Embracing natural beauty, Beauty of Joseon found its inspiration in the Kyuhab Chongseo, a 19th century encyclopedia holding all the beauty secrets of the upper class women of the Joseon Dynasty. With a desire to share the knowledge and skin care ways of its Korean ancestors, Beauty of Joseon creates products using hanbang ingredients recorded in the book. Hanbang is mostly found in traditional Korean medicine, with common components such as ginseng, green tea, lotus root, and ginger. Beauty of Joseon believes that these ingredients, when applied topically, can improve overall skin condition.
When looking at the ingredient lists of the 4 products I’m trying, I spotted many botanical extracts and various herbs. Here’s what I discovered about taking my beauty cues from Joseon women:
Radiance Cleansing Balm
After testing an oil cleanser, I’m hooked on the Korean way of removing makeup. Beauty of Joseon’s Radiance Cleansing Balm has a sherbet-like texture that melts on the skin and removes all traces of makeup and excess oil. It’s gentle yet 100% effective.
According to the Kyuhab Chongseo, women of the Joseon Dynasty used facial cleansers containing grain and its fermented components to brighten skin and boost its elasticity. Chrysanthemum, one of the balm’s main ingredients, is known to improve overall complexion along with rice water, which provides the skin with Vitamin B and added moisture.
The packaging is very minimal: a simple white tub plus a spatula. I prefer using a spatula when scooping out product because it’s more hygienic. Upon opening the balm, I thought it looked like hair wax! The balm has a smooth and silky texture and it becomes oily when applied. I could easily see my makeup dissolving as I massaged it onto my skin. No tugging required! I must say, I prefer the feeling of a balm compared to an oil cleanser because of how much softer it feels on my skin.
Apricot Blossom Peeling Gel
The next product falls under the third step of the Korean skin care routine. The Apricot Peeling Gel is a gentle exfoliator that removes dead skin cells as well as excess sebum and dirt embedded in pores.
The gel contains fruit enzymes including apricot blossom, plum and apple extracts. All together, these natural ingredients restore moisture, brighten a dull complexion, and leave you with smoother skin. The apple extracts also contain Vitamin C which is a great antioxidant that provides anti-aging benefits.
If you’ve never tried a peeling gel before, the steps are simple:
- Cleanse your face but don’t completely dry it, as it’s better to apply the gel on slightly damp skin
- Apply a sufficient amount of the gel, avoiding the eye area
- Gently massage the gel in a circular motion and rinse with lukewarm water
While I was massaging the gel, I noticed tiny clumps started to form. This is normal as it means you’re rubbing off the peeling gel as well as your dead skin cells. After a complete rinse, my skin felt a lot smoother, especially around the jawline where I have some rough patches from past blemishes.
You can use the Apricot Peeling Gel once or twice a week, depending on your skin condition. Remember not to go overboard as there’s such a thing as over-exfoliating!
Beauty of Joseon’s Dynasty Cream has been raved about by the beauty community and is now a cult favorite in Korea. The cream claims to offer five benefits, from hydration, brightening and nourishing the skin to improving elasticity and fighting wrinkles.
Dynasty Cream has a long list of ingredients and one of the main ones I noticed is niacinamide. Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, is an ingredient that I always look for in skin care products. It has many positive benefits: It boosts collagen production, improves the appearance of enlarged pores and fine lines, and evens out skin tone. Other key ingredients included are natural extracts from orchid, honey, ginseng, radish leaf, rice bran and safflower seed oil.
Just like the Radiance Cleansing Balm, the Dynasty Cream comes with a spatula and the packaging is gorgeous! I expected the cream to be thick like other creams but it wasn’t. It has an unusual texture — in a good way – that I’ve never felt before. It’s a firm cream yet feels like a gel, and even kind of slimy but not sticky. Overall, the consistency is perfect for a night cream and doesn’t feel greasy at all.
I have combination skin so I was initially a bit worried that this cream might be too heavy for my skin type, but thankfully it wasn’t. I apply a thin layer of it after my serums and a little goes a long way! I agree with another one of our YesStyle editors, who also reviewed the cream and thought that it would suit those with dry skin.
Revitalize Sleeping Mask
After applying the Dynasty Cream, I layered the Revitalize Sleeping Mask on top. It’s formulated with extracts from black beans, ginseng and orchid, which provide anti-aging benefits, boost skin’s hydration and rejuvenate skin, respectively.
I’m not a fan of incorporating sleeping masks into my routine during summer and prefer to use them in winter when my skin needs more moisture. But I gave it a go and the end result wasn’t too bad! If you have dry skin, feel free to use this mask all year long.
Before applying the mask, I placed it in the refrigerator for a little bit – this is just my preference as I enjoy the cooling effect of the mask’s gel-like texture. I suggest massaging and gently patting it in until it’s fully absorbed and your skin is left feeling dewy. After the first day of trying it, I woke up with skin that was plump instead of looking like an oil slick. Thumbs up for that!
Although it’s too soon to report any drastic changes from using Beauty of Joseon (I can’t say much about the brand’s anti-aging claims, particularly), after having tested its products for about two weeks, I do see a slight improvement in my skin’s texture – and waking up to glowing and well-hydrated skin is the best thing to wake up to! What’s good about these products is that you can either use them as a set or separately. If you’re too shy or frugal to get them all at once, I’d say to go for the Dynasty Cream and Revitalize Sleeping Mask first – they’re an amazing combo!