Today, I am reviewing the iUNIK Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner and the iUNIK Black Snail Restore Serum – two Korean beauty products that promise gentle, natural and simple hydration. Find out if these promises came true for my skin!
A few weeks ago the brand iUNIK reached out on social media, asking if people would be interested in reviewing their products. Since I had already reviewed one of their products before – their Lime Moisture Peeling Gel – and liked it quite a bit, I contacted them and was sent two products: The Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner and the Black Snail Restore Serum.°
Both these products are aimed at people with dehydration problems, which fits my winter-fatigued skin just perfectly! I have been using both for a while now, and so I think it’s time to share my thoughts on these iUNIK goodies with you…
1. IUNIK Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner
I was super keen to try out the iUNIK Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner, since it contains two star ingredients that I am exceptionally fond of: hyaluronic acid and sea buckthorn extract.
Here is a full list of ingredients for the iUNIK Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner:
“Sodium Hyaluronate, Water, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, 1,2 Hexanediol, Trehalose, Caprylyl Glycol, Thuja Orientalis Leaf Extract, Zanthoxylum Schinifolium Leaf Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyl Ethyl Cellulose, Pentylene Glycol, Asphalatus Linearis Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra.”
This toner is a so-called “skin toner”, meaning it is thick in texture and almost more of a hydrating serum than a Western-style toner meant to merely refresh skin after cleansing. Korean skins are formulated to deliver straight-up intense hydration without overburdening the skin. They can be layered for an even stronger hydrating effect, and are usually – if sadly not always – free of alcohol or other possibly drying ingredients.
Apart from the hydrating hyaluronic acid and the skin-softening, nourishing sea buckthorn extract, the iUNIK Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner contains a number of interesting plant extracts: thuja orientalis leaf extract, for instance, is said to have antibacterial properties. Zanthoxylum schinifolium leaf extract seems to have antimicrobal and antifungal properties, polygonum cuspidatum root extract is actually a plant extract from which the anti-aging ingredient resveratrol is won, and “asphalatus linearis extract” – roiboos tea extract – might potentially contain free radical fighting antioxidants. Licorice root extract is another favourite of mine in terms of K-beauty ingredients, since it has a noticeable brightening and breakout-fighting effect on my skin.
The iUNIK Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner has a very thick texture – I am used to thicker toners, but I must admit that this was almost too thick for my liking, and I felt it was really more of a serum than a toner. In fact, the toner was thicker in texture than the iUNIK snail serum!
I will be honest here and say that I have mixed feelings about the Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner: I love the clean ingredients list, which contains a host of skincare goodies that I was excited to get on my skin. However, I cannot say that I loved this product. Firstly, the thick and sticky texture of the Vitalizing Toner took forever to sink into my skin. I can only use this at night, when I have enough time to wait for this to be absorbed by my skin. Secondly, something about this – and I can’t fully put my finger on what – seems to make my skin break out if I use it too frequently.
Yes, it is super hydrating, and maybe if I had dry skin instead of oily combo skin I would love this more dearly. Even with just a tiny amount spread over my skin it just feels like a little bit too much to handle, and the stickiness just doesn’t leave a nice feeling on my skin. So, I found myself using this mostly to make sure I can review it fairly, but not fully enjoying the experience or seeing results that completely wowed me.
I don’t consider this to be a terrible product, and I know many fellow bloggers who simply love this toner. Frankly, I feel it is just too rich for me and my skin type, and slightly more watery toners such as the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner* or the wonderful Swanicoco Fermentation Snail Skin Toner* work much better for me. It makes me a little bit sad since I really am such a huge fan of sea buckthorn in literally anything skincare-related, and products such as the wonderful I’m From Vitamin-Tree Water Gel* have had fantastic results for my skin.
But…what can ya do – not everything works for everyone, and this toner didn’t quite work for me. Make sure to read other reviews in case you have a different skin type than mine, since I have seen so many people really love this product. If you are interested in purchasing the iUNIK Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner you can buy it directly at the iUNIK brand store for 16,49$.
2. IUNIK Black Snail Restore Serum
I love snail products – they do wonders for my skin and help to make it feel and look smoother and plumper, while simultaneously speeding up the healing process of pimple “shadows” and post-acid purging cycles (AHAs and I have a…stormy relationship…). Thus, I was excited to try the iUNIK Black Snail Restore Serum, which contains 70% black snail secretion filtrate.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the iUNIK Black Snail Restore Serum:
Alright, so first things first: I couldn’t really find any evidence that “black snail secrete” is somehow different to normal snail mucin extract. Frankly, I doubt that black snails somehow carry superior or extra special mucin, but I happily get corrected if any of you know more on this subject!
Apart from the snail secrete extract, this serum contains a number of goodies, among them centella asiatica water and extract, a herb priced for its healing properties especially if you suffer from acne. See, I told you centella asiatica would turn up in more and more products this year! There are also a whole list of plant-based extracts, some of them fermented, chosen mostly for their brightening, whitening and wrinkle-smoothing properties, e.g. blueberry and rice extract. You can also find quite a number of hydrating ingredients in this serum, such as rosa canina fruit oil and hyaluronic acid.
I felt a bit bad for taking quite long to write my blog review on these iUNIK products, so I already posted a mini review of the Black Snail Restore Serum on my Instagram. So, if you follow me there you already know that I am really fond of this product!
This serum isn’t nearly as sticky and thick as the iUNIK toner. Texture-wise, it reminds me a lot of my beloved Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence.* Unlike the scent-free Cosrx Serum, this has a very slight smell, which is sweet and pleasant. Just like all snail-containing products, this does have a certain “stringy” quality to it, and it does take a bit to be absorbed into the skin. However, once it is absorbed I do not feel any tackiness or annoying residue on my face.
The reason why I love this serum is that it makes my skin feel super smooth and “calmed down” – I currently struggle with redness and some weirdly “adolescent” breakouts, and this serum has such a soothing effect, it’s really beautiful for anyone with acne-prone, dehydrated skin. This is a deeply hydrating serum which helps quench my skin’s thirst very effectively and without overpowering it.
I do feel that this may not be rich enough for drier skin types, because it is very watery and lightweight, but normal to oily skin will love this – as long as you can tolerate snail products! Snail is not for everyone, and I would advise you to try a sample size first if you have no prior experience with snail secrete extract. Some people’s skin gets triggered by snail and can actually break out instead of heal, so always trial first before you commit to a high-dosage snail product. Personally, I’m a big fan of snail products, as they have done wonders for my troubled skin!
If you are interested in buying the iUNIK Black Snail Restore Serum, you can purchase this at the iUNIK brand shop for 15.49$, which is a pretty decent price for such a great product. Due to its watery texture, it does, however, get used up rather quickly. Nevertheless, I am really liking this serum and would potentially re-purchase it!
iUNIK Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner and Black Snail Restore Serum – The Bottom Line
Even though the Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner from iUNIK did not quite work out for me, I am still overall a fan of this young brand. I appreciate how carefully the ingredients are chosen, and the fair pricing of the products. I greatly appreciate the Black Snail Restore Serum and would recommend this product. The toner was just too rich for me, and may work better for drier skin types. It did cause some breakouts, so I would caution those of you with acne-prone skin to maybe try the iUNIK Rose Galactomyces Essential Toner instead. I tried a few samples of that toner and it felt a lot lighter and less “intense.” Misslaven has a full review of this toner and the Rose Galactomyces serum up on her blog that you can check out!
If snail isn’t your thing I can also recommend the beautiful Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum, which I have tried in a sample size and really enjoyed. The Rose Galactomyces Synergy Serum is also a lovely anti ageing and brightening serum that I can recommend for pretty much all skin types. Truly, iUNIK is a brand that I believe will continue to impress in the future!
Speaking of the future: have you guys already checked out episode 2 of The K-Beauty Podcast? It’s all about forecasting what will be big in terms of Asian skincare trends in the near future. I’d love it if you would check it out, either here on the blog or on ITunes! I am truly pouring my heart and soul into this podcast project at the moment, and hope you will find it informative and fun.
Take care guys!
°PR Samples, kindly provided by iUNIK for review purposes
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