This moisturizer is not only outrageously overpriced, but also poorly formulated and poorly packaged.
The two major problems are that it is packaged in a jar, which means the antioxidants and plant extracts it contains won't remain stable during use (see More Info for further details on jar packaging), and that it contains alcohol.
The amount of alcohol it contains is problematic. Alcohol causes free-radical damage and irritation that hurts skin's ability to heal and produce healthy collagen. None of that is the least bit "rejuvenating"!
The first ingredient in this moisturizer is bamboo water. Just like aloe water was for a time supposed to be the answer to your skin-care problems, AmorePacific now wants you to believe bamboo is the answer. It isn't. Bamboo has a good marketing spin, though, because it has the capacity to transport large amounts of water between its various parts. But, bamboo's ability to transport water as a living plant has nothing to do with what it can do for your skin, especially after the bamboo is dead and put into a skin-care product. It simply doesn't have any special hydrating benefit for skin.
Despite the claims for this product, nothing in this moisturizer can increase the skin-cell turnover rate (another way to describe exfoliation). The best ingredients to look for in that regard are glycolic or lactic acid (AHA) or salicylic acid (BHA).
All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
This powerful cream increases cellular turnover and regenerates fresh skin. Skin’s firmness and hydration are improved while the appearance of lines and wrinkles is reduced.
Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Dimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, C14-22 Alcohols, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Phyllostachis Bambusoides, Hydrolyzed Camellia Sinensis Leaf, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Hydroxypropyl Bispalmitamide MEA, Theanine, Camellia Sinensis Flower Extract, Kaempferol, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Stearyl Behenate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Olivate, Stearic Acid, Sorbitan Olivate, Dimethiconol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Propanediol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Polyacrylate-13, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Polyisobutene, Tocopherol, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexylglycerin, PEG-15 Pentaerythrityl Tetra(Laureth-6 Carboxylate), Phytantriol, Poloxamer 407, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Caffeine, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
Strengths: A very good lip balm; antioxidant-rich facial oil.
Weaknesses: Some products use jar packaging, which weakens the stability of beneficial ingredients; toner with plant irritants; some formulas contain high amounts of skin-ravaging alcohol.
AmorePacific is a popular South Korean cosmetics line established in 1945, whose skincare products made their way to U.S. Sephora stores in 2009. At its core, AmorePacific claims to be all about “beauty secrets found in nature.” Some of those highly touted ingredients like antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate, a polyphenol found in green tea) really are great for skin, whereas others (like bamboo sap and red ginseng) don’t have solid research backing their benefits for skin—but at least they’re not hurting it.
Either way, good skincare comes down to the formula as a whole, not just a “superstar” ingredient here or there, so how does AmorePacific rank in that regard? Like many brands, it varies product by product. Some products in the AmorePacific line offer a broad range of plant-based antioxidants and various skin-beneficial ingredients, while other formulas fall into the lackluster category due to overly basic formulas that can’t make good on their anti-aging claims.
Many of the products contain potentially irritating fragrance (which is never good news, particularly for sensitive skin), and worse yet, a handful are plagued by high concentrations of skin-ravaging alcohol which can increase inflammation in skin, provoke breakouts, and accelerate the signs of aging in the long term. In short, these can leave skin worse for the wear when they’re part of your daily skincare routine.
Well also have to point out that the use of jar packaging for some of the products is an ill-fated choice. Plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and most other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Not only that, but dipping your fingers into them can add bacteria, which further deteriorates beneficial ingredients. That’s disappointing at any price point, but since some of these products cost between $100-$450, that’s a major waste of money.
Standing back and looking at specific products, even though there are a few good options, the prices aren’t justified and you can find better products for far less in each category. However, if you choose to shop this line and are OK with spending more than necessary, at least you’ll know from our reviews which products are worthy of a purchase.
For more information about AmorePacific, visit us.amorepacific.com.
Note: The AmorePacific products reviewed on Beautypedia include those that are currently sold at Sephora in the U.S. The company offers an even pricier range of products at upscale department stores such as Neiman Marcus. We may review those in the future; for now, the demand from our readers simply isn’t there—likely because many of them have gotten the message that in the world of skincare, hyper-expensive doesn’t mean better products or better results!
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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