew all along, that these essences are a First Treatment (FTE)
How to Take Advantage of Your Mugwort
No, this isn’t something NSFW, but more how to get the most use out of your essences. The normal way is to splash it on your face. I do that every morning and night. The other way is to create a mask pack for your face by soaking cotton pads or a compressed dry mask in the essence, then applying to your face for 5 minutes. This really helps calm and soothe your skin. Put your essence in a mini mister and carry it around in your backpack or purse or leave at your desk or gym locker. Use it whenever you need to freshen and calm your skin. You can also apply this on your body as well to help with sunburns, rashes and/or inflammation.
Where to Purchase
Nacific Jeju Artemisia Essence
- Jolse Under $24.00 USD (click here) Jolse has free shipping, ships globally and they give out lots of free samples!
- Stylevana Currently 50% off for under $16.00 USD (click here). Has free shipping if you meet an order threshold. They only skin to United States, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Netherlands.
- eBay Varies but as low as $28.00 USD (click here) Global Shipping
- YesStyle Currently on sale for under $19.00 USD (click here) YesStyle does have a low threshold to get to free shipping and they do ship globally.
Hanyul Artemisia Miracle Relief Essence
- YesStyle Under $43.00 USD (click here) YesStyle does have a low threshold to get to free shipping and they do ship globally.
- Amazon USA Varies but between $32.00 and $41.00 USD (click here)
- Qoo10 Varies but between $23.00 and $29.00 USD (click here) Shipping costs vary, but it is quite reasonable, especially if you purchase a lot from the same storefront. If you are interested in signing up, I would love it if you used my referral link here (https://qoo.tn/Am3z8R/Q150292696)
- eBay Varies but as low as $26.00 USD (click here) They also have vendors selling the deluxe size so you can try it out first before committing to the full side. Global Shipping