disclaimer: this product was sent to me for review purposes. all opinions are my own and are unbiased
I have used a few The Saem products in the past, but had stayed mainly with cleansing water, foot care items and makeup. This is the first real facial skincare product I have used by them and I have to say, it is a winner for me! Jolse, a premier Korean online store, recommended that I look at The Saem products when I was choosing a few items to review ~ as they are very good products, but not as well known as other brands. I have been looking at hanbang products and really wanted to try a skincare line with ginseng in it. I was disappointed by the recent ginseng items I have used (review here) and was hoping this one would be a better experience.
My skin type and concerns: Oily but aging. Blemish prone, pores, hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.
What This Is
I did a lot of reading with this item, based on the information from the adverts and product description. I could not find any reviews on this product, which isn’t to say that there aren’t any ~ just means I failed to find them. Based on my rough translation of the product adverts, I came up with this. If I mistranslated something, please let me know in the comments and I will correct it ~ thank you so much.
The secret of beauty that reinterprets the modern wisdom of nature and tradition by treating water, fire, earth and time in a harmonious way
This is a whitening (brightening) and anti-wrinkle essence made with ginseng leaf extract. It will strengthen the skin and replenish the skin’s elasticity. It uses a liposome delivery method, which you can see in the above photo, and will allow water soluble ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin, as they are wrapped around liposomes, which are oil-soluble (lipids). This essence is rich in nutrients that will help improve your skin’s texture.
The Saem mentions that this is made with a processed called “forage” or “foie”, depending on google translate. When used in traditional oriental medicine, you process herbal ingredients in a variety of ways, such as fermenting or roasting via steam. This is a direct translation from the above image ~ “It reinterprets the wisdom of life transmitted from our ancestors into modern science and delivers mild yet effective efficacy to the skin.”
This uses environmentally friendly cultivated ginseng leaves from the Yeoju, Gyeonggi Province. The ginseng leaves will be harvested at 3 to 6 months old. Using sea sand from Gangneung Gyeongpo beach to help filter impurities from the leaves and prepare the extract.
There are 1o Oriental medicine ingredients in this essence which will deliver vitality to your skin, strengthen and energize ~ ginseng, cinnamon, angelica, atractylodes rhizome, cnidium officinale, poria cocos, peony, licorice, rehmannia chinensis and astragalus.
This also contains 5 native plant extracts to Korea ~ Lotus (Moaksan Mt in Jeollabuk-do) for moisture, Cornus Officinalis (aka Japanese cornelian cherry) from Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do for skin elasticity, Chrysanthemum (Jeongeup) for skin nutrition, Buckwheat (Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province ~ Bongpyeong Mt) for transparency and Citrus Unshui Peel (Jeju Island) for skin vitality
So that is my very bad translation of what The Saem has to say about this essence.
Ingredients of Note
I want to start off by saying this is not a vegan product, as it does contain oyster shell extract in it. The ingredient list is HUGE, so I will focus some of the top few ingredients.
- Red Ginseng As this is called Wild Ginseng, it better have it in here and this product contains 4 different types of ginseng ingredients ~ the very first ingredient in this product is ginseng leaf and stem extract ~ making up 74.6% of the product. It also has ginseng cell culture extract, ginseng root oil and ginseng root extract ~ and the ginseng root is claimed to be 110 years old. This ingredient is used in anti-aging skin care products, as its phytonutrients can stimulate the skin and activate the blood flow, which will increase toning and production of new skin cells. It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, due to natural carbohydrate called saponin, and will help reverse damage caused by free radicals, such as hyper-pigmentation and also combat free radicals to prevent new skin damage of fine lines and wrinkles. Ginseng detoxes your skin and leaves it radiant and glowing. Applied topically, it helps stimulate collagen production to promote cellular renewal, which will help keep your skin’s elasticity and create a glowing complexion. Its herbal properties and usage dates back over 5,000 years.
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is a powerful antioxidant that acts as an anti-inflammatory, improves your skin elasticity, enhance the skin barrier function and also it helps to even out skin tone and reduce post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.
- Glycerin and glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer are humectants ~ sealing in moisture, maintain’s the skin’s water balance on an intercellular level, which makes the skin look healthy, moist (not dry and scaly), soft to touch, and is also an emollient, leaving your skin looking radiant and supple
- Camellia Sinensis (green tea) is full of powerful anti-oxidants and due to its high concentration of polyphenols, green tea helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
I am impressed that water is the 5th ingredient in this essence. This does contain dimethicone, which helps with spreadability and is an emollient, but some people might have a bad reaction to dimethicones. This has a plethora of hanbang ingredients, ranging from job’s tears, ginger, peony, licorice and so much more.
Ingredients: panax ginseng leaf/stem extract (74.6%), butylene glycol, glycerin, niacinamide, purified water, glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, camellia sinensis leaf (green tea) extract, dimethicone, hydrogenated polyisobutene, dimethiconol, glyceryl isostearate, PEG-8 glyceryl isostearate, PEG-20 glyceryl isostearate, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, 1,2-hexanediol, pueraria lobata root extract, chrysanthellum indicum extract,sophora angustifolia root extract, vigna radiata seed extract, coix lacryma-jobi ma-yuen (job’s tears) seed extract, castanea sativa (chestnut) leaf extract, angelica acutiloba root extract, zizyphus jujuba fruit extract, bletilla striata root extract, rubus idaeus (raspberry) fruit extract, cornus officinalis fruit extract, lycium chinense fruit extract, zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract, allium sativum (garlic) bulb extract, pinus sylvestris bud extract, houttuynia cordata extract, astragalus membranaceus root extract, acanthopanax senticosus (ethuthero) root extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, eugenia caryophyllus (clove) flower extract, polygonum multiforium root extract, juglans regia (walnut) seed extract, foeniculum vulgare (fennel) fruit extract, angelica keiskei leaf/stem extract, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, cnidium officinale root extract, poria cocos extract, ganoderma lucidum (mushroom) stem extract, paeonia suffruticose root extract, portulaca oleracea extract, prunus persica (peach) kernel extract, paeonia albiflora root extract, plantago asiatica extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, atractylodes japonica rhizome extract, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, caprylic/capric triglyceride, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, coptis chinensis root extract, agrimonia pilosa extract, mentha arvensis extract, inula helenium extract, schizandra chinensis fruit extract, oyster shell extract, ophiopogon japonicus root extract, adenosine, panax ginseng cell (callus) culture extract, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, hydrogenated phosphatidylcholine, sodium polyacrylate, caramel, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, chondrus crispus (carrageenan), glycine soja (soybean) sterols, PEG-5 rapeseed sterol, ceteth-4, bacillus/soybean ferment extract, pentylene glycol, cholesterol, disodium EDTA, potassium hydroxide, polyglutamic acid, potassium cetyl phosphate, panax ginseng root oil, chysanthemum zawadskii extract, citrus sinensis (orange) peel extract, fagopyrum tataricum (buckwheat) seed extract, nelumbo nucifera flower extract, panax ginseng root extract, atractyloides macrocephala root extract, rehmannia chinensis root extract, cinnamomum cassia bark extract, fragrance cosDNA analysis
This has to be one of the nicest packaging I have seen for a product. The essence comes in a golden/bronze box that actually has a protective sleeve in the same gold/bronze design. I am not sure what Sooyeran means ~ lovely google translate states proudly that it means “handicrafts”, so I am wondering if the name references the traditional Asian medicine ingredients. The bottle is beautiful ~ it is plastic, but it is very sturdy ~ in a bronze satin color that has an ombré effect. The bottle has a rose gold ring around where the cap and the bottle meet, but after time, that rose gold rubs away to a golden shade.
The cap is beautiful ~ it is textured and reminds me of a branch. It has a lovely golden topper with a flower design in it. This comes in a pump applicator and is easy to use.
This essence is not a watery essence ~ if I had to describe the texture, I would say it is like a thick honey, but without the stickiness. It is a golden amber in color and smells like ginseng ~ warm, earthy and spicy. You can see below how it has a weight to it ~ I can actually have it create a “string”, similar to snail slime products ~ but again, it isn’t sticky or tacky. It just has a great viscosity to it. It applies smoothly on my skin and leaves it silky smooth without any tackiness.
I do like to mix a bit of beta glucan in with this essence, only because I want a more liquid essence. However, that isn’t really necessary ~ this stuff does provide a lot of moisture! On average, it added 45% more moisture to my skin and it was balanced between oil and water.
I used this essence right before my emulsion/lotion step, as it is not watery at all. In fact, this has more of a lotion-gel texture with that awesome ginseng scent. How did it perform for me? Well, the claims are that it is a brightening product and an anti-wrinkle product. I found this to be a very nourishing and moisturizing essence that left my skin feeling soft and silky smooth. It almost felt like a primer, quite frankly. It absorbed quickly into my skin and didn’t leave a dewy finish. I found that my skin’s texture was more refined after I applied this and whereas I didn’t notice brightening effects, I did notice that my fine lines and wrinkles were less noticeable.
I really think this is an essence that I will purchase again. I felt so highly of it that it made my 2016 top products list. I love everything about it ~ the packaging, the ingredient list, the scent and how it made my skin look and feel. My skin looks more radiant and I know that it feels so baby soft ~ and I didn’t break out with using this, so I think this is a great essence for oily skin types. I also think that it is a great product to mix in other items, like beta glucan or hyaluronic acid, if you want a more watery product. However, The Saem just came out with Wild Ginseng Cell Culture Ampoule Essence in the Sooyeran line and I did purchase that ~ that is a more watery product, so I will layer these two together. I am really excited about the Sooyeran line ~ they are coming out with a Radiance line ~ and I think I have found my latest obsession! I love ginseng products and this one works really well for me.
You can purchase 50 mL bottle of The SAEM Sooyeran Wild Ginseng Essence for around $50.00 USD ~ prices will fluctuate slightly due to the Korean Won/USD conversion. Jolse has free shipping all the time, ships internationally and gives out free samples. Have you tried any of The Saem’s Sooyearn line? Are you interested in them now?
image credit from jolse