Has the “Hanbang” trend been missing from the collection of skincare novelties crowding your bathroom sink? If you have felt the need for a concoction of Korean medicinal herbs, AmorePacific has designed an entire product line with this in mind. The illi line contains a number of body care & lotions, I decided to try the cleansing oil because my body care routine is humorously non-existent.
Amore Pacific is a South Korean cosmetic giant that subsidizes many other popular cosmetic brands. Their high-end price tag is justified by their cosmetic research partnerships with institutions such as Harvard University, constant technological development from ingredient cultivation at their exclusive farms until it reaches store shelves; and their botanical ingredients, most notably they popularized EGCG [Green Tea].
Amore Pacific is active in sustainability, including environment protection & ethical product development. They also have been a huge advocate of women’s rights & corporate social responsibility, winning them a collection of awards throughout Asia. Amore Pacific is proud of their track record & their website displays it, along with their Sustainability Annual Reports. Sustainability is a newer trend in Eastern skincare so it is typically more difficult to find corporate sustainability efforts of many companies by a simple Google search, but Amore Pacific goes above & beyond what even Western cosmetic brands are willing to share.
The is an oil cleanser that is intended to be used as the initial step of a Double Cleansing routine. The first cleanser is intended to breakup makeup & skin impurities to be washed away by whatever subsequent water-based cleanser used in your routine.
Double cleansing is intended to be done once a day, otherwise it can be very stripping to the skin. It also tends to be done as part of a PM routine since that is when most individuals need to “take off the day” of sunscreen, makeup & grime buildup. Oil cleansers are the very first step of a skincare routine, followed immediately by the secondary water-based cleanser.
The formula is so fluid & clear, I would not even guess this was an oil cleanser based on appearance. It feels unnaturally light in my hands & lacks a certain “grittiness” I experience while washing with other oil cleansers, but since this product is so watery the application is not as easy to control.
The smell is very mild & dissipates quickly. Despite the traditional medicinal roots of the ingredient list, this product smells more floral than earthy. I typically do not prefer floral scents, but the smell is mild enough that I barely notice it.
The packaging is durable & attractive since I prefer a sleek modern aesthetic in contrast to the popular elaborate packaging of Eastern cosmetics. I do find the pump to be a bit clumsy though. I need about 1.5 pumps to thoroughly cleanse my face, but this pump is a difficult to control so it forces me to use an excessive amount of product & lessens the overall value.
It may just be an issue with my bottle, but does anyone else experience leaking issues with this product? All oil cleanser packaging is infamous for travelling very poorly & this product went into “hot mess mode” after initial use at home, leaking around the albeit gorgeous pump.
This unsuspecting hanbang product has an impressive ingredient list with the empirical support of modern studies. It has a great performance record as well, removing nearly all of my makeup with ease. It is extremely light & fluid that it almost doesn’t feel like oil on my face so it may be a good choice for anyone that struggles with oils causing clogged pores. This oil cleanser washes off so cleanly I almost feel like I do not need the subsequent water cleanser, it is definitely one of the best performing oil cleansers I have ever tried.
I do prefer a “grittier” cleanser, like Kose Deep Cleansing Oil, because it leaves my face feeling cleaner at the end of the double cleansing method & I feel like the application is easier to control; but that is strictly personal preference & doesn’t reflect on the performance of the Amore Pacific oil cleanser.
This product has the ingredient list, proof from the people in lab coats & outstanding performance level. What more can you really ask of an oil cleanser?
… Besides affordability, that is something definitely missing in this product. If you are buying products from a high-end brand though, you really should not be surprised by the sticker shock. While the ingredient list is an attractive little number, it is important to keep in mind that this is a wash-off product so the derived skincare benefits will be minimal.
There are 2 acne triggers [1 being high] & 1 irritant according to CosDNA.
|Mineral oil, Isopropyl palmitate, Pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric triglyceride, Pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate, PEG-20 glyceryl triisostearate, PEG-8 isostearate, Panax ginseng root extract, Camellia sinensis leaf extract, Camellia japonica seed oil, Natto gum, Dextrin palmitate, Glyceryl behenate/eicosadioate, Butylene glycol, Water, Fragrance|
Mineral & Palm Oils
These two oils make up the oil components of the cleanser with mineral oil being the base. Mineral oil is typically derived from petroleum, which is considered one of the most gentle & non-comedogenic skincare oils though many have reported it as an acne-trigger. It is extremely accessible & cheap to manufacture so it is commonly seen in many skincare products.
Palm oil is one of my personal struggle areas because it is a fantastic antioxidant emollient; but there are huge economic, human rights & environmental issues linked to it as well. Amore Pacific imports sustainable palm oil & words towards sustainable accountability to all companies. They are doing everything within their power as a large company to do the right thing, but they also import 7,000 tons of the ingredient & some sustainability issues can be so difficult to track or predict.
The “hangbang” of all traditional herbs from the Far East, this is a potent antioxidant that is renowned in the modern era for its potential to heal skin & possibly an anti-carcenagen
Another potent antioxidant that calms inflammation, prevents collagen breakdown & reduces UV damage
This is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, fatty acid & collagen stimulant all rolled into one powerful ingredient
Fermented bi-product of soy protein shown to have antioxidant benefits, though research is limited
Product Price: $26.33 USD / 6.8oz = $3.87 USD per Ounce
This is an expensive cleanser, but it is not completely unreasonable once the product amount is taken into consideration. The bottle is quite small so I was surprised it contained in this much product. The product is online accessible both in the USA & EU countries.
Ultimately the purchasing decision will come down to how you personally choose to spend your consumer power. Amore Pacific is a sustainable company & I love supporting conscious companies, but this product is just a cleanser. A mineral oil based one at that. We can argue the quality of formulation & specific oil types, but mineral oil is always cheap no matter the quality so this is still a premium price.
Other mentions worth noting is when I checked the price of this product on a few different online shopping sites, the purchasing price had a huge range. When comparative shopping, one can usually expect to see $3 – $4 USD price difference between sites for the same product & this is easily explained through shipping methods, import taxes, or other common factors. This specific product ranged between $21 – $31 USD [Not including shipping] between sites, which is a fairly big gap.
Since I come from a marketing background, this is sometimes a red flag that the product may not be selling well or discontinued in a not-so-distant future.
When brands are sold in non-brand shops, there is a contract in place that states the terms for hosting the brand’s products. Especially when it comes to wholesalers, like Jolse or Sephora, part of the agreement is how long a product will be available on the site. Once we start seeing dramatic price cuts, it typically means the contract is close to expiring & the shops need to purge inventory to make room for the next contracted product.
If this is a cleanser you have used & thoroughly enjoy it, this is something to consider before declaring it your “Holy Grail”.
Rating: 4 / 5
This is a nice product, but it is not revolutionary. It is a high-end cleanser & if you have a limited budget, it would be better to invest in a great serum or moisturizer instead of a cleansing step. The ingredient list is Hanbang-chic, but I try to avoid using Palm Oil for sustainability issues. The cleanser performs extremely well & I would definitely recommend it to someone with disposable income, but I am unlikely to repurchase.