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Battle of the Korean Moisturizers

Moisturizers are one of the most important products you need in your routine, but which one would work best for your skin type? Which textures would work best for your skin type and what types of formulas would provide you with the most protection and hydration? I’ll be testing out four different moisturizers from three different brands so you’ll have a better idea of which one to choose for yourself!
@ChristinaHello with swatches of Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream, Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Concentrate Cream, and Heimish Moisture Surge Gel Cream

What are emollients, humectants, and occlusives?

Moisturizers can actually be broken down into three different categories, all with different benefits. A majority of moisturizers on the market today mix two of the types, while some can be solely humectants or occlusives.

Humectants extract water molecules from the air and pull them onto the skin’s surface. Some humectant ingredients include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), amino acids, ceramides, aloe vera gel, and honey.

Emollients prevent water loss and soften the skin while soothing it as well. The texture is usually wax-like, lubricating, and supple, as emollients are made with ingredients like plant oils, mineral oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, petrolatum, and fatty acids.

Occlusives form a physical protective barrier on the skin’s surface to help protect the skin from external irritants, including friction, cold winds, and pollen. Occlusive ingredients include mineral oil, petrolatum, lanolin, beeswax, olive oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, safflower oil, and tamanu oil to name a few.

Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Concentrate Cream

Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Concentrate Cream


Description of product:
Hypoallergenic and highly moisturizing care for sensitive skin.

Patented ceramide skin complexes help strengthen skin barriers and enhance skin’s self-hydrating power to keep skin longly hydrated and healthy.

Highly concentrated ceramide capsules offer instant absorption and refreshing finish upon application.

7 free: animal-derived ingredients, mineral oil, artificial color, fragrance, parabens, Triethanolamine, Imidazo.

Amount of product:
200 mL

Duration before expiration:
3 years from manufacture date
1 year after opening

Country of Manufacture:
Made in Korea

Ingredients:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Alcohol, C14-22 Alcohols, Cyclohexasiloxane, Hydroxypropyl Bispalmitamide MEA (Ceramide PC-104 6310ppm), Arachidyl Glucoside, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Polyacrylate-13, Dimethiconol, Mannitol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polyisobutene, Panax Ginseng Water, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Myristic Acid, Arachidic Acid, Bupleurum Falcatum Root Extract, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Glucose, Cholesterol, Silica, Perilla Ocymoides Extract, Tocopherol

Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Concentrate Cream


Out of the four moisturizers, Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Concentrate Cream comes flying in with the most product at 200 mL compared to 50-150 mL. This moisturizer would be classified as an emollient moisturizer with 10 ingredients falling under the emollient category and one ingredient in the humectant category (glycerin).

This might be one of the most comfortable moisturizers I’ve worn in a while. It comes out of the tube looking like it would be super thick, but massages into the skin almost like a thick gel, leaving the skin with a comfortable layer of hydration that lasts me through the night. I wake up to my skin feeling hydrated, but I would need to finish it up with some facial oil if I want to wear it through the winter. This would be a great spring/summer moisturizer for me but would be a gorgeous moisturizer for those with normal to combo skin types. This moisturizer also doesn’t have any fragrances or essential oils, so it is perfect for those who have sensitive skin.

Heimish Moisture Surge Gel Cream

Heimish Moisture Surge Gel Cream


Description of product:
Heimish Moisture Surge Gel Cream calms and gives a pleasant cooling on a hot summer day! Moisturizing & Cooling & Soothing Watermelon extract, which helps to saturate the skin fully with the necessary moisture and restore the hydrolipidic balance.


Provides hydration and skin-calming effects.
Absorbs deep into the skin for immediate cooling and hydration.

Amount of product:
110 mL

Duration before expiration:
2 year from manufacture date
1 year after opening

Country of Manufacture:
Made in Korea

Ingredients:
Water, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Sorbitol, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Hydrangea Macrophylla Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Ceramide 3, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Coptis Japonica Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Phytosphingosine, Candida Bombicola/Glucose/Methyl Rapaseedate Ferment, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Trehalose, Hydroxyacetophenone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer. Tromethamine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer. Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Oleyl Alcohol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Disodium EDTA

Heimish Moisture Surge Gel Cream


The first thing that comes to mind with Heimish Moisture Surge Gel Cream: it really looks like Clinique’s Moisture Surge Moisturizer, doesn’t it? But to my surprise, I like this much more than Clinique’s gel moisturizer. The packaging is just a simple pink jar with a lid inside to keep everything clean and sanitary. This moisturizer falls under all three categories, but leans more towards being emollient and somewhat occlusive.

Heimish Moisture Surge Gel Cream


Texture wise, it is a true lightweight gel that melts into the skin effortlessly while leaving a softening and supple effect on my skin. I was pleasantly surprised that for my nighttime routine, this gave me just enough hydration for my dry skin to be happy; however, I would definitely have to moisturize again in the morning. I can see those with dehydrated and/or oily skin types to normal skin types loving this cream. People with combination skin might like this as well, but your cheeks might feel a little bit dry. There is a slight cooling effect on the skin, but it isn’t the minty type and would be very comfortable in the summertime!

Heimish Marine Care Rich Cream

Heimish Marine Care Rich Cream


Description of product:
Heimish presents to you the Marine Care Rich Cream made to hydrate and moisturize your tired skin everyday!

This cream provides nourishment and contains anti-aging properties to help you look more youthful and healthy.

Tired of tired skin? Then try this product!

✔ Hydrates dried and fatigued skin

✔ Makes skin smooth and soft

✔ Helps rebuild the skin’s natural barrier

✔ Protects skin from harmful factors

✔ Superior anti-aging effect with skin nourishment

✔ Key ingredients for skin rejuvenation and moisture: Fermented seaweed extract, mineral-rich seawater, peptide, and plant stem cell extract 

Amount of product:
60 mL

Duration before expiration:
2 year from manufacturer date
1 year after opening

Country of Manufacture:
Made in Korea

Ingredients:
Water, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Microcrystalline Wax, Glycerin, Phytosteryl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Zinc Stearate, Niacinamide, Beeswax, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Ecklonia Cava Extract, Sorbitan Olivate, Ozokerite, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Hizikia Fusiforme Extract, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Leontopodium Alpinum Callus Culture Extract, Ulva Lactuca Extract, Solidago Virgaurea (Goldenrod) Extract, Porphyra Yezoensis Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Laminaria Cloustoni Extract, Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Codium Fragile Extract, Agarum Cribosum Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Copper Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Adenosine, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Fragrance, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Disodium EDTA

Heimish Marine Care Rich Cream


I really wanted to love this cream, mostly because it named itself “rich cream”. I am the gal that loves those thick, rich creams that leave me oily because my dry skin just drinks it up in two hours. However, Heimish Marine Care Rich Cream, I don’t know what you were trying to be. This is a very occlusive moisturizer with heavy ingredients, including beeswax, petrolatum, mineral oil, which contribute to its very thick texture that seems to sit on top of my skin.

Heimish Marine Care Rich Cream


When you look at it in the jar, it seems soft, fluffy, and definitely thick. The first swipe doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary, but the problem lies in trying to massage it into your skin. It instantly starts skipping, like when I was a kid trying to rub in the old school, thick sunscreen that never melted into the skin. I really tried to soldier it through the night, but I just could not do it. It is so thick and sits on top of my skin without ever really sinking in, so I had to try and wash it off. Some cleansing oil and massaging later, this cream did not want to leave!! Granted, the moisturizer did wash off a bit, but it still had that weird slick and heavy feeling. It also had a really strong floral fragrance to it and did not want to fade after application. I would only recommend this cream for those with severely broken skin barriers that can handle strong fragrance, or use this on patches of your eczema if you need a really thick layer of hydration.

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream


Description of product:
Key ingredients : Rice bran water (29%), Ginseng root water (5%), Squalane (2%), Niacinamide (2%)
Notable ingredient : 3 types of Hyaluronic acids, Safflower seed oil, Honey extract, Chinense fruit extract, Ceramide NP
Key benefits : Moisturizing, Nourishing, Brightening, Strengthen skin barrier

Amount of product:
50 mL

Duration before expiration:
3 years from manufacture date
1 year after opening

Country of Manufacture:
Made in Korea

Ingredients:
Water, Oryza sativa (rice) bran water, Glycerin, Panax ginseng root water, Hydrogenated polydecene, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Squalane, Butylene glycol, Propanediol, Butylene glyco. dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan gum, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, Tromethamine, Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, Hydrogenated coconut oil, Glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Caprylic/Capric triglyceride, Disodium EDTA, Hyaluronic acid, Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, Sodium hyaluronate, Honey extract, Ceramide NP, Hydrogenated lecithin, Coptis japonica root extract, Raphanus sativus (radish) seed extract, Lycium chinense fruit extract, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed extract, Phellinus linteus extract, Dextrin, Scutellaria baicalensis root extract

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream


Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream is one of the most OG moisturizers out there. I remember when it was a smash hit back in 2017, and then the brand suddenly disappeared. The packaging looked more like a jam jar shape with its signature old school paper wrapping on top. Suddenly the brand popped back up, relaunched their moisturizer and now they have many more products, like their three serums and even a Ginseng Essence Water. I feel like a dinosaur now.

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream


Since then, they have revamped and modernized the Dynasty Cream packaging to this sleek glass jar. I kind of miss the old packaging but I get it, they want to get with the times. Inside is yes, you guessed it, a plastic lid to keep everything nice and clean.

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream


Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream would fall under the humectant/emollient category. It has a light gel texture but doesn’t sink into the skin right away. Once it has absorbed, it leaves behind a softening, supple, and hydrated finish.

I can see why a lot of people love this cream, as the texture is quite versatile and works with practically all skin types. I’m not sure if those with oily skin might find this too rich, with ingredients like shea butter, argan oil, sea buckthorn oil, sunflower seed oil, olive oil, and ceramides all up in the mix.

Those with sensitive noses, rejoice because this moisturizer also doesn’t have any fragrance to it!


Four moisturizers, four different types of textures even though some might look the same at first. Heimish Marine Care Rich Cream comes in as the thickest of the four, which is no surprise as the name suggests.

Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Concentrate Cream would be the second thickest one of the bunch, but melts into the skin effortlessly and the ceramides help support the skin’s natural lipid barrier.

The Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream falls right in between the Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Concentrate Cream and Heimish Moisture Surge Gel Cream. It isn’t all there as a gel cream but also isn’t as thick as Illiyoon. Those who need a moisturizer with a little bit of a hydration kick while still being very lightweight and comfortable might want to reach for Beauty of Joseon.

Lastly, there is the Heimish Moisture Surge Gel Cream, which is a true gel moisturizer that would work great for those who have normal to oily skin types. With the cooling effect while being quick to absorb into the skin, this is a no-brainer moisturizer for those hot and humid days.


Sources:

  • https://www.skincare.com/article/emollient-vs-humectant-vs-occlusive
  • https://www.paulaschoice.com/ingredient-dictionary/thickeners%2Femulsifiers/emollient.html
  • https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty-products/a34406550/what-is-occlusive-skincare-ingredients/#:~:text=So%20what%20exactly%20is%20an,Senior%20Director%20Frauke%20Neuser%20Ph.
  • https://heimish.us/collections/all-products/products/marine-care-rich-cream-60ml
  • https://heimish.us/collections/all-products/products/moisture-surge-gel-cream-110ml
  • https://www.beautyofjoseon.com/product-page/%EB%B3%B5%EC%A0%9C-dynasty-cream
  • https://lesliebaumannmd.com/what-are-occlusives/



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