Hype: it’s what drives many purchases in the skincare world, and I’m not embarrassed to say (well, maybe a little embarrassed) that I fall for hype quite a bit. Sometimes that FOMO drive leads me to winners like the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum Ex and the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner. Other times, the products fall flat, and I am disappointed and out some moneybucks.
But, that’s why I’m here, isn’t it? To buy crap so you don’t have to.
Today I’m reviewing a product in the much-hyped Whamisa skincare line, which, if you’ve been on Instagram at all in the past few months, is everywhere. The Whamisa brand is build on two main concepts: organic and fermented skincare. Now, the former is not something I’m super concerned about (more on that in a bit), but I’m very interested the latter.
Fermented ingredients have really taken off in Korean skincare. The famous FTE (first treatment essence) glow that everyone raves about? Well, the hallmark of an FTE is fermented yeast extract. The idea behind fermented skincare comes from the logic behind eating fermented foods: basically, through a natural fermentation process wherein the yeast secret enzymes that are beneficial to humans, such as amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants. While these vitamins and antioxidants help internally, skincare companies want us to believe they can also be useful if applied topically.
I can see your side-eye from here. How could topical fermented products do the same kind of work as something you ingest? Great question. I couldn’t find any research to support the claims, although a few patent applications popped up, as did some research on ingesting fermented ingredients. In fact, some folks argue fermented skincare products can’t and don’t do what they claim.
Here’s where the rule of YMMV kicks in. I’m often willing to give ingredients/formulations that don’t have scientific backing a shot to see what they do for my skin because why not? Personally, I’ve noticed a difference in my skin with some skincare products that contain fermented ingredients and absolutely no difference with others.
Which category does the Whamisa Organic Flowers Nourishing Day & Night Cream fall under? Read on and find out.
Whamisa Organic Flowers Nourshing Day & Night Cream
My cream is in a beautiful heavy glass jar, holding 50ml of product. The lid is plastic and has cracked in two places since I opened it in late March 2017. I’m not Superwoman by any means, so this does not impress me.
I’ve seen that Whamisa has changed the packaging of this–and all their creams–to tube form, which is more hygienic anyway.
“95.3% organic ingredients. An intensely rich yet absorbent natural anti-ageing cream formulated with mango seed, cacao avocado, and shea butters for long lasting nourishment, protection, and noticeably more supple skin. Botanical extracts from aloe maculata leaf replace plain water to maximise soothing and nourishing effects. Eight different botanical extracts work synergistically to rejuvenate skin. Ingredients fermented with our signature process increase efficacy and better nourish skin. Suitable for all skin types. Recommended for dry and normal skin types.” (Whamisa.co.uk.)
Setting aside the fact that they actually use the word “synergistically” without irony, I want to point out that Whamisa claims this cream will soothe, nourish, and rejuvenate skin, but doesn’t say a whole lot about reducing redness (which is a big claim for fermented ingredients). The company also states the cream is best for dry and normal skin types (THAT’S ME!).
Aloe Maculata Leaf Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Caulerpa Lentillifera Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Beeswax, Lactobacillus/Maculata Aloe Leaf/Molasses Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Rhizome/Root Ferment Filtrate, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Royal Jelly, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Xanthan Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Fragrance
- Aloe extract: hydrates and soothes irritated and red skin
- Shea Butter: contains anti-oxidants and fatty acids that improve dry skin
- Centella Asiatica: an anti-oxidant rich extract that helps soothe the skin
- Royal Jelly: hydrates, softens, and smoothes skin
- Various flower ferments: these are supposed to calm and soothe redness
- Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract: Has skin-soothing properties. It also may be effective in evening skin tone. It is ideal for sensitive or red/irritated skin.
The (Personal) Evidence
The cream has lovely soft, whipped texture that I quite enjoy. It absorbs quickly and feels light on the skin. In fact, I would say that the number one positive thing about this cream is that it dries matte and isn’t tacky.
The smell is not flowery, which is what I was expecting given the name. It’s sort of sour citrus-y but also powdery? I’m sure the sour note comes from the fermentation. Yes, I know, I will never get a job writing ad copy for perfumes. What’s important to note is that I’m not enthralled with the smell. It actually put me off from using it for awhile at first, although I’ve gone nose-blind to it a bit.
In terms of performance, I don’t notice any redness reduction, but again, Whamisa doesn’t actually claim that.
In terms of moisturizing dry skin, it does a fine job. It’s a nice cream for when my skin is more normal in the summer. I have even layered a light sleeping pack over it during the warmer months, and I don’t wake up to an oil slick like I would if I layered one of my more heavy-duty creams with a sleeping pack. It works fine under sunscreen and makeup–there’s no pilling that I’ve encountered.
Still, with that being said, I know this would never be enough for my dry skin in the winter; it’s far too light. Perhaps it might be better for normal or oily skin in the winter as a night cream.
So, you may have noticed my lukewarm adjectives above: ‘good,’ ‘fine,’ ‘nice,’ etc. I used the cream for a bit in the spring, then again at the beginning of summer, then stopped for a few weeks because it was very meh. I picked it back up again a few weeks ago so I could be sure I was writing a thorough review, and because it’s going to be past its expiration date soon (see below). I honestly didn’t seen any difference in my skin’s health, suppleness, or softness from when I use it and when I don’t. It provides adequate moisture for my skin in the summer and that’s really all I can say about it. My heavier, ceramide-packed creams are more soothing and produce results when I use them on irritated skin.
Additionally, because this product only contains “natural” preservatives, it should be used 6 months after opening. (Most creams that contain stronger preservatives last up to 12 months after opening.)
This is a little frustrating given that I have a number of creams open at a time because that’s just how I roll. I like to be able to choose which cream or lotion will work best with what my skin needs that day. In addition to being a bit inconvenient, if a product has weak preservatives, I’m going to keep an extra close eye on it for bacteria and mold. This fear increased when I saw the cracks in the lid of this cream.
[Side note about organic products and preservatives: so, here’s the thing. I don’t mind if a product has organic ingredients, but I don’t seek them out. I’ve read enough about the flimsiness of organic labeling to believe that pesticides are probably still present just given the way farming fields and spraying works, despite the claims to the contrary. In the same vein, I know some people are very picky about what types of preservatives are put in skincare–or left out, as the case may be–but again, that doesn’t concern me too much. I actually prefer stronger preservatives in my skincare because I don’t really want mold or other bacteria growing in stuff that I put on my face. If you’re on the organic/natural preservative train, I respect that decision and I’m not here to try to pull you off. But I’m also not interested in getting on. If you are interested in why I’ve made this decision, rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m going to direct your to Chel’s blog post on parabens specifically, over at Holy Snails.]
Ok, so to sum up, this is an adequate moisturizing cream that has a very limited shelf life. Fine. I could live with that and might actually be interested in it as a nice cream for the summer. But when I factor in price–it costs about $40–I’m out. That is way too much for a cream that performs similarly to my $10 A’pieu Pure Medic Lotion.
- Did you not read the review? Yes, of course. I will spend all of my money on this product!
- Yes. I enjoy this product enough to purchase again in the future, especially if it’s on sale.
- Meh. Maybe. I mean, I bet there are other, better things out there. I’d use it if someone gave it to me.
- No. I won’t use this again and will probably bad-mouth it to others.
- Hahahahaha. Nope. Noooooooope. Not even if you paid me.
The Verdict: Meh. Maybe. I mean, I bet there are other, better things out there. I’d use it if someone gave it to me. But I will still probably bad-mouth it to others.
Ha! Sorry, but I’m just being truthful. If someone gave me a tube of this, I’d probably use it because it didn’t hurt my skin. But I’m still going to tell people it’s an overpriced, minimally adequate moisturizer.
Where you can buy this: