Beauty, Cosmetic Reviews
Comments 8

Review: Innisfree Jeju Bija Anti-Trouble Cleansing Gel

I have just come around to testing this cult classic cleanser. While cleansing is not the most exciting step of a skincare routine, this cleanser always seemed particularly lackluster for me. However, only trial can prove if this bija is bae or bust.

Brand

Innisfree is a South Korean company that launched in 2000. Their products are focused on natural ingredients & also one of the only Korean cosmetic companies that is ECOCERT certified, an organic & free trade certification.

The company is also involved in local socially conscious efforts that can be done by anyone, such as promoting recycling cosmetic containers & selling handkerchiefs as an alternative to disposable tissues. I do prefer to see more global efforts & corporate transparency from such a big brand, but Innisfree’s parent company is AmorePacific & I have rambled many times about all their great efforts to make the world a better place.

Routine Placement

The is a water-based cleanser that could be used in AM & PM skincare routine. It would be used as the second step of a Double Cleansing Method.

Product Claims

There are some bold claims associated with this cleanser! Despite this being a wash-off step, it is advertised as an acne treatment & skin exfoliant. It will leave skin feeling free & remove make-up, though waterproof makeup is not explicitly mentioned. The products main claim in listed in the namesake, Bija; which Innisfree advertises as a chemical exfoliant & enhances the skin’s natural defense system. Here are the claims from Innisfree’s website:

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 8.01.36 PM

  • A refreshing facial cleansing gel for removing makeup and treating skin problems
  • Contains Jeju bija oil for outstanding, enhanced skin
  • Contains natural ingredients, such as salicyl acid, to remove dead skin cells and treat skin problems
  • The mineral-free ingredients treat your skin without leaving an oily residue.

Application

Appearance

The clear gel has the slightest green tint, it has the most watery consistency I have ever experienced with a cleanser product. It leaves behind no residue once the product is rinsed off, the product seems to completely dissipate once it comes in contact with any moisture.

Scent

It has a moderate citrus herbal scent, the smell definitely has a presence though not overpowering.

Packaging

The cleanser comes in an opaque plastic bottle with a pump for dispensing the product. The pump is easy to control when dispensing the product so you should not be concerned with excessive product, but the pump is more cheaply manufactured than my recently reviewed Nature Republic packaging so I have experienced minor leakage with the Innisfree pump.

Performance

This is just a cleanser, I should not have so many feelings about it. But I do.

When I read reviews online or hear people mention this product, they rave about what a gentle cleanser this. It only feels gentle because it does nothing to the skin, this includes not actually cleaning the face. However, the product contains BHA & citrus extracts so I already doubt the gentle claims. It tastes strongly of chemicals & it burns my admittedly sensitive eyes, which I assume the BHA is the culprit because the first-third of the ingredient list is tame otherwise.

The main issue is the ineffectiveness though.

When this cleanser is applied to wet skin, it just disappears. It is normal for the consistency to thin once water is added, but this is beyond that because it feels non-existent. I have never been one to use foaming cleansers so I typically seek gel or lotion cleansers, this should be a product I like.

No oil cleanser or makeup remover so I did not expect this cleanser to remove everything, but I did expect it to remove something or more than just move around my concealer a bit.

I did not like using this as a second cleanser in the Double Cleansing Method because it felt like there was no difference between using this cleanser or just splashing water on my face. This could still be used as a gentle morning cleanser, probably more suited towards dry skin types or oily skin if they have a minimal nighttime routine. I would be concerned that this cleanser does not wash off overnight products well enough that it might cause issues for anyone with less than normal skin.

Potentially 2 acne triggers & 1 irritant according to CosDNA

Ingredient List
WATER, DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL, PEG-15 GLYCERYL ISOSTEARATE, PEG-20 GLYCERYL TRIISOSTEARATE, BIS-PEG-18 METHYL ETHER DIMETHYL SILANE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, PEG/PPG/POLYBUTYLENE GLYCOL-8/5/3 GLYCERIN, TORREYA NUCIFERA SEED OIL(450mg), SALICYLIC ACID, CITRUS UNSHIU PEEL EXTRACT, ORCHID EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CAMELLIA JAPONICA LEAF EXTRACT, DISODIUM EDTA, OPUNTIA COCCINELLIFERA FRUIT EXTRACT, ROSA CENTIFOLIA FLOWER EXTRACT, TOCOPHEROL, POLYSORBATE 20, PHENOXYETHANOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, FRAGRANCE

Bija

Botanical extract from the pine tree family, it has antioxidant & anti-bacterial benefits though this ingredient is not well researched

Salicylic Acid

A form of BHA that exfoliates dead skin with the ability to penetrate pore lining, it can effectively reduce blackheads & other types of acne breakouts

Satsuma

Citrus fruit common in Japan, it is an antioxidant though citrus can cause skin sensitivity & irritation

Green Tea

A potent antioxidant that calms inflammation, prevents collagen breakdown & reduces UV damage.

Camellia Japonica

Potent antioxidant with skin soothing benefits & similar fatty acid makeup as olive oil

Tocopheryl

This antioxidant is a form of Vitamin E that reduces inflammation & smooths skin texture.

Misc. Ingredient Notes

It is important to note that I skipped over the first-third of the ingredient list before discussing individual ingredients. There is a reason for this, the first portion of the ingredient list is entirely unexciting & pertains more to the cleanser consistency than actual skincare benefits. All these ingredients are cosmetic thickeners that are derived from silicone or some other man-made compound.

It does surprise me that this formula is so watery provided the amount of thickening agents contained in the ingredient list, but that does not make this a bad product.

There is nothing wrong with these ingredients, they formulate a perfectly okay cleanser. A cleanser is a wash-off product so it does not need be particularly enticing. There is just nothing inspiring about this ingredient list, particularly the list order.

Value

Price: $13.48 / 150ml, $2.64 per Ounce

This cleanser seemingly has a cult following, this it is widely available online through the Innisfree site & various cosmetic wholesalers. This cleanser is accessible in just about any country you would so desire. I do not like this product, but it is not a harmful cosmetic so I would not recommend against trying it if you’ve always been curious.

Overall

Rating: 1.5 / 5

This is an extremely gentle cleanser so it may be ideal for sensitive skin, I am in the minority for disliking this product because Korean cosmetic community constantly raves about this. However, I find it to be an ineffective second cleanser in a Double Cleansing Method & it irritated my eyes. I strongly disliked this cleanser because what is the point of cleansing if my skin is not clean after using? I am partially salty because this cleanser is so hyped on social media & I feel like I have been deceived!

8 Comments

  1. Really good review 🙂 You did a great job on the ingredients list!
    Sounds like a very uninspiring cleanser – the pictures say it all really. Can I ask why you don’t use foaming cleansers?
    I don’t feel quick to try Innisfree skincare anytime soon but maybe some sheet masks or something to get me started. Again, like I said last time, it is amazing how a “green” beauty brand isn’t all that brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am still struggling to figure out why this cleanser seems to be such a cult classic haha.
      I tend to stray away from foaming cleansers in the colder / drier seasons because I have such dehydrated skin that’s prone to flaking. I do have two foaming cleansers that I really like, one is actually by Innisfree [Though it’s the only product I’ve tried from the brand that I enjoy]. The other one is by an American brand called CeraVe, which I am currently visiting my Chicago family so I have stocked up!

      Like

  2. Sujin says

    Super duper to see an honest review. I didn’t even realise it was a cult classic, maybe cos i’m not on social media enough but I had been eyeing it for a while. I just find it strange that a “gentle” cleanser needs to contain BHA in it, not that I think it would do much because it would just get washed away anyway?
    I know you mention CosDNA alot but I wanted to know if you have used Skincarisma before? It came up when I was googling CosDNA after reading your reviews but want to get your opinion on it before I start using it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you found this review helpful! I question how beneficial the BHA is that low in the ingredient list, plus it will not have the exfoliation benefits of a leave-on product so it seems unnecessary in my opinion.

      I have actually begun comparing Skincarisma & another similar site called Incidecoder with CosDNA, but I have only started doing this with my last few reviews to see how all three compare so I am still new to it. CosDNA was the only major cosmetic ingredient database that had no marketing affiliates for quite a few years so I trusted there would be minimal bias with how they rated cosmetics, both Skincarisma & Incidecoder look promising so far though!

      Like

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