MAY COOP Raw Series Review

The YesStyle Beauty Lab

I’ve been craving to try MAY COOP’s Raw Series because of its uber-pretty packaging. I always thought it would be best to welcome the month of May with this brand. Finally, it’s time!

Why is it called MAY COOP?

MAY COOP debuted its Raw series in 2012. The series uses 100% maple tree sap harvested from trees that are over 20 years old and grow on Mountain Jiri in South Korea. In order to harness the sap’s optimal moisturizing power, harvesting occurs only once a year in May when the trees offer the most nutrition. The sap is obtained under a low temperature and stored using quick freezing and drying techniques to maintain potency.

Following the success of the Raw series, MAY COOP launched the White series in 2015, which incorporates birch sap for brightening benefits, and the Bamboo series in 2018, which utilizes bamboo sap to strengthen the skin’s resilience.

“COOP” stands for cooperation, which means it’s an aggregation of the best that nature has to offer.


You’ll notice the numbers “5.100.12” beneath MAY COOP’s logo. 5 stands for May, 100 stands for 100% maple tree sap and 12 stands for all the months in a year, which means these products are suitable for use all year round.

Why maple tree sap?

The size of a maple tree sap molecule is 86Hz, which is similar to that of human body fluid. This allows nutrients from the sap to penetrate skin more easily. Sugar in the sap also helps moisturize, soothe and fortify the skin barrier.

Appearance matters

Despite having a star ingredient, I believe it is the packaging that makes MAY COOP really stand out. The Raw series is characterized by a wood grain print cardboard outer, a frosted glass container showcasing artistic annual rings, and a wood grain print plastic cap. It even includes a printed fabric drawcord pouch for each product! Honestly, the packaging is far from eco-friendly, but every little detail adds to its charm.

It’s sauce, not water

Containing as much as 93% maple tree sap and fructan powder, the Raw Sauce is always advertised as “sauce,” not water or toner. The 150ml tube is a bit tall (it’s slightly taller than Naturie’s Hatomugi Skin Conditioner), so I hope it can fit in your cabinet! The slightly yellowish liquid has a dense texture, so I’d classify it as an essence toner. The scent is heavenly and indulging, though a tad too strong for me. Perhaps due to the inclusion of alcohol, the sauce dries up rather quickly when applied on my skin, and I can feel slight warmness over my blemishes. I suspect my skin can’t adapt to the high amount of maple tree sap, so I recommend performing a patch test before trying it. The good thing is that it does plump up my skin in no time. I’ve been suffering from flaky skin recently, and this sauce restored my skin’s suppleness after just two days of use!

Truth be told, I like the Raw Activator (serum) and Raw Moisturizer (cream) better than the acclaimed Raw Sauce. Although they all carry a relatively strong fragrance, these two didn’t irritate my skin. The Raw Activator contains 80% maple tree sap along with ceramide and mushroom complex. It might be a bit sticky for oily skin but it’s super easy to spread. The gooey liquid even slightly sparkles under the light!

The moisturizer contains 70% maple tree sap alongside baobab tree and cactus extracts. It’s unexpectedly lightweight and refreshing. Boasting a smooth, non-greasy texture, the moisturizer quickly sinks into skin without feeling heavy. I have no problem using it day and night.

The verdict

Overall, the Raw Series is what I was expecting: it looks opulent, smells amazing, absorbs quickly, and feels good on skin thanks to its refined textures. It’s perfect as a gift set and irresistible for your vanity. I suggest trying the Raw Sauce and Activator for those with dry skin, and the Raw Moisturizer for those with oily skin. If you have sensitive skin and would like to give the Raw Sauce a go, try the 40ml bottle first just in case your skin doesn’t react well to maple tree sap!

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