REVIEW: INNISFREE Jeju Sparkling Mineral Essence + Oil-Free Gel Cream

I haven’t used or reviewed any Innisfree products in quite a long time (my last Innisfree review was actually the Jeju Lava Seawater line), and I have such a fondness for this brand as one of the first Korean skincare brands I tried and loved – so I’ve really enjoyed trying out the Jeju Sparkling Mineral line for the past month.

Innisfree Jeju Sparkling Mineral Essence

The moisture essence, formulated with Jeju sparkling thermal water delivers abundant minerals and moisture into your skin while providing a perfect solution for sleekness, brightness and elasticity simultaneously.

The main focus of this line is obviously the Jeju sparkling mineral water of which this essence contains 76.34% of it. (Note: sparkling water refers to water that has carbon dioxide added to it, thus making it carbonated, aka fizzy water. This is what makes the unique lightweight, bubbly texture of this particular product and why it is dispensed through an aerosol can).



Ingredients list

Other noteable ingredients include orange peel extract, orchid extract, green tea leaf extract, wiilow bark extract and prickly pear extract – their benefits include a mix of antioxidants, anti-ageing, soothing and moisturising properties. I bought this at the end of 2016 and I believe it has been reformulated slightly since its first release in 2015 as it no longer contains niacinamide (for brightening), squalene is much higher up the ingredients list (for anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, moisturising) and there is a slightly higher amount of deionized water.

I love the aerosol bottle this comes in; the gradiant blue-green of it is so beautiful and calming and evokes thoughts of hydration, sea, water and summer. It is also quite unique as you don’t get many skincare products that come out of an aerosol can which is what intrigued me and made me want to give this a try.

Aersol pump can

I use this essence both morning and night after cleansing, toner and FTE. I use it alongside other serums/essences so it slots in before or after other products in this category depending on lightest to thickest consistency. The directions on the packaging suggest using an amount equal to 1.5cm in diameter onto face and neck and then smooth for better absorption. 

This comes with 70g of product but because it’s a carbonated frothy consistency, I think you can easily run through this a lot quicker than other products containing the same amount. It’s so light and airy there’s a tendency to assume you need to apply a lot but actually I quickly found after pumping out way too much the first time, that a small lump (half of the amount shown below), can go a long way for your face and neck. If you want this product to last a couple months at least, you only need to press down very lightly on the aerosol pump rather than pushing it all the way down.

You only need half this amount for face and neck as it is very watery and a little goes a long way

What I found surprising about this essence compared to other Innisfree skincare products I’ve used, is that its fragrance is a lot more subtle and natural. It smells light and fresh with a hint of citrus. People who are usually put off by Innisfree’s heavily fragranced products might want to give this one a try.

I absolutely love using this essence and it has become one of my favourites to use this summer. I especially enjoy the consistency. It sprays out the bottle like fluffy foam (reminds me of the Neogen Real Fresh Cleansing Foams) but then it melts down, liquifies and becomes very watery and spreadable as you smooth it over your skin. It instantly gives your skin that burst of cooling hydration and sinks into the skin so well, leaving it refreshed, soft and hydrated without a sticky, heavy feeling. (If you are heavy handed and apply a lot of product at once though, it does take a bit longer to absorb and you will get a slight tacky finish before it completely dries down).

Very refreshing and hydrating – like a burst of water for your skin

It is disappointing that niacinamide is no longer present in this essence as I love seeing this fantastic ingredient in my skincare, but it doesn’t bother me too much as I use a lot of other products in my routine with niacinamide in it and the main focus for this product is its hydrating and moisturising abilities – which is what Innisfree were likely emphasising by moving squalene up to 5th place on the ingredients list. You’re better off using a separate treatment product targeted specificially for brightening skin which contains a larger concentration of niacinamide than the older version of this essence originally would.

This product overall benefits from being in an aerosol can and dispensing as foam because it makes it fun and interesting to use – but when it comes down to it, it isn’t the most potent skincare product since the majority of this essence is made up of Jeju sparkling thermal water. It does remind me of the Belif Hungarian Water Essence, and both products may not sound the most exciting on paper, but they are most definitely effective at flooding your skin with hydration and maintaining it within your skin, without making you oily. This has been super useful for me this summer when we’ve had a really unexpected heatwave and my skin has never gotten dehydrated and tight in the heat when I’ve used this.

Innisfree Oil-Free Gel Cream

This oil-free moisture gel cream, formulated with Jeju sparkling thermal water, replenishes your skin with the moisture it needs and freshly captures the oily sebum. 

This has a slightly higher concentration of the Jeju sparkling thermal water at 79.5%. There is a regular moisturiser in the Jeju Sparkling Mineral line but at the time I bought this, I had younger, more normal-oily skin than I do now which is currently on the normal-dehydrated side (with oily t-zone in summer).



Ingredients list

Judging from the ingredients list, this is a lot less exciting than the essence; it has Innisfree’s usual concotion of plant/fruit extracts, a lot of ingredients to control the viscosity of the formula and standard moisturising agents like glycerin.

The gel cream comes in a vibrant blue screw-top jar – I love Innisfree jars and want to collect them in every colour – but as usual it doesn’t come with a spatula.

Like the essence, the fragrance for this is very minimal and smells natural rather than perfumed. The consistency in the jar is a clear gel that looks like jelly but is quite firm and doesn’t fall out if you quickly tip the jar upside down. I find it easier and more hygenic to scoop out this product with a spatula due to its wobbly texture. When you break down the gel and massage it into your skin, it does become very liquid and spreadable so a little bit feels like it goes a long way – however although it feels very wet and skin-drenching when you first apply, it does dry down very quickly with an immediate tacky finish that goes away after you’ve let it absorb for a bit.

Comes sealed with an inner plastic cover

Clear, firm gel consistency

Lightweight – spreads easily with no resistance and has a watery texture

As my skin isn’t on the oily side, I don’t mind applying a bit more than I would for a usual cream moisturiser. My problem with this gel-cream though is that I don’t feel it hydrates and retains moisture in my skin for very long so if I’m going to be in an air conditioned enviroment for a long period of time or I plan to wear a more matte foundation than I would avoid using this moisturiser. For oily skin I can see this being a great option for the summer. When I use this I barely get any sebum production on my t-zone during the day and what little oil that I do get on my nose area is very very minimal. This has been the case even on really hot days when I’m out in the sun.

Absorbs very quickly with no visible dewy finish or sheen. Looks as if nothing has been applied and you can’t feel anything sitting atop your skin.

However mid-way through the day, I can feel my skin getting more dehydrated on areas such as my chin and my skin texture starts to show through my foundation, which is how I can usually identify my skin is lacking moisture from within. This is bearable for the hot summer months, but I definitely wouldn’t be able to use this gel cream in the Autumn/Winter. What I’ve found myself doing on some days when I want that additional moisture is adding a couple drops of the Huxley facial oil to this, which really defeats the purpose of this cream being oil-free.

I wouldn’t buy this again because as I get older, my skin gets less and less oily, but for people who struggle with oily skin I highly recommend this one because it does have good oil control.

Overall, I like these products from the Jeju Sparkling Mineral line – Innisfree skincare rarely disappoints me. Although I do love the essence much more than the gel cream, that’s not to say the latter isn’t a good product, it’s just not really suited for my skin type as I prefer and need my moisturiser to do more for me to combat dehydration.

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