Back in July, I shared on Instagram that I was about to embark on a skincare journey with Amorepacific and Sulwhasoo. As some of you know, Amorepacific and Sulwhasoo are under the AmorePacific Corporation umbrella and are a beauty powerhouse in South Korea with brands like Etude House, Laneige and Aritaum also being part of the family. Amorepacific and Sulwhasoo are on the upper end of the brand spectrum in terms of pricing and though I have had quite a bit of experience with entry level brands like Laneige and Etude House, I had yet to experience luxury Korean skincare. I thought about doing one first impressions review on everything I was using, but I think it'll be more useful to have in-depth reviews for each item since I personally would phase in products at this price point into my routine one at a time instead of five at once. I mean, that's a lot of money to throw out there in one go and people rarely change their skincare routine that drastically.
Whenever I get to know a brand, I start with what I refer to as the "peripherals" of the brand. Products that sit on the tail ends of a typical skincare routine and are rinsed off the skin. These products shouldn't change skin too much, but just enough that I get an idea of what the rest of the brand will be like. Though I did not receive the full sized product from PR, the travel sized version of the Amorepacific Treatment Cleansing Oil Face & Eyes* (200mL/$60.00 CDN) was more than enough for a month of testing!
When I started working in Sephora, as a freelancer, Amorepacific was quite new in-store. It was one of the more expensive skincare lines and the only Korean skincare brand in-store at the time other than the odd SK-II product here and there. Initially, I thought Amorepacific leaned more towards "technical skincare" just based on packaging and lack of cute cartoons charateristic of most kbeauty, but its roots are surprisingly botanical-based. With ingredients harvested and grown on the Korean island of Jeju, green tea, red ginseng, bamboo sap and pine mushroom fuel their skincare. While I wouldn't classify Amorepacific as "natural", their ingredients lean more green than industrial.
The double cleanse has long been part of the Asian beauty routine - the idea of first lifting makeup and other impurities with oil and then actually cleansing CLEAN skin a second time with a cream or foam cleanser. The Amorepacific Treatment Cleansing Oil is termed a "delicate botanical cleanser" which I would agree with. Though there are quite a number of oils in this cleaner that contribute to its ultra smooth consistency, dicaprylyl carbonate, stood out to me as it is a plant-derived fat that gives texture excellent spreadability and is known as a "dry emollient". This means that it is able to moisturize skin by enhancing the skin's lipid layer without leaving behind a greasy residue. How perfect is that quality for a cleansing oil?! It also gives skin the same velvety feel that silicone would provide except that IT'S NOT SILICONE! (Truth in Aging - Dicaprylyl Carbonate, September 2016)
Ingredients: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Pentaerythrityltetraethylhexanoate, Peg-8 Glyceryl Isostearate, Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Camelliasinensis Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leafextract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Caricapapaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Water, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance.
This looks just like most cleansing oils and though it was quite hydrating, leans more to the fluid side. If you were to compare the consistency of this oil to a heavier one that was rosehip or sunflower oil-based, it would honestly feel like night and day. Heavier oils need to be removed in a different way rather than straight rinsing. Usually, heavier oils should be removed with a warm damp facecloth and wiped off.
With oil cleansers, start with dry skin. It's funny how when you are immersed in the skincare world, you would think everyone would know this, but not so! After about 30 seconds of a face massage, add water and the oiliness disappears into a milky liquid. This cleanser left my skin feeling halfway between squeaky clean and extremely hydrated.
Final verdict: As much as I enjoyed the texture and how my skin felt after cleansing, I found the fragrance very strong. It smelled incredibly luxurious, but I think after two years of using mostly green beauty products, highly fragranced skincare is something I am not used to anymore. Aside from the fragrance, this oil had a light consistency which I prefer in a cleansing oil as I like to keep things simple and rinse off with water instead of a damp cloth. My skin felt clean and moist after cleansing and a little oil really went a long way. My 30mL bottle lasted so much longer than I thought it would so the full size will last you months if you only use it once a day. I think Amorepacific has other star products that I would rather spend my money on as I have very few criteria on which I judge cleansing oils. The fragrance was definitely something that made me think twice about purchasing the full size so if you have sensitivities to scent, I would advise smelling this in-store before purchasing.
Amorepacific is available at Sephora, Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom.
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