Sometime last summer, I received a message from one of my followers asking if I had tried the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water because it was her favorite. This stuck in my mind; it was time to try it out.
Some of the things I bought are based on positive reviews I received on Instagram, YouTube, and bloggers I follow.
The I’m From Rice Toner and the Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream are some of the products I bought after others raved about, but sadly failed to meet my expectations.
The beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water is one of these “duds” (oh, dud sounds like a powerful word, maybe I should say “regrets”) that fails to live up to my expectations.
Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water Review, at a Glance:
Where to Buy the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water?
The Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water comes in a five fl. oz. / 150ml bottle and varies between $13 and $18.
For all you lucky people in the US who can get Prime delivery, you can buy the essence water from Beauty of Joseon’s official store on Amazon*.
The Beauty of Joseon Brand
The Beauty of Joseon is a Korean beauty brand that creates skincare products using natural Korean skincare ingredients popular during the Joseon Dynasty. Traditional Hanbang (aka Korean herbal medicine) techniques and ingredients inspire product formulas.
Beauty of Joseon focuses on achieving bright, clear skin and improving skin health, highlighting one’s natural beauty. The ancient Korean Dynasty times have influenced its simplistic and traditional packaging.
The Beauty of Joseon brand has gained enormous popularity quickly due to their well-performing products, especially their first hit, the Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream*.
What Is the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water?
Korea, or what I like to call, the “birthplace of skincare,” is a country filled with all the different kinds of skincare products. It’s a cornucopia of beauty products. They have them all – cleansers, toners, serums, and essences.
Korea first introduced essences. Essences are now being used worldwide, encouraging foreign beauty brands to make their own.
Essences are applied after your toner as a prepping step for moisturizers and serums. The steps after the essence will work better because of the extra hydration and nutrients it adds to the skin. They will absorb well into the skin, and the essence will magnify the benefits.
Moreover, a facial essence in a routine preps the skin by beginning cell reproduction. It assists in shedding old skin and revealing new skin for an improved and radiant appearance.
Essences usually have a light, watery consistency to sink in easily. It would be best if you used your hands to pat it on your face, instead of a cotton pad, as you’ll waste a lot of product. So, skip the cotton pad and save yourself and the environment the hassle of using essences.
Essences are not the most popular skincare products, so finding one that will fit your skin might be challenging.
The Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water* is a facial essence. This essence is 80% ginseng water that claims to cure dull and dehydrated skin. Ginseng and panthenol, should soothe the skin and give it an enlightening and refreshing feeling.
Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water Claims
Ginseng essence water contains 80% of ginseng water and focuses on the benefits of ginseng itself, giving sufficient moisture and nutrition to the skin.
It fills moisture and nutrition firmly to help keep your skin moisturized for a long period of time.Beauty of Joseon
Who Is this Essence Toner For?
The essence is suitable for all skin types. The brand recommends pairing it with the Beauty of Joseon Revive Serum* to maximize the efficacy of the ginseng.
Not sure what your skin type is? Please read our guide on Skin types & skin conditions.
Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water Ingredients
Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water Ingredients List (last checked 2023)
Panax Ginseng Root Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Propanediol, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Water, Hydroxyacetophenone, Glyceryl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin, Adenosine, Panax Ginseng Callus Culture Extract, Theobroma Cacao(Cocoa) Extract, Dextrin, Glucose, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Berry Extract, Lactobacillus/Panax Ginseng Root Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexyglycerin, Disodium EDTA.
Ingredients referred from the Beauty of Joseon official website.
Humectant/Moisturizing Active Herb Ferment Brightening
Key Ingredients Explained
Hanbang has been around in Korea for many years. The name does not refer to a specific ingredient but a traditional Korean wellness approach.
Hanbang incorporates natural herbal ingredients with medicinal or therapeutic properties into daily food or personal care routines. Popular Hanbang ingredients in Korean skincare are ginseng root (for its anti-inflammatory properties), Chaga mushroom (also for its anti-inflammatory properties), lotus root (for moisturizing), licorice root (for its antiaging and UV protection), among many others.
Want to learn more? Please read our complete Guide on Ginseng Benefits for the Skin.
The hero ingredient for this essence is ginseng water (80%), which calms and relaxes irritated and tired skin.
In Korean history, Ginseng is a vital herbal ingredient that has been used for a long time for the skin’s health. In Korean herbal medicine books, ginseng is considered a “herb of perpetual youth” and helps lighten hyperpigmentation and soften wrinkles.
The legend says Hwang Jini, the most beautiful woman in the Joseon Dynasty, used a ginseng decoction as bath water. The rich saponin in ginseng helps quickly supply moisture and maintains it deep inside the skin for a long time to help create healthy skin.
Today, ginseng is very well studied. Ginsenosides are believed to be the major biologically active components of ginseng, responsible for many of the benefits of ginseng for the skin.
Ginseng, in skincare:
- Improves the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles and eye wrinkles by suppressing the degradation of collagen;
- Protects against UV radiation-induced skin damage, known as photo-aging;
- Increases hyaluronic acid generation, therefore, helps keep skin hydrated and plump;
- Treats acne;
- Fades hyperpigmentation.
The best ginseng for your skin is the wild ginseng, at least six years old. Cultivated ginseng has fewer benefits but is also less expensive.
Unfortunately, the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water contains cultivated ginseng. Also, the brand doesn’t specify the age of the ginseng, which is very important to determine if the product is good or not.
I don’t think you’ll get a good ginseng product at that price.
Third, in the formulation of the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water is good old trusty glycerin. This superstar ingredient is often overlooked as inexpensive or inelegant in skincare, but it is one of the best, most reliable humectants.
Glycerin is also probably the most well-known humectant. It:
- Hydrates. Glycerin is a very effective humectant, used in many moisturizers to increase skin hydration.
- Occurs naturally in your skin as part of its home-grown moisturizing system, the natural moisturizing factor (NMF).
- Strengthens skin barrier. Glycerin also keeps the skin’s lipids flexible, strengthening your skin barrier.
- Softens. Glycerin softens the skin so other hydrating ingredients can more easily penetrate the skin.
- Reduces TEWL. Glycerin helps slow down transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Like other humectants, it works by sitting in the top layers of your skin and attracting water from the air and the deeper layers, leaving your skin surface plump and hydrated, even when the weather is arid.
Niacinamide has been making a splash in the Western market over the last few years and has been splashing in Asian skincare for decades. This beauty powerhouse is the topical form of vitamin B3.
Several well-documented studies show that when used topically, niacinamide can:
- Strengthen the skin barrier by increasing ceramides and lipids, increasing stratum corneum thickness, and decreasing transepidermal water loss;
- Improve the surface structure and smoothes out wrinkles;
- Boost hydration;
- Control sebum production;
- Reduce acne;
- Calm redness and even out red blotchiness;
- Improve skin texture;
- Lessen hyperpigmentation;
- Brighten sallowness of the skin;
- Treat rosacea, melasma and psoriasis.
Long story short, niacinamide does everything, and the good news is that it is well-tolerated by most skin types.
Niacinamide teams up with adenosine to create a powerful duo that aids in healing has an anti-inflammatory effect, restores the barrier, and brightens.
Panthenol is a fantastic hydrator. Apart from its humectant properties in skincare, panthenol also reduces itching and inflammation of the skin, improves skin elasticity, accelerates wound healing, acts as an emollient, and helps prevent water loss.
Panthenol also has a fantastic ability to penetrate the skin’s lower layers. Upon application, it is immediately converted to pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which then binds to and holds water.
Licorice (Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate)
Licorice root extract is becoming a frequently used plant extract in skin care products today because of its fantastic ability to prevent skin hyperpigmentation and fade existing hyperpigmentation and PIH – all while soothing your skin and providing it with antioxidants.
Its anti-inflammatory properties contribute to a harmonious, clear complexion.
The formula is oil-free, so those with oily/combination skin are pretty safe from using this, as nothing will clog pores. Those with sensitive skin will also find this should be gentle enough for the skin due to the lack of irritating ingredients.
When I tried the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water for the first time, I was very impressed by the packaging: the essence water bottle came in a neat box with all the information on it.
The Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water bottle has a soft matte effect and a premium look. The packaging is functional and does not leak, which is all I require in a product.
BOJ Ginseng Essence Water has a foiled screw-off cap made of bulky plastic and a hole opening for dispensing the product. The bottle was sealed, so I didn’t have to worry that it had been opened.
I always appreciate Beauty of Joseon products’ neutral, almost inexistent scent, especially in a marketplace where heavily perfumed cosmetics seem commonplace.
I was not surprised this product has no scent. I can only decent the slightest herbal notes when searching for it.
Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water’s texture is super runny but easily applied directly from the palm. After applying, it is quickly absorbed and does not leave a sticky feeling.
My Experiences with the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water
Please do not be deceived by the image’s usage because I always take photos before using the product. Who doesn’t love looking at a fresh product?
For reference, my skin is dry during cold winters and normal during the hot summers.
I’ve been using it sparingly, on and off, for about six months. You may be wondering why. As I don’t have acne-prone skin (just the occasional hormonal spots), and I am lucky my skin is resilient, I don’t really patch test because I have never reacted to anything.
Experience with a cosmetic is a highly individual phenomenon.
It broke me out the first two times I introduced it into my routine. I was intrigued; I did not want to believe the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water was to blame because I loved the brand. I checked the ingredients list and the comedogenicity in cosdna and found nothing. The Ginseng Essence Water was probably not to blame. I left it on my beauty shelf for another month and tried it again. It broke me out again.
I am nothing if not persistent, so I recently tried it for the third time. This time, it didn’t break me out. I must admit my routine has changed a little, so I am not sure to this day what the culprit is.
The Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water is nothing like CosRx Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner*, which changed my skin. This essence Ginseng Essence Water is not very hydrating, even when layered. I have tried three layers of this essence straight out of the shower when my skin needs it the most. I never got the same hydrated feeling I would get after using CosRx Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner*.
I did want to love it, and I still use it on my cleavage (as I wait for the CosRx Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner* to arrive). It didn’t perform as well as other products in the same category.
In theory, this really should work well for me. It had glowing reviews, but my skin didn’t like this.
The Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water does not make my skin feel plumper or soften. I didn’t see any anti-aging results either. It doesn’t do much to my skin.
It is my most spectacular letdown in terms of expectations versus results.
How to Use the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water?
You may be wondering where something like this fits into your routine.
- First cleanse;
- Second cleanse;
- Thin toner;
- Pour a few drops of the Ginseng Essence Water into your hands and gently pat the face.
- At night, moisturizer on top to lock in all the moisture;
- In the AM, SPF.
- not sticky
- layers well
- can be easily incorporated into routine
- not hydrating enough
- broke me out
- didn’t plump my skin
- didn’t help with pores
- didn’t smooth out any fine lines
The results are inexistent. The Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water does not help much with hydration, firmness, or plumpness.
Almost every single review I have read gives it glowing reviews. I have to say I am surprised by how hyped this product is. However, I just didn’t love it.
I wanted to love it more than anything; the ingredients, the hanbang, everything sounded amazing, but the amazing didn’t translate to my skin.
Remember that the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water has worked for MANY people, so do not rule this out completely. My opinion is just another point of view for you to consider and make an informed decision.
Will I repurchase the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water?
Unfortunately, as this didn’t quite work for me, I will not repurchase this. While it does hydrate a little, it doesn’t hydrate enough for me and is not comparable to what CosRx Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner* did for my skin.
From now on, I will most likely focus on other essences. In saying this, the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng line, in general, is trendy and great value for money, and it does work for many people.
Beauty of Joseon as a brand is wonderful at hanbang ingredients and making them accessible to everyone. I have used (and quite like) the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Cleansing Oil in this range and will always be happy to try out their products.
Unfortunately, the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water didn’t do wonders for me as it did for others! My skin simply didn’t love it, and that’s okay because not everything works for everyone.
Shop for the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water
The value for this and what you get is good (if it works for you!) – this can be purchased in the US for around $18.
Lastly, I was not paid for this review or received it as a gift.
As always, you do you; be kind to your skin and yourself! Remember that every person’s skin and skin type is different, so what might work for me might not work for you, and vice versa. So, before adding a new product to your skincare routine, it pays to do a little research first.
Before adding the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water to your skincare regimen, ensure you are not allergic to it or its ingredients. You should also consult your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical conditions or medications that may interact with the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water. Always do a patch test before applying the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water on your skin to avoid adverse reactions.
I am not a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician, but I have sufficient experience and knowledge I gained by testing multiple products and self-exploration. Unsure? Best to consult your dermatologist.
Happy skin experimenting, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Show Me Proof
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- Hou, Joon Hyuk, Hyunjung Shin, Kyoung Hwa Jang, Chae Kyu Park, Bonsuk Koo, Hyeji Shin, Soon Hong Yuk, and Ki Yong Lee. “Anti‐acne properties of hydrophobic fraction of red ginseng (Panax ginseng CA Meyer) and its active components.” Phytotherapy Research 33, no. 3 (2019): 584-590.
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