This review kicks off what I hope will be an amazing week for fan-b: I have lots of reviews and giveaways coming on the blog and Instagram, so get ready.
Let’s start with two products that have turned me into a raving, slobbering Blossom Jeju fangirl: 100% Camellia Seed Dry Oil and Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum, both given to me by Glow Recipe for testing and possible review. After trying these products for almost two months now, I feel ready to let you know that these are some of the best of the best in kbeauty that I’ve tried (and if you’ve seen my constant stream of haul photos on Instagram, you know that I buy and test a lot hahaha).
About Blossom Jeju
Blossom Jeju is a camellia-centered skincare line based on the temperate Jeju Island, which is to the south of the Korean peninsula and part of South Korea. In the past, Jeju was a place political figures were exiled, but it’s now associated with resorts, hiking, historical landmarks, and the episode 12-13 romantic vacation that brings the leads in a romantic comedy kdrama closer together.
Blossom Jeju has two main lines: pink and gold. I asked Christine Chang at Glow Recipe about the difference between the two lines (since they have a lot of the same products–there are both pink and gold toners, creams, and essences, for example). She said that the pink line is early anti-aging and antioxidant protection, whereas the gold line is more advanced anti-aging. I’m 32 and happen to like the pink design, so that’s where I’ll be focusing my shopping efforts in the coming months. hahaha
About my skin
I have oily, acne-prone skin due to hormones, and my skin takes a major beating from the acids and prescription medication in my routine. Although I’m 32, I think I’m a teenager, so I don’t purposely seek out anti-aging skincare; I just wear sunscreen and try to live a happy life. That said, if anti-aging skincare happens to be fun, delicious, and makes my skin look great in the here and now, I’m all about it.
Blossom Jeju 100% Camellia Seed Dry Oil
Ingredient: 100% Camellia Seed Oil.
Camellia seed oil is an emollient, meaning that it makes skin more pliable and softer. I don’t usually do scholarly article-based ingredient analysis due to uncertainty about the amount of each ingredient in a product, but in this case, when there’s just one ingredient, why not!
Jung, Eunsun, et. al. “Effect of Camellia japonica oil on human type I procollagen production and skin barrier function.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 112, no. 1 (May 2007): 127–131.
This study found that Camellia japonica oil inhibited matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 activity, which inhibits collagen production, and it induced procollagen synthesis. The study also found that Camellia japonica oil reduced trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) and did not cause any adverse reactions. So…more collagen and moisture without bad side-effects, woo!
Kim, Seung Beom, et. al. “Anti-inflammatory activity of Camellia japonica oil.” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 45, no. 3 (2012): 177-182.
“Our results indicate that CJ oil exerts anti-inflammatory effects by downregulating the expression of iNOS and COX-2 genes through inhibition of NF-κB and AP-1 signaling.” Less inflammation, cool, I’m down with that.
Thanks scientists, I feel vindicated for liking this.
I happily used this for quite some time without knowing that scientists Jung, Kim, and their squads had signed off on my love. Before bothering to look up the powers of Camellia japonica oil a few minutes ago I loved this due to it being virtually scentless (it smells like extremely fresh vegetable oil if I jam my nose into it and don’t wear any perfume that day), sinking deep into my skin upon contact, making the surface of my skin feel smooth and flexible but not oily, and giving me a long drink of moisture that lasts for at least 24 hours. Why Camellia japonica oil isn’t in every product I don’t know.
My favorite way to use this is by mixing one drop into a dose of sleeping pack or night cream. I consider this the secret weapon that can turn even a humble sleeping pack or cream into something super effective and luxurious; I even add it to the already-luxe Su:m 37 sleeping pack to ramp up my hydration. Since this oil has the ability to plump, smooth, and hydrate my skin for 24 hours, I only use it at night, which allows me to reap the benefits while devoting my morning routine to [self-made] oil control.
If you have skin like mine you could probably buy one bottle and have it last for ages; at the rate I’m going I’ll run out in 2017. I consider this one of the best values in kbeauty skincare because you’re getting 100% of an amazing ingredient that you can add to any step in your routine, really, since it’s not oily. Although I prefer adding it to sleeping packs you could add a drop in your daily helping of serum or essence to jazz it up and maximize your hydration levels. Since this really isn’t occlusive (meaning that it sinks into your skin rather than creating a moisture barrier over your skin) it plays well with virtually any step in one’s skincare routine.
This is an essential skincare weapon that I’m keeping in mind for gifts for people I really like.
Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum
Ingredients: Camellia Japonica Flower Extract (55.22%), Glycerin, Propanediol (EcoCert®, Natural Origin), Water, Pentylene Glycol (Eco-Cert®, Natural Origin), Niacinamide, Xanthan Gum, Akebia Quinata Extract, Panthenol, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Citric Acid, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Betaine, Adenosine, Sorbitan Caprylate, Opuntia Ficus-Indica fruit Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Trehalose, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Bioflavonoids, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Levulinic Acid, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Skin Extract, Hizikia Fusiforme Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Silybum Marianum Extract, Yeast Beta-Glucan, Fragrance. CosDNA. This product has zero common acne or sensitive skin triggers. Nothing. Nada.
The Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum is 1.5 times larger than the Camellia Seed Oil, but it costs a bit more than two times as much. It’s actually heavier than the oil and takes longer to sink into my skin. So why is this my pick for kbeauty skincare porn product of the year?
That smell. Oh. My. God. That smell.
It’s jasmine. But a pure, perfect, real jasmine scent from a garden–jasmine that weaves in and out throughout the day. If I’m lucky, I’ll catch tiny whiffs of this jasmine at my desk from time to time and flutter in happiness.
The serum comes out of the dropper clear with a consistency of a medium syrup. It’s jasmine face syrup, get on me.
In addition to the scent, my skin is loaded with moisture when I use this, especially in the top layers that can otherwise dry out a bit during the day. I use this as a special treat when my skin feels dry and the thinner skin around my mouth and nose need extra help to stay plump and hydrated all day. I apply this as a final essence before topping it off with cream (or skipping the cream altogether if my skin feels full).
I consider this the skincare equivalent of my favorite lipstick: yes, it’s pricey, but it’s the sort of thing that gives me buckets of joy when I look at it and use it. As someone with a PhD worth of student loans also married to someone with a PhD worth of student loans (SOB!) this may be something of a splurge for me, but I’ll use my precious bottle sparingly and splurge when the time comes for a replacement because–like my favorite Dior lipstick–I’ll otherwise end up buying 10 products of lesser cost and lesser quality that total more than double as much in an attempt to replace the irreplaceable.
Glow Recipe is holding a kbeauty trends pop-up store event tomorrow and Tuesday (26 and 27 September) in NYC and the matching toner and maybe cream are very much on my list–I want more of this Camellia crack.
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