Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream Review

The YesStyle Beauty Lab

I know I’ve been reviewing quite a number of creams recently, but this one caught my attention just with its name: the Dynasty Cream. It sounds so romantic! Winning raves among Korean beauty bloggers, this cream not only has a beautiful name and packaging but is also loved for its hanbang (traditional Korean medicine) ingredients from Kyuhab Chongseo, an encyclopedia for upper class Korean women written during the Joseon Dynasty.

The following advertisement pretty much conveys the cream’s emphasis on the use of ancient Korean formulas. Fans of K-dramas may recognize the woman as Hwang Ji-ni, a famous gisaeng (female entertainer, like geisha in Japan) from the Joseon Dynasty. Hwang Ji-ni is known for using ginseng to pamper her skin. And yes, you can find ginseng extract in the Dynasty Cream’s long list of herbal ingredients.

You can find the full English ingredient list on the cream’s packaging, but to make it easier, let me just list all the herbal ingredients in non-scientific terms:

Olea europaea fruit oil (Olive oil)
Helianthus annuus seed oil (Sunflower seed oil)
Centella asiatica extract (Centella extract)
Hippophae rhamnoides oil (Sea buckthorn oil)
Argania spinosa kernel oil (Argan oil)
Butyrospermum parkii butter (Shea butter)
Calendula officinalis flower extract (Marigold extract)
Raphanus sativus leaf extract (Radish leaf extract)
Oryza sativa bran extract (Rice bran extract)
Cucurbitaceae extract (Cucurbits extract)
Orchid extract
Honey extract
Panax ginseng root extract
Carthamus tinctorius seed oil (Safflower seed oil)

A look into the ingredient list reveals that it contains niacinamide for brightening, hyaluronic acid and ceramide for hydration, adenosine for wrinkle improvement, and EGF for skin renewal. However, there are also potential irritants like stearyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate SE, stearic acid and fragrance.

The cream comes in a frosted glass jar, topped with a piece of hanji (traditional Korean handmade paper) that’s tied with straw. This cleverly gives the jar an ancient look without making a fuss. Removing the hanji reveals a silvery cap and shazam! The jar looks modern. The packaging also comes with a tiny spatula which I don’t mind losing.

The first thing I noticed when unveiling the cream was its texture. Although still gel-like, it has a dense, stringy texture unlike any other cream I’ve used before. Nonetheless, I’m happy to find that it absorbs into skin quickly without leaving any greasy feel. It definitely gives a “chok-chok” (Korean for “moist and plump”) glow to my skin. The best thing is that it doesn’t break me out. My only complaint is the floral fragrance, which is a tad too strong for me.

I recommend this cream to adult women with dry skin or living in a dry climate. The price is a bit high at US$35.23/50ml but with its luxurious packaging and unique hanbang formula, I say it’s worth it. Besides, you can always stock up when it’s on sale!

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