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Our Beauty Editor Romy just wrote an article on KAHI, and I couldn’t wait to try the whole Wrinkle Bounce routine!
There are a lot of reasons for me to try it. First, Kim Go-eun, the spokesperson of the brand, flaunted the line’s multi balm in episode 8 of K-Drama The King: Eternal Monarch, and it soon went viral. As a K-Drama addict, I’m obliged to try it.
Second, the line stars salmon collagen and salmon PDRN, K-Beauty’s newest IT ingredient, which is actually DNA fragment extracted from salmon sperm. I’m in my mid-30s and dying to try anything under the sun that can reverse the clock. Also, I can be quite adventurous with skin care, and this new fab-or-fad trend intrigues me.
The Newest K-Beauty Buzz
The craze started with Rejuran Healer, an injectable treatment featuring salmon DNA developed by Korean pharmaceutical company Pharmaresearch. Celebrities reportedly use Rejuran before major events to improve their skin. Even though Rejuran was launched in 2014, the trend only began to flourish in South Korea and Singapore in 2019. Recently, K-Beauty brands started producing non-injectable salmon DNA skin care.
Though injections can reach deeper into the dermis to stimulate collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production, needleless products are less expensive and more convenient (not to mention less scary). Salmon DNA may be disguised as sodium DNA or HP DNA in ingredient lists.
The Benefits of Salmon DNA
Studies have shown that:
It promotes wound healing by supporting the growth of blood vessels, which in turn help deliver oxygen and nutrients to skin and reinforce the skin barrier. It also blocks cytokine, an inflammatory chemical found in the human body. It can be used to improve recovery after laser treatments.
It promotes cell regeneration to reveal fresh skin, which leads to potential anti-aging benefits, though more in-depth research has yet to be conducted.
It blocks UVA and UVB rays, making it an ideal ingredient for sunscreens.
Of Humans and Salmons
I wish I had been more attentive during biology class! My first concern was whether salmon sperm has testosterone in it, because apparently testosterone can increase sebum production when consumed. Then, I realized testosterone is only found in reproductive organs, not sperm. Fish sperm is considered a delicacy in Japan and is rich in protein and Vitamins B12 and D.
My second worry was whether salmon sperm would irritate skin. I always lean towards clean beauty, which is different from organic beauty. Sometimes, the more organic the composition, the more preservatives are needed to improve its texture, scent and shelf life. The idea of slathering salmon milt on my face also haunted me. Luckily, only extracts from salmon sperm are used in these products, not the actual thing. As for my concern over sensitivity, the fact that the DNA of humans and salmons are over 95% similar has provided some relief.
Having said so much about salmon DNA, are you ready to find out how it fared on my dry, sensitive, mature and hyperpigmented skin?
First of all, I fell in love at once with the line’s packaging and scent, which totally sets it apart from drugstore skin care. The salmon pink looks so sumptuous and romantic, especially with the rose-gold accents and matte finishing that add to its luxe. Some of the bottles even come in a clear ombré! The floral scent is sensual and sophisticated. It makes you want to apply more product or massage it on for longer.
For ingredients and claimed effects, please refer to the previous article on KAHI. I’ll focus on my experience:
The white pearly paste foams up nicely and feels incredibly smooth on skin. As someone who prefers foams to pastes despite having dry skin, this one certainly convinced me to go back to pastes. My skin felt incredibly smooth and plump afterwards. It didn’t leave skin feeling squeaky clean, but it also didn’t strip skin of moisture, create a tight sensation or leave residue. I don’t know how it would fare on oily skin, but it more than satisfied the needs of my dry skin.
This mist is a dream to have on my work desk at home. I spritz it whenever I feel dry, sleepy or exhausted. The scent is a great pick-me-up by itself, and the oil-infused formula gives just the right amount of glow and hydration without ruining makeup. It usually takes around four spritzes to moisten my entire face. I also use it as a toner morning and night.
There’s both an essence and an ampoule, so I didn’t know which one to use first. Then, I remembered essence comes before ampoule in the famous 10-step Korean skin care routine. This essence is slightly thicker than the ampoule, perhaps due to the presence of tiny agar capsules. Unlike the transparent mist, it’s slightly pink and comes in an ombré pink pump bottle. The capsules are hardly noticeable on skin, so I’m guessing that they melt or burst upon touching skin. Despite being thicker, the essence is easier to absorb and less sticky than the ampoule. The agar capsules plump skin to make it smoother.
The ampoule looks slightly peachy and is contained in a dropper bottle. (Excuse the bubbles in the picture – I dropped it on the ground but luckily it didn’t break!) While the essence focuses on firming and moisturizing, this aims to brighten skin with niacinamide.
This set of five masks delivers essence into skin with a fitted and rather thick fabric sheet mask that feels substantial without dripping everywhere. The masks are a godsend when you need a little aromatic oomph or a boost of moisture.
The core cream looks high-end with its clear acrylic case and rose-gold lid. It has the same pale pink color as the essence and feels utterly smooth on skin. Neither oily nor sticky, it makes for the perfect 24/7 cream whenever my skin feels dry.
Compared to sunscreens made for sports, this one certainly isn’t very waterproof but it’s good enough for a day in the office. It has an excellent texture and feels weightless on skin. The pale pink color becomes unnoticeable after spreading. I did experience some patchiness while wearing it to swim, but that’s just because it’s not meant for sports.
Not gonna lie, I’m not a fan of multi balms. I love lip balms, but to smear it onto my acne-prone face after it’s touched my lips – where there could still be saliva, oil or sauce left – is out of my comfort zone. And that’s nothing compared to handing it to another person, which is what Kim Go-eun did in The King: Eternal Monarch! This multi balm rocks as a lip balm (despite being a bit too large), but I find it too sticky when applied on the face. Unless I’m visiting an extremely dry environment, I’ll probably keep it either as a lip balm or for drier areas of the body (but not both).
I can see why people fell in love with this range right away. The packaging is drop-dead gorgeous, the ingredients are exciting and promising, the scent is divine, and the textures are superb. I thought I’d be too lazy to follow all the steps, but I became addicted. Most importantly, not only do these products feel smooth, but they also make skin smoother. They’re on the pricier side but are worth the dough if you have dry and mature skin. I’d recommend getting the more affordable mist and sunscreen first to get a taste of what the line has to offer. You won’t regret it!