This review contains PR samples° and affiliate links* The Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence is another one of those K-Beauty products that could potentially be overlooked at first glance. It turns out, however, that it’s not just worth another, closer look, but a gushingly positive blog review by yours truly!
One ingredient essences are a massive trend in Korea right now – what started with the “100%” mugwort essences in 2018/19 quickly turned into a whole assortment of single extract essences, toners and serums. And, well, Missha is kind of killing it right now when it comes to these types of products! I had been eyeing their Artemisia Essence* for a while when my eyes got diverted towards that enticingly deep red glass bottle of the Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence.
I had seen this single ingredient essence a few times on the Instagram feed of K-beauty writer Jude Chao, aka Fifty Shades of Snail, and since there are few bloggers whose opinion on Korean skincare I trust more than hers, I knew it had to be good. Fast forward a few months and I happily received my own essence bottle, by now thoroughly tried and tested so that I can tell you if it’s really worth the hype!
Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence – “One” Ingredient?
When Wishtrend started the one ingredient product trend in Korea with their I’m from Mugwort Essence*, said to be “100% mugwort extract”, people – rightfully so – were suspicious about the “100%” claim, given the fact that a watery, slightly slippery-hydrating essence clearly didn’t just consist of pure mugwort. There had to be some sort of medium into which the mugwort plant had to be extracted, plus some form of preservative to make sure that the product is protected from bacteria and mould. And it does feel a bit odd not to be told about obvious hidden ingredients!
Most bloggers assume that the main other ingredient of these one ingredient extracts is probably water and/or alcohol, and in the case of alcohol, that could also count as a preservative. There won’t be anything nefarious hidden in these one ingredient claims, because that would go against strict cosmetics regulations in Korea, so I am not too deeply worried about the whole thing. But yes, it always makes me roll my eyes a little when I see the claim of any product being 100% just one ingredient. In some countries, there is a loophole that allows for extracts to be counted as one single ingredient, even if they clearly consist of, say, “alcohol, mugwort, propanediol” or similar, and South Korea is one of them.
That being said, there is nothing inherently bad or shady about these types of essences or toners – they can still be absolutely awesome products, and indeed the I’m from Mugwort Essence is a fabulous product that I’ve just emptied and am in the process of repurchasing.
The Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence does not contain K-beauty it ingredient mugwort (that’s already featured in their Artemisia Treatment Essence,* which I also hear great things about), but instead uses fermented red chondrus crispus extract. Chondrus crispus or Irish moss, is actually quite a common ingredient in cough syrup and lozenges here in Germany, said to help keep sore throats smooth thanks to its gelatinous consistency building a protective, antibacterial layer around the inflamed areas. Iris moss is also rich in zinc and vitamin C, supporting the immune system and boosting antioxidant levels in the body. The red version of this algae looks pretty spectacular, with its crimson red, almost dark purple colouring.
For our skin, red algae – or any type of algae, really – can enhance hydration levels, provide antioxidant benefits and create a sort of protective film on the skin thanks to its humectant sugar molecules and that gelatinous texture I talked about before. In fact, Irish moss has been used to create gel textures in both cosmetics and foods for a long time!
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence (EU version with all ingredient components listed!):
“Water, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Glycerin, 2,3-Butanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol.”
A short list, though obviously a tad longer than just that one ingredient! The added glycerin boosts the hydrating effects of this essence, working in tandem with the Irish moss extract to plump up skin and keep it moist. According to Missha, the algae plants are being fermented over the course of 100 days with as low a temperature as possible to guarantee optimal fermentation levels without losing the benefits of the extract. As you can see, the Red Algae Treatment Essence doesn’t contain alcohol or added fragrance, as is the case for all Missha Time Revolution Essences.
Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence – So Why Am I in Love then?
I remember when I first saw this essence and felt a bit unsure if it would be as exciting as the original Time Revolution Essence with its brightening fermented ingredients. Again, it was skinthusiast extraordinaire Fiddy/Jude who totally changed my mind after raving about this product! I think initially I just felt unsure if algae was really that sensational that it needed to be a spotlight ingredient.
Ok, so I was totally wrong about that first impression, obviously. This essence is awesome! Now, I actually struggled to formulate what makes it so great when brainstorming for this review. Sure, I can tell you that it’s hydrating, which it is, very much so in fact. But, many essences and toners are hydrating, so you may just shrug off my gushing adoration for the Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence as a bit over the top.
The thing with this essence is that it seems to not just hydrate, but really provide that whole “plumping” magic that marketing speak likes to claim so often for their products, when so few actually do this. My skin always looks so much smoother and – dare I say it? – more youthful after using the Red Algae Treatment Essence.
I think it comes from the essence being so lightweight, but with a bit more “bite” to it than other watery essences. I’m guessing it’s the mix of glycerin with that slightly gelatinous algae extract, fermented to make it penetrate skin more easily, that creates such a favourable texture, slightly slippery and just a tad more viscous than most fermented essences. The I’m from Mugwort Essence actually has a very similar texture, if you have tried that equally popular K-beauty one ingredient product.
The essence doesn’t have a fragrance at all from what I can tell, and its natural pinkish colouring disappears when you apply the product. I personally always apply essences with my hands, gently patting the liquid into my skin to support a speedy absorption.
I think this is a great choice for dehydrated skin, from dry to oily, since this just feels so satisfying to use no matter the skin type. It’s always tough to say if any product offers true anti-aging benefits, and I will have to use the Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence a bit longer to make a final verdict, but as mentioned before, I absolutely notice a more youthful appearance of my skin thanks to the plumping and smoothing effects. This is just a lovely product overall, and I feel the hype it has created in Korea is justified.
Where to purchase: You can buy the Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence at Stylevana* for currently only around 25$ for the 150ml bottle, and in Europe you can also buy this at Missha EU* for 39,00€.
Let me know in the comments: Have you tried any of the Missha Time Revolution Essences? Which one is your favourite?
Take care guys, and stay safe – don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for all the latest K-Beauty and skincare news, and check out my other reviews, e.g. my thoughts on the Skinfood Yuja C Dark Spot Clear Essence, which is another K-beauty sleeper hit if you ask me!
°PR Sample, kindly provided by a brand or shop – I am not obligated to write this blog article, was not paid for the article, and my opinions are entirely my own.
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