First of all - Happy Valentine's gals and guys! Whether you're loved up (with significant other or significant furry friend), having a night in of pampering or ignoring the day altogether, have the most wonderful time. I'll probably be elbow deep in meringue and cream as you read this, making F my to-die-for cherry & mascarpone pavlova for a V-day sweet treat :). But onto today's post - if you haven't any prior experience with Whamisa, or fermented skincare, let me tell you from the get go that today's review is going to be something you'll be wanting to read.
Fermentation is a natural but lengthy process, in which sugars and proteins in organic matter are broken down by bacteria. There are 3 main resulting benefits:
1. As the environment acidifies, this kills off harmful bacteria and microbes, leading to a natural form of preservation, as well as maintaining the skin's acid mantle.
2. The original ingredients break down into smaller, more bio-available components, which allows them to be more readily absorbed into and utilised by the skin, accessing deeper layers.
3. The fermentation process creates by-products like amino acids, antioxidants and peptides, leading to a richer, more nutrient-dense formula.
The resulting formula is a naturally preserved, more concentrated, more potent version of it's original self, fending off bad bacteria, providing better hydration and contributing to anti-aging.
Fermented skincare is something that's becoming a lot more relevant and mainstream within beauty now, which I'm thrilled about, and one of the brands you may have heard about are Whamisa - a higher-end Korean skincare brand, with a focus on natural, botanical, organic and, most excitingly, fermented ingredients. I've got a few of their goodies c/o Buttermilk Skincare that I'm dying to tell you about so let's jump in.
O R G A N I C F L O W E R S T O N E R ( D E E P R I C H )
The Organic Flowers Toner is one of those Asia-originating toner-essence hybrids, that promises a powerful dose of hydration and antioxidants in equal measure (have a look at my Making Sense Of Korean Skincare Definitions post here for more). It's weighty, frosted-glass bottle holds a floral-citrus scented elixir, thicker than water in consistency, and distinctly serum-like. On the skin it feels immediately soft and hydrating, sinking readily into the skin without any stickiness.
Aloe Maculata Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flower Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/ Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Rhizome/Root Ferment Filtrate, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Helichrysum Arenarium Flower Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Glycerin, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Lithospermum Erythrorhizon Root Extract, Xanthan Gum, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Fragrance, d-Limonene, Linalol
Unless you're sensitive to botanical extracts, there's really nothing in this that should alarm you - in fact it's about as unoffensive as skincare gets. A waterless base of aloe vera followed by a whole host of fermented and botanical ingredients, this toner is incredibly gentle on my skin - I've even accidentally spread this over open cuts/blemishes and not even a twinge. It's rich and nourishing, and perfect to layer with the rest of my routine - in fact, the smaller particles, thanks to the fermentation process, penetrate further into the skin and interfere less with any following products you may use - making it the perfect early-routine item. I still like to use this after any AHA/BHA/Vit C serums I might be rotating that day though, to allow them to give me my supercharged results. My only negative is that based on my usage, I think I'm only going to get possibly 6-8 weeks out of this bottle, although with the lack of preservatives that's probably just as well.
O R G A N I C F L O W E R S & A L O E V E R A F E R M E N T E D H Y D R O G E L S H E E T M A S K
A really snappy title don't you think? ;) This floral number is a pretty universal favourite among kbeauty lovers and bloggers alike, and I think alongside these camellia oil masks, are my very favourite ever (although I actually really like these Egg masks too, which are a bit more affordable). A hydrogel mask, derived from plant based cellulose, these masks are clear and wibbly, looking rather like you've slapped a sliver of jelly onto your face - actually 2 slivers because this mask comes in 2 halves for a better fit.
Water, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Extract, Lactobacillus/Aloe Barbadensis Ferment Filtrate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Xanthan Gum, Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Dandelion Leaf/Root Extract Ferment Filtrate, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, (-)-alpha-bisabolol, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil.
There's so much essence in the packet, that you'll want to smooth what's in the tray over your hands/arms/neck and start tapping some into your face before putting the mask on - then go and lie down quickly or use one of my sheet mask covers to stop the thing sliding off your face. It's completely worth the little extra effort though - I try and leave mine on for as long as is feasibly possible so just block out an hour in your diary under 'R&R'.
The results from these pretties are sublime. They promise to lift, brighten and hydrate and that's precisely what they do, and exceedingly well at that. The brightening effects especially are quite noticeable and my skin feels incredibly hydrated, smooth and calm - redness knocked back, a healthy bounce to my cheeks and dehydration lines blurred. At £6+ per mask, these sadly aren't going to be an everyday feature in my life, but everyone ought to have a few stashed away for a special occasion.
If you're after a really special sheet mask and you're willing to pay that bit extra then put down the SKII masks and look no further. Formulated with Jeju sea kelp, this green, two-part mask is drenched in an entire bottle of kelp, fermented aloe and bamboo extracts. It also contains camellia oil (my favourite thing at the moment), centella and licorice to soothe, tone and aid in fine lines.
Laminaria Japonica, Aloe Maculata Leaf Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Lactobacillus/Maculata Aloe Leaf/ Molasses Ferment Filtrate, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Angelica Polymorpha Sinensis Root Extract, (-)-alpha-bisabolol, Trigonella Foenum-Graecum Seed Extract, Natto Gum, Leonurus Sibiricus Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Dioscorea Opposita (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Centella Asiatica Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Anemarrhena Asphodeloides Root Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Chlorella Ferment, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Angelica Keiskei Leaf/Stem Extract, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Royal Jelly 0.05, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Xanthan Gum, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Plantago Asiatica Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Adenosine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil
This mask has been tested to maintain long term skin hydration (up to 72 hours post application) and reduce visible lines after just the one use. Again, as with the previous mask, there's a generous amount of essence here, which I'd advocate rubbing all over yourself. I'd also strongly suggest using a sheet mask cover with both of these, to make them work that little bit harder and to really get your money's worth out of them.
All in all, I've really not got a bad word to say. Every glowing word you've ever heard about the Whamisa range is true, and I'm thoroughly pleased they're so readily available in the UK now thanks to Buttermilk (remember to use your first-time-shopper's 10% off too).
Have you tried (and loved) Whamisa skincare? I'd love to know your other fermented favourites too!
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