Beauty, Cosmetic Reviews
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Review: Tosowoong Natural Pure Propolis Whitening Treatment Essence

It has been an adventure trying to get this essence that has been on my wishlist since 2015, I finally managed to nab a bottle on one of the seemingly rare occasions it was in stock. A good cosmetic is always worth the wait!


Tosowoong is a South Korean cosmetic brand that launched in 2004. It quickly became a cult favorite brand, producing botanical based products with a reputation for whitening & anti-aging benefits. The brand initially became known for luxury products, but their affordable product lines have had commercialized success in recent years.

Routine Placement

An essence is placed towards the beginning of a skincare routine, it would be applied after cleansing. This is a light, watery essence that should be applied after toner or chemical exfoliants if these steps are included in your routine.

Product Claims

Tosowoong advertises this essence as a dual-functional whitening & anti-wrinkle treatment. While the ingredient list can boast of botanical bliss, it lacks the chemical exfoliants to be anti-aging or skin brightening. Here are the advertised claims as listed on Jolse:

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 6.45.11 PM

  • Protects the skin from various hazards that harm the skin.
  • Tends the sensitive and dull skin with superb elasticity.
  • Whitening and anti-aging effects with moisture and nutrition.



This is a translucent gel that dries quickly after application to a non-sticky, satin finish.


One aspect I always appreciate about Tosowoong products is their neutral scent, especially in a marketplace where heavily perfumed cosmetics seems commonplace. This product has no real scent, I can only decent the slightest sweet notes when searching for it.


The essence comes in an opaque white tube with a pump dispenser. The small bottle is very durable & I have not experienced any issues with product leakage. I do wish the bottle was less opaque because I cannot see the amount of product that is left.


I waited so long to get my hands on this product, it seems like it always sells out quickly online. I definitely had heightened expectations so it should be unsurprising that I was letdown, this essence is just a little lackluster to me.

The essence is a nice little moisturizing step, but it is not revolutionary. It does offer minimal hydration. It absorbs quickly. It layers very well with other skincare & make-up.

However, I anticipated a cosmetic that is 75% honey to be much more moisturizing. I did not experience any brightening effects as I usually do with niacinamide & fermented ingredients. The entire ingredient list on this product is fantastic actually, it just did not translate into actual results for me.


I kept comparing this essence in my head to another Tosowoong propolis cosmetic, the Propolis Sparking Ampoule. I loved the ampoule, it is quite hydrating & I used it as a morning moisturizer in the summer. The essence is a nice product, but I would definitely recommend the ampoule over this product.

Potentially 1 acne trigger & 0 irritants according to CosDNA

Ingredient List
Propolis Extract (75%), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Purified Water, Rh-oligopeptide-1, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Bifida Fermate Lysate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Betaine, Allantoin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Arginine, Adenosine, Honey Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Olive Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Blackberry Extract, Acai Fruit Extract, Raspberry Extract, Strawberry Extract, Bilberry Extract, Cranberry Extract, Aronia Berry Extract, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Sapindus Mukurossi Extract, Blueberry Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA



Price: $14.01 / 60ml, $6.90 per Ounce

This product is relatively accessible online for Western countries, but it tends to go out of stock & it takes time to become available again. I originally tried to purchase this product on Black Friday 2016, but it sold out before my order was processed & I was not able to get a hold of it until two months ago from a different online shop.


Rating: 4 / 5

I liked this essence, I would consider repurchasing though I doubt I realistically would. It is an affordable little bottle that contains a fantastic botanical-based ingredient list, but it acts like a light moisturizer & definitely does not fulfill the expectations of the advertised claims.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Beauty Empties [01] | Winter 2018 | A Little Driftless

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