By Nina Haines
If you haven’t heard of Innisfree, what are you doing?? It’s Korea’s most popular K-beauty brand, and they just landed in the U.S. this past fall, opening their flagship U.S. store in NYC Union Square. I only live a few blocks away, so I have been more than I care to admit. The store walls are made up of REAL, individual plants, which are maintained and watered with an in-house irrigation system (they joke that their store has the “cleanest air in New York City!”). They offer FREE classes on skincare techniques that last about 45 minutes at the Union Square store.
The brand is affordable and eco-friendly, sourcing their products’ ingredients (which include green tea and orchid, to volcanic cluster and cica) from the island of Jeju, which is south of Seoul. Innisfree has a five-step skincare philosophy which aims to deliver clear and glowing skin. Starting with cleansing, they are firm believers in doubling-cleansing. First using a balancing oil cleanser then using a hydrating foaming cleanser. After, they replenish the skin by using a serum with hydrating green tea. A skincare routine would not be complete without addressing problem areas; serum just does not cut it. Innisfree’s intense hydrating oil addresses skin issues with customized formulas. Then, lock it all in with moisturizer! Innisfree combines two moisturizers, a emulsion and a cream. Last but certainly not least, protect the skin with SPF!
Having used their products for almost a full year now (I have not dabbled in their makeup department), here are my absolute favorites from each skincare category!
Moisturizing Cleansing Oil with Olive – I have dry skin, so I ALWAYS use an oil cleanser. I tried this cleansing oil and loved it. It emulsifies when you add water and leaves your skin satin-y soft. I’m currently trying it in the green tea version at the moment, but I miss the olive version! It smells so much better and is a little bit cheaper.
Hydrating Cleaning Foam with Green Tea – I usually am not a fan of foam cleansers (I use an oil and then the Glossier Milky Jelly for my double cleanse), but this is an exception! It’s $9 and lasts FOREVER, and it’s not too stripping for my dry skin.
Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea Seed – I’m on my third bottle of this stuff!! It’s magical. It smells INCREDIBLE. It’s cooling and fresh feeling, and does hydrate so well. I love using a jade roller to let this really sink into my skin and then follow up with a sheet mask that’s been sitting in the fridge.
My Real Squeeze Sheet Masks – Speaking of sheet masks, these are my go-to’s! I’ll never buy any other sheet masks again. While shopping at the store gives me rewards points, I buy these in bulk on Amazon and they ship straight from Korea, making it a bit cheaper.
Youth Enriched Eye Cream with Orchid – While I’m testing out other eye creams right now (specifically the Rodan + Fields bright eye complex), this is a staple in my skincare cabinet. Joan Kim on YouTube recommended it and I haven’t looked back since!
Intensive Hydrating Cream with Green Tea Seed – This is my favorite lightweight moisturizer! I also love the youth enriched orchid gel moisturizer they have, but this cream leaves my skin feeling softer and more hydrating. Again, the green tea smells so nice and luxurious.
And here are things I want to try from the brand:
Minimum for Sensitive Skin Cleansing Milk – I’m looking to find a better second cleanse option to replace my Glossier Milky Jelly (it’s a little expensive and I go through it quickly). “Creamy, soap-free cleanser moisturizes sensitive skin while gently cleansing away excess dirt, oil and make-up without over-drying. Formulated with plant-derived extracts and naturally derived ingredients to help skin sustain moisture. Gentle enough for daily use, our milky cleanser rinses off easily to reduce skin irritation.”
Intensive Hydrating Oil with Green Tea Seed – This is probably the most expensive product on Innisfree, and I really want to see if it’s worth it more than my less-than-ten-dollars oils from TJMaxx. “Our soothing and nourishing oil provides intense moisture and anti-oxidant protection. Skin feels wrapped comfort with a smoother feel and a healthy-looking glow.”
Cica Balm with Bija Seed Oil – This balm is their newest release, and I would love to see if this improves my rosacea and skin texture. “This lightweight, gel-type balm uses two superstar ingredients to care for troubled skin. Cica (a.k.a. Centella Asiatica Extract) and Bija fruit essence work in tandem to help improve the skin’s protective barrier, tone and texture.”
Lip Sleeping Pack with Canola Honey – Want to see how this compares to the Laneige lip sleeping pack!! “Pamper your pout while you sleep with this deeply moisturizing evening lip balm formulated to care for and nourish your lips with Jeju Canola Honey and Oil.”
Which brand would you like to see next? Comment below!