Prior to switching to mainly Korean skincare, I followed the basic Western 3 step routine of cleanser, toner, moisturiser both morning and evening. I would use the exact same products, same routine day in day out no matter what my skin condition or what the season was.
Nowadays, I tend to listen and pay more attention to what my skin needs and adapt my skincare routine more effectively on a regular basis. I incorporate everything from the basics to exfoliators, essences, serums, eye cream, sheet masks and sleeping packs/masks.
My skin is definitely thanking me for the change and one of the first products I incorporated into my new routine included the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum and the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Cream.
I initially only planned to pick up the Green Tea Seed Serum from this line because it was highly raved about and an Innisfree bestseller. However, while browsing in the Innisfree shop in Seoul, I saw the Green Tea Seed Cream and thought it would work well in combination with the serum so I ended up getting both.
Green Tea Seed Serum
I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed after using this product particularly since I had really high expectations from all the raves it has. Used in combination with the cream, it provides good hydration but really, other than that it doesn’t seem to have many other benefits. Yet despite not having a multitude of skincare properties I’ve come to expect from Korean products, I actually really enjoy using this serum for the texture, smell and how it makes my skin feel.
This is advertised by Innisfree as a serum that delivers abundant moisture and nourishment deep into the skin and contains eco-friendly Jeju Island 100% fresh green tea and green tea seeds – the former to provide hydration and the latter creating a moisture barrier to lock in the skin moisture for longer.
From Korea, this cost me 17,600 won/£9.94/$15.20.
Taking a look at the ingredients, green tea extract is listed first and accounts for a whopping 75.9% of this serum. I love that since some products that claim to have star ingredients only equate to a minimal amount when you take a closer look at its ingredients list. Green tea is known as an antioxidant, is anti-inflammatory, hydrating and great for sensitive skin.
There are a lot of citrus extracts such as grapefruit, orange and tangerine which help to moisturise, tone and brighten skin.
Some people might be put off that alcohol is listed fourth but it doesn’t bother me since it neither has an alcohol smell or is drying/irritating on my skin.
I really love the packaging of this serum. This 80ml plastic bottle is cute, compact and light enough for travel. It’s so small I was surprised it was as much as 80ml because it looks a lot less and the Soybean Serum I also got from Innisfree is 50ml and has a bigger bottle, although it is longer. This also comes with a protective cap over the pump so it doesn’t spill or leak out if you are carrying it around. I also think its great since it covers the dispenser hole which keeps bacteria and germs out.
For a serum this actually has quite a low viscosity. It is watery and runny but only a bit thicker than water with a semi-transparent milky white colour. I love this fragrance. Its a mix of green tea and a floral scent with a hint of citrus. Some people find it to be too overpowering but I think its just right and it doesn’t linger after I’ve applied. Its very similar to the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea perfume.
I generally use this after cleanser, toner and essence but before moisturiser. Sometimes I will layer up serums that have different skincare purposes and the general rule is that lighter and thinner consistencies go first and then thicker, heavier ones last.
I apply 1 and a half pumps which is enough to adequately cover my face and neck area. It absorbs quickly and immediately my face feels slightly plumper due to the instant hydration it gives. It doesn’t leave a sticky or heavy feel on the skin and I can move on to my next skincare step immediately after.
Overall, this is a good serum for giving a good boost of moisture. It works great for all skin types, both summer and winter although you’d probably need more hydrating steps in the winter for dry skin. I have oily/combination skin and I don’t find this is too heavy or makes me any oilier. Very oily skin types could even rely on this alone without a moisturiser.
However, I don’t think it’s a must have for me because there are other products out there that can hydrate while also having other benefits. Especially for a serum, I do expect a bit more from it such as anti wrinkle or brightening properties. Its a fairly basic ingredients list with just green tea as the standout and I haven’t noticed any long term benefits other than hydrating my skin. I like this product and it does its job but it doesn’t wow me.
Green Tea Seed Cream
For the past 2 years of my flying career, I only used the Garnier Skin Moisture Match Protect & Glow. Looking back on it now, I can’t believe my skin didn’t just give up and go crazy with breakouts. Definitely got lucky in the genes department. Flying constantly is so drying for the skin and Garnier definitely didn’t provide enough moisture. I didn’t realise at the time that it was probably due to the lack of hydration that my skin was producing more oil because it was getting dehydrated yet I had dry patches too.
Enter the Green Tea Seed Cream. My skin feels so much better for it.
Like the Green Tea Seed Serum, this is 100% fresh squeezed green tea and green tea seed from Jeju. Rich in amino acids and minerals, it claims to be an anti-oxidant infused cream for deep hydration and nourishment.
In Korea, this cost 16,000 won/£9.05/$13.80.
It contains similar ingredients to the serum including the citrus extracts. Not sure what % of green tea extract is contained in it since it does not state on the website unlike the serum, but probably a nice high dose since it’s listed first. It also contains more humectant and occlusive ingredients since it’s a cream that gives you a strong moisture barrier.
This cream comes housed in a 50ml plastic jar with a twist off lid. It doesn’t come with a spatula so you need to scoop the product out which isn’t the most hygienic. It had a protective seal over the cream but I’ve since lost it.
This cream has a nice consistency. It’s quite thick and firm but also quite gel-like and bouncy. I can tip the pot upside down and it won’t budge.
The scent similar to the serum – floral, herbal and green tea-ish. Probably slighter stronger as it’s a more dense consistency but not to the point that its overwhelming. Its fresh and doesn’t linger once it’s absorbed into the skin.
I apply this as the final step in my skincare routine. As it’s now winter I tend to double up on the moisturiser before bed, using a lighter gel texture first then applying this to seal in all the goodness. If I’m using a sleeping pack, I may skip this cream altogether, or apply an hour or so before. This gives it time to fully absorb so it doesn’t feel too heavy on my skin in combination with a very hydrating sleeping pack.
This is definitely the thickest and most moisturising cream I’ve ever used. Since my skin (and especially my t-zone) has always leaned more towards oily, I’ve always picked light or gel type moisturisers. I’d say this would be too heavy for my skin in summer but as it’s winter now it works well to apply every evening. It provides alot of moisturisation and my skin feels immediately bouncy, firm, soft and hydrated. Never used to get that feeling with my previous moisturiser, since it wasn’t hydrating enough.
When I touch my face you can also feel there is a thin smooth layer sitting atop the skin that is creating the moisture barrier to seal and lock in the moisture. There is no heavy or uncomfortable feeling but it is not as absorbing as the serum. Since this acts as an occlusive I’m fine with it in the evening after I’ve applied a lighter moisturiser. However, I don’t tend to use this in the morning because it can make me oilier quicker during the day and I don’t have enough time in the morning to wait for it to fully absorb before applying my makeup. Though sometimes I will just apply to my cheek, chin and neck area while avoiding my oily t-zone.
I guess the downside then would be that for my skin type, it doesn’t work too great in oily areas of my face. Under makeup, it makes me shinier and more oily during the day. When I apply in the evening, I wake up with nice hydrated skin but my nose can feel quite slippery.
If your skin is dry however, this makes a great all year round moisturiser. I remember a time just after my last couple flights before I left, that I would get off the plane and my skin would feel really tight and dry, with a bit of an itch from the dry weather. I would generously slather both the serum and cream on and after a couple days my skin went back to feeling and looking normal again. For skin more like mine, it’s moisturising enough for winter but I would look for something different during the warmer seasons.
Both these products are good additions to my skincare routine and I’m glad I tried them both. I think the Green Tea Seed Serum is more versatile and works for any season or skin type. I can apply this with any other products since it absorbs quickly.
While I like the Green Tea Seed Cream, I have to be more careful and thoughtful about when and with what other products I apply with since it is a thick cream that tends to sit more on the skin and makes me more oily during the day. It’s not an everyday product in my opinion, but more for when I need a good boost of hydration on drier days.